About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 12-time qualifier to the National Handicapping Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He recently won a $24,000 package into the 2016 Kentucky Derby Betting Championship. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is also a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program. He is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 12-time qualifier to the National Handicapping Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He recently won a $24,000 package into the 2016 Kentucky Derby Betting Championship. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is also a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program. He is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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Fantasy Football Culture in U.S

Loophole in Illegal Gambling or A Game of Skill?

The main argument for it not falling into the category of illegal is that it is a game of skill . It is seen as a skill for the fantasy team “owners” to create the best teams by compiling statistics and facts about the game whereas online gambling is …

Source: Fantasy football culture in america: Loophole in illegal gambling or game of skill?

The 10 Richest Horse Races in the World

As befits one of the ten richest races in the world, Sunday’s Japan Cup had quite an impact on the international racing scene.

Source: The ten richest races in the world: the roll of honour


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AGOS Horses to Watch – Dec. 16, 2017

Horses to Watch to put in your Stable Mail or Stable Alert service.



Race #3 – Clm $32,000 – 1 mile

Old Up Start – Trainer Steve Asmussen with his go-to-guy Ricardo Santana. He was 6 wide down the backstretch, 5w on the turn, and 4 wide turning for home. He beat right at the wire and you can play him right back.

Race #5 – Claiming $16,000 – 6f

Archival = Joe Bravo in the irons for top trainer David Jacobson. He did a perfect job stalking the pace and got beat at the wire for all the money. This was a very good effort to build and was claimed by Robert Diodoro.

Race #9 = $50,000 Stakes – 6f

Beautiful Buzz – First-time starter by stallion Tuefflesburg. Trained by the Gary Gullo barn and ridden by Angel Arroyo. They teamed up for a very effort solid that will have you chomping at the bit to play him right back.

Gulfstream Park


Race #6 – Pulpit Stks – 1-mile turf

Pony Up = Javier Castello for Todd Pletcher. Taken back at the start and started to move going 5-6 wide on the final turn. He finished up a game second and will be one to keep on your big money radar screen.

Sunland Park Opens 59th Race Meet Today

Press Release

The 59th live racing season at Sunland Park Racetrack Casino and Hotel begins on Friday and a terrific line-up of all-star stakes races is planned for Saturday and Sunday. Post time will be 12:30 p.m. on Friday and that starting time will remain in effect the entire season. Racing will be conducted on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday basis through Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Saturday’s card is impeccable powered by the $65,000 KLAQ Handicap (9th race) at 5 furlongs. A robust field of ten sprinters with combined lifetime earnings of over $1.8 million has signed on for battle. The Justin Evans trained trio of Redneck Humor, Concord Fast and Mt Veeder will be extremely tough to beat in one of the best KLAQ Handicaps in memory.

Redneck Humor won six straight stakes this year including the Bill Thomas Memorial Handicap before finishing an unlucky second to stablemate Mt Veeder in the Zia Sprint Championship on November 22. The 3-1 morning line favorite is particularly fond of the Sunland Park oval having also won last season’s Budweiser Handicap. He should also like his #9 post position and a possible traffic free trip. Miguel Perez pilots the 14-time winner of nearly $440,000. Redneck Humor ranks as one of the most prolific sprinters in New Mexico.

Concord Fast rates another high profile threat from the Evans barn. The rejuvenated four-year-old gelding is back in top form having defeated solid allowance foes at Zia Park by over 3 lengths. In 2016, Concord Fast won the Mine that Bird and Riley Allison Stakes so he loves his new surroundings. 5-time Sunland park riding champion Ry Eikleberry gets the call.

horse racing blinkersMt Veeder, a son of former Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, looks like the rabbit in the race with his keen acceleration. He is coming off a career best performance with a 16-1 upset win in the Zia Sprint by a margin of 2 lengths. Alfredo Juarez, Jr returns for the mount. The former $10,000 claimer has won 6 of his last 7 races and is obviously peaking for the KLAQ Handicap.

Luke Kruytbosch Stakes winner Kaabraaj merits respect shipping in from Turf Paradise for trainer Jeff Metz. The highly successful jockey Scott Stevens will ride.

Running Dragon efforts to remain unbeaten over Sunland Park soil in the $85,000 Jess Burner Memorial Handicap (10th race) at 400 yards. The outstanding New Mexico-bred mare has never lost in 6 local starts. Last season, she won the Shue Fly Stakes, NMHBA Stakes and the Sunburst Stakes. Last time out, the daughter of Zulu Dragon captured a clutch win in the $140,0000 New Mexico Filly and Mare Championship at Zia Park. The grey speedball is back in stellar form with $695,842 in the bank from 11 career wins. Adrian A. Ramos will ride for trainer Juan Carlos Gonzalez.

