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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Taking a work holiday beyond must-do site chores, but will not be action-less.

A Horse to Watch from Tampa Bay last spring goes in the fourth at Del Mar today after a barn change. The trip note said:

“Terrific turf debut, sprinted away in deep stretch while only ridden out. Galloped out well; follow (crafty handling and placement)”

That’s it. Haven’t looked at the race, have my own parameters for betting Horses to Watch back as I let the odds be my guide with no handicapping involved:

At 4-1 or lower ML, win only–from 4-1 to 9-1, win/place–10-1 or greater, win/place/show.

Freedom Lass, 4th race Del Mar, is 8-1 ML. Drew worst post at two turns on the Oceanside turf course–far outside; can only hope she will be ignored by the crowd and drift higher.

Without thinking–and in case it’s turkey time–making win/show wager right now.

If I get to see it live, might handicap the race and play some exotics.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the HRI Faithful. For your family and friends, Stay Safe; wear a mask

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11 Responses

  1. Happy Bird Day to all! Today’s the day I start to prep for my real job. I love it that the Santa Gig is just around the far turn. Time to pull the suit down out of the attic once more. Where else are you going to find a job where you can work but only one day a year, sleep as late as you like before punching in, and at every stop, anyone you might happen encounter wants to buy you a drink, and maybe a plate full of home grown cookies. A couple of years out, maybe the parents just might factor in a dusting of cannabis flower. But I digress. Today It’s Bird Day. A Day for allowing recognition and simply saying thank you!

    On the “High Echeleon” of my weather influenced list today, as it is rainy and windy early in NY early, on top of the list is John Pricci. NYRA is dark today so lets get to it.

    (Weather has me remembering when Personality stayed in the barn after the second leg of the series, and his trainer went with Echeleon in the mud of Elmont Belmont. Good call.)

    Any hoot, I am starting the thank you process today with Broadway John, but first a side note of recognition. When John was a young teen his folks put him on a subway and headed him off from Queens each day headed for Brooklyn’s Bishop Loughlin. Tony Fauci’s parents by the way, were of much the same mindset, but there the route to and fro’ twisted around the tracks headed from Brooklyn to 84th St Manhattan and Regis. Only four or five years behind the two, and it was my turn. I bused to 68th Street on the B-line and jumped onto the subway. All in all, Walnut St. in Lynbrook to Nostrand and Carroll in Crown Height’s to Brooklyn Prep, originally the Crown Hill lock up. My point in relaying this is that all of us benefited greatly from the love, care, and sacrifice, extended to each of us by out parents. On Thanksgiving, my thanks start with God above and next the parents.

    That said, Broadway is on deck. Simply want to say thank to John Pricci for all that he shares with us most everyday. He allows us free access to every tool in his craftsman’s analysis kit. For that at times, he is often scorned, even spit at, but sadly that is the life of the public ‘capper. You are never going to be able to please everyone John Boy. What you have shared in your writing, is the need to always have an awareness of what is going on around you. Your logical approach, i.e.; two shorts and going long today, are a must for the casual player to be aware of.

    I can’t tell you for example how a simple “sins of omission” comment you made has helped me of late, in my finances and my personal life. The words have helped me far beyond the boundaries of Belmont Park . Even reached out to my two godchildren recently who I hadn’t contacted in a long while. Thanks John!

    So to wrap this up, I wanted to inquire what libation you might enjoy most John? My way of returning only a fractal of a fraction of the enjoyment you have provided me over the last ~ 50 years. (thinking Happy Bird Day to Indulto as well right about now, so enjoy his verse.) I was musing maybe a bottle of Weller Special Reserve. I was able to come by a half dozen Wellers recently, and one has your name on it if you would like it. If not a bourbon guy, just let me know what you enjoy. For Toni, I was thinking maybe a bottle of Stags’ Leap 2016 Cabernet (Wine Enthusiast 94 Rated).

    When you decide, you know where to find me John. We’re both from kind of the same old school yard neighborhood. No not Jackson Heights John, Jackass Flats. The place where Mike Quill told “Mayor Linsley” he could reach him over the weekend during the sixties subway strike, Quill winked and explained to a reporter, tell the Mayor that “he ain’t gonna find me. I don’t work on the weekends.” I think he too might have been nipping on a bottle of Weller?