Proven stakes winners Carson City Girl, Major Bites and Seeyalateralligator are also part of a strong Jess Burner cast.

Young Thoroughbreds get attention in the 5th race allowance going one mile with aspirations of running in the Riley Allison Derby in January. The stakes placed two-year-old gelding Bortstein has shown much promise with his strong late kick. The Justin Evans trainee is named after the renowned award winning radio broadcaster Steve Bortstein from Farmington, New Mexico.

Sunday’s live program features two big stakes: the $85,000 New Mexico Racing Commission Handicap (8th race) at 6 furlongs and the $85,000 Johnie L. Jamison Handicap (9th race) at 6 and one-half furlongs.

Diabolical Dame, one of the greatest New Mexico-bred mares of all time, casts a long shadow in the New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap. The 15-time winner is coming off two driving stakes wins and remains ultra-consistent for trainer Todd Fincher. The daughter of Diabolical has dominated this division for years and even defeated open company last season by taking the Bold Ego Handicap. Roimes Chirinos retains the mount on the multiple stakes winner of nearly $675,000.

Fincher holds a strong hand in the feature as La Senora and Enchantress Stakes winner Sippin will run along with Tilla Cat and the speedy Tijuana.

Citizen Geller, namesake of Sunland Park’s longtime announcer Robert Geller, makes his local return in the Johnie Jamison. The local favorite won two stakes at Albuquerque and finished a fast closing second to Forger in the New Mexico Cup Sprint at Zia Park. The stretch running grey has won over a quarter million dollars in the last two years. He has won 3 of 5 races this year. Citizen Geller is the pride of the UKUSA Stables led by Larry and Denise Nichols of El Paso and has earned nearly $340,000.

R.D. Hubbard’s Forger may go favored after his recent win over Citizen Geller. The determined son of Attila’s Ghost is enjoying a career year with 3 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third from 10 starts. His efficient stalking style is very effective at this distance. Todd Fincher’s charge has finished in the exacta 13 times from 21 starts. Roimes Chirinos will ride.

The 3rd annual Holiday at the Park will be staged on Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event is an excellent opportunity for racing fans to wrap up Holiday gift shopping. Admission and parking are free.

Horse Racing Community Continues to Work Together in San Luis Rey Tragedy

Arrogate BC 2016 winners circle“Now, I’ve been in the news business for almost Methuselah-like years, and I know that every story has a lifespan. And it’s usually not that long. The general public will start to forget about these horses and this tragedy as it is replaced by news that is more immediate. That’s just the way it is, nothing nefarious.

So I, and you, need to be vigilant and keep asking when something will happen or “down the road” becomes never. I trust the folks at Santa Anita on this, but a little friendly reminder every once in a while will be good.

OK, some facts. A lot of the horse population has been moved to other farms and such from Del Mar…”

Source: Racing! The horse racing community continues to work together

A New Name in the Jockey Colony to Know

Press Release

Apprentice Weston Hamilton, the youngest son of multiple graded-stakes winning journeyman Steve ‘Cowboy’ Hamilton, picked up his first two professional wins with his only mounts of the day Monday at Laurel Park.

The 19-year-old shares the Laurel jock’s room with his dad, a winner of more than 1,300 career races who returned to the irons last year following a decade’s absence in part to help raise his sons, including older brother Garrett.

Hamilton had ridden in three amateur races, winning a seven-furlong claiming event on My Uncle Al for trainer Patricia Farro Nov. 5 at Parx, before making his pro debut with a runner-up finish on Durango Girl Dec. 2 at Laurel. His first win came in his 10th professional mount.

“I feel great. That was the best feeling ever,” Hamilton said after guiding David Carter’s I Just Wanna Win ($8.60) to a neck victory over favored Have Hope in Monday’s fifth race, a $17,000 claiming event for fillies and mares 3 and up. The Pat McGill-trained 5-year-old mare ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:05.98 over a fast main track.

Steve Hamilton, sixth in the current fall meet standings with 23 victories, finished another three lengths back in fourth aboard 4-year-old filly Include a Check, the program favorite.

“I saw the light at the end and saw we had an open shot and went on with him. We had a lot of horse under us so we finished up good. I’m really happy,” Hamilton said. “I was thinking we were going to make it. I got up next to my dad, he was outside of me, and he said, ‘Go on with him.’ Sure enough we went on with him and we had a good race.”