    You know where to find me my friend. My address is in the cloud, but my distributions to the Plantation go thru FEDEX.

    Thanks for all you do John. Next week I’ll reach you via PAY PAL and ToteBusters.

    Special Thanks To All Our Uniformed Services Providers and Health Care Workers!

    Any one else care to add?

    Today’s the day to do it. Also the day when “good heartedly” I can tell you all to Stuff It!

    1. Happy Thanksgiving, McD, and the same to our host and all the HRI faithful.

      Penned up during this Pandemic, with pent-up rage at decisions made by penthouse-dwelling political power wielders, I am permeated by the warmth in the sunlight of the post-election preservation of our democracy.

      How lucky we are to have met and become friends in this cyber-community that JP has nourished which sustains our spirits even as the likelihood of losing a loved one looms larger than ever in our lifetime.

      Back to racing, I’ve finally completed my analysis of tomorrow’s Clark. One thing KP’s contributions at HRI have impressed upon me is the validity of taking a harder look at a horses last race, especially when one is common to two or more contestants.

      Below is a contender list by order of finish in last race ranked according to my assessment of competition level. In this case I assigned a,b,c, and d, respectively, to the BC Classic, BC Dirt Mile, Kelso, and Fayette.
      PP-ML odds appear at the left while the highest BRIS figure for current year is on right followed by previous year value if higher.

      Some examples of my shorthand are as follows:
      #12 was 8th in the BCC ,has 3 wins at the distance and 3 G2 wins.
      #2 was 7th in the same race with an excuse and 2nd in the Fayette.
      I anticipate another speed duel between #5 and #8.

      CDx R10 – Clark S.
      12-4/1 By My Standards a8 wd3 3G2 107
      2-15/1 Title Ready a7X,d2 97,103

      9-5/1 Owendale b5 wd2 107
      7-8/1 Mr. Freeze b6,d1 wd2 106

      3-3/1 Code of Honor c2 2G1 106,109

      5-8/1 Aurelius Maximus d3 103
      11-20/1 Coastal Defense d4X 97

      1-20/1 Crafty Daddy e1,d7 99
      10-30/1 Bourbon Calling e2 96,98

      14-15/1 Silver Prospector f1 wd 1G2 96
      4-15/1 Multiplier f2 wd 105

      8-8/1 Bodexpress g1 107

      13-50/1 Phantom Currency h1 101T

      6-30/1 Plus Que Parfait 1G2 101

      This approach facilitated my separating the top 7 from the bottom 7 for the following expected plays:
      SPR: 3,12 // 3,12,9,2 // 3,12,9,2,7 // 3,12,9,2,7,11,5 (2x3x3x4=72)
      SPR: 3,12 // 3,12 // 5,11 // 5,11 (4)
      SPR: 12,2 // 12,2 // 3,9,7 // 3,9,7 (12)

  2. A lot to chew on there, McD. A warm Thanksgiving greeting to you, your family, and all the HRI Faithful for that matter.

    Yes, “sins of omission.” Committed one the other day, not so much deciding to “save money” and not complete the play but loss of focus.

    I pre-wagered so I could concentrate on my HRI chores and “lack of focus.” got me. I could always cry “but my age…” but no excuses and of course I paid for my crime.

    The Tampa Bay exacta box I recommended finished 2-3. One of two exotics fillers won and paid $39. Should have been a minimum 50-Cent TRI wager and perhaps a small win saver. TRI paid over a C-note for a buck. Dems the breaks!

    This game’s hard enough without helping to beat your own damn self.

    Again, Happy Thanksgiving and stay safe at home. WEAR. A. MASK.

  3. Race was already over by the time I pulled it up. Was hoping maybe you had it as you where right in the zone. Tough game, but on the plus side, there’s always going to be another. Playing golf as a sixteen or so year’s old, the best shot I ever hit was late in a match with my older brothers….I was down a couple late and went for it. One of the best shots I ever hit, knew it was there, only to catch the very, very, top of a tree it needed to clear. Alas, it was blocked, but still in my view one of the best I ever hit. My best bet ever placed? Easy. Wagered $12 straight trifecta on Point Given- Monarchos- Invisible Ink, and 12$ straight on Point Given – Invisible Ink – Monarchos. All based on your RAN call on II. The only race the entire year that Point Given didn’t show up. He won the Preakness and Belmont for fun. Saved the NYRA calendar for years as it showed the rider simply looking back like “Where are they?” in the rest of the Classics. My only consolation, I talked my sister into a $2 exacta box. She collected $1300 and all I got was a one of my best bets out of it all.

    Racing is a lot like GOLF John. Cruel game to some very good people.

  4. John: May I echo what McD has previously stated, Happy Thanksgiving to you, Toni and your family. Thanks for all of your collective wisdom about thoroughbred racing whether here, writing for Newsday or entertaining us with Harvey on Thoroughbred Action.
    However, McD also mentioned someone who was a giant of this City. Whether or not one approved of what he did when going on strike when John Lindsay took office, you had to respect that Mike Quill fought for his Union members with everything he had. He also uttered the greatest line in the history of labor disputes, ” the Judge can drop dead in his black robes” after Justice Abe Geller sent him to prison for contempt of Court. They do not make men like Mike Quill anymore. He quite literally gave his life for his Union, as he died just a couple of weeks after the strike ended.

    1. Fram,

      That subway strike was a very emotional issue, to be sure. I did not have a dog in that fight but am a union man at heart. We had a house union at Newsday and it was a good arrangement. Management dealt with us fairly and the union was smart enough to be reasonable in its demands. There was always a small extra piece of bread at the end. Is is nice when we all get along!

  5. Just noticed,as I’m m biting my sfogliatella,that JP ‘ s Delmar pick Beat one horse out ten. Picking horses is a mathematical game,maybe more than ever,of course not today on Thanksgiving day with a small selection available of either medium or small tracks with too many puny claimers. Got to be thankful for Churchill Downs even if some of us have to suffer the chit chat of both ladies,no disrespect,I like Ms Maggie. Gilmore Girls comes to mind..Would I ever make a bet W/O reading the PPs yrs ago ? No way ! But today,as stated before,I barely get to know the animal’s name or his jockey on top. It is like the NY Stock Exchange big board. What is now considered tertiary minutia( workouts,irregular trips,middle moves,track conditions,etc) was ‘ meaningful info’ yrs ago. With All of that pharmaceutical paraphernalia,Horses are not machines and Only their owners/trainers might know ” How will their horses run today’s,” stealing that phrase from a book on that subject,circa 1980s. Comical to hear,witness both young ladies trying to make a race call from FGrounds because of tech difficulties at that track. Ok,it was cute,but not to be repeated again..!! Did I mention that I like Ms Maggie,wife of trainer Tom
    something…? How much has Your Handicapping changed,if any, for the past,20,30 yrs ✌️? I’ m more comfy than ever before,as I check my latest CD ex,triple and Super ,all from the same race, on my tab.

    1. You need some new material, Bits, the schadenfreude you exhibit is almost every post adds very little to a dialogue.

  6. Good Afternoon Indulto,

    Sorry I had not responded sooner.  Busy morning is all. I read and enjoyed your post, and will wager on your bottom two tickets.  I don’t want to kill your payout on the “= 72”. 

    That all being said I wanted to run by you another seven based story. 
    Verbal Irish algebra it is. They never taught this stuff at Loughlin Brooklyn.  Apologize in advance if I’m repeating this one.

    “Good day to you Sir and your score of fine geese” I called out to my good friend Indy.

    His reply was quick and to the point.  “I haven’t a score, nor half a score” he said, “but if I had as many more, and half as many more, and two and a half more, we’ll then indeed I would have a core.” “7 & 7 and half of 7 and  2 1/2 =20” he said with a mile . 

    I’m with you on the math Indy. but am still confused.

    I know that 7 is the correct answer, but my question for you now Indy reverts back to your comment above.

     “This approach facilitated my separating the top 7 from the bottom 7 for the following expected plays”.
    For the seven geese, or horses for that matter, in your process, am I to use the top or the bottom seven in trying to reach for a “score”? 

    No reply required or expected. Have a fun day I-Man. – McD  

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