Hamilton, a 10-pound apprentice, picked up his second winner with Sola Dei Gloria Stable’s Stella Nova ($14.40) in Race 7, a $25,000 starter allowance for females 3 and up. Despite dropping his whip and briefly losing the lead in mid-stretch, Hamilton persisted on the 3-year-old filly and got her to the wire a neck ahead of Lemon Lover in 1:05.46 for 5 ½ furlongs.

“I knew we had a good horse. I looked at the program and there’s been some pretty good rides. She’s made the lead and never looked back a few times, so I knew we were on a good, fast horse,” Hamilton said. “I wasn’t trying to worry about it too much. I just stayed calm and rode my race.”

“He did a good job,” winning trainer and former jockey Hugh McMahon said. “He didn’t need the stick. He used his hands and kept it coordinated and kept it going and he prevailed.”

Horses, hearts shaken by devastating San Luis Rey fire

Horses, hearts shaken by devastating San Luis Rey fire

The San Diego Union-Tribune At least 25 race horses worth hundreds of thousands of dollars perish in California wildfires which have forced 230000 … Daily Mail Full coverage

Source: Horses, hearts shaken by devastating San Luis Rey fire

Latin American Stakes Day at Gulfstream Park a Big Success

Clasico Internacional del Caribe a Big Hit

Press Release

Noisemakers, drum circles, fans singing anthems, wearing the colors of their countries and waving national flags.

The Clasico Internacional del Caribe, the premier Thoroughbred event in Latin America and the Caribbean, arrived for the first time in 50 years in North America Saturday and it was a hit at Gulfstream Park.

The highlight of the five-race Clasico came just before 5 p.m., when the 3-year-old filly Jala Jala from Mexico carried jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. to a nine-length victory over Panama’s Fray Angelico and the Clasico del Caribe presented by Fasig-Tipton.

Horses participating in the Clasico Internacional del Caribe were from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Pegasus statue at Gulfstream ParkGulfstream was shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the day as on-track handle soared to $1.4 million compared to $947,000 over the corresponding Saturday last year. Total handle was $8.8 million, compared to $9.4 million the previous year. Total handle on the five Clasico races last year at Camarero was approximately $1 million, according to Camarero’s President and Principle Owner Ervin Rodriguez.

“We were honored to host such an incredible event,” said Tim Ritvo, President of Gulfstream Park and COO of The Stronach Group. “This truly was the brainchild of our founder and honorary chairman Mr. Frank Stronach. This has been two years in the making. [The Stronach Group’s President and Executive Board Member] Mike Rogers and myself traveled to Panama and Puerto Rico the last couple years in hopes of bringing the Clasico Internacional del Caribe to North America and Gulfstream Park, and the response was incredible. We hope to continue building on our partnership with the fans and horsemen from Latin America and the Caribbean and we thank them for participating.”

Gulfstream has been great, everything has been great,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve been very pleased with the entire organization at Gulfstream. Gulfstream has taken care of everyone. They have been wonderful.”

Veteran Contest Player DQ’d in 2017 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge

Breeders CupBreeders’ Cup Limited (BCL) has completed its analysis of the results of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC). In early November, BCL retained Robert Watt of Stoll Keenon Ogden, PLLC, (SKO) to perform an independent investigation of the BCBC following the receipt of a written complaint alleging several improprieties including collusion among specific BCBC participants. The BCBC Official Rules explicitly provide that “[c]ollusion of entries between horse players is prohibited, as is any attempt to manipulate the results of the tournament.”

Over the course of several weeks, SKO undertook an extensive investigation of the BCBC. This investigation included reaching out to 2017 BCBC participants and inviting them to share any pertinent information relating to any tournament improprieties, reviewing wagering patterns of all BCBC prize-winning participants and any alleged partners, consulting with three independent handicapping tournament directors, a review of wagering detail by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, reviewing podcasts and other interviews of participants commenting on the BCBC, and interviews with participants that either made allegations, had information or were accused of violating contest rules.

Following the conclusion of SKO’s investigation, BCL has determined that Eric Moomey and Roger Ball colluded to increase the number of entries available to them and otherwise attempted to manipulate the tournament’s results in violation of the BCBC Official Rules. Consequently, Mr. Moomey’s entry which resulted in a 9th place finish (and within the prize pool) is disqualified and the participants that finished 10th through 19th will each move up one place in the BCBC final standings and prize money will be reallocated accordingly.

BCBC participants are limited to two entries. Mr. Moomey and Mr. Ball each had two entries and the review of wagers revealed that those four entries covered all horses in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (6th race) on Friday with zero overlapping wagers between the four separate entries. Mr. Moomey’s and Mr. Ball’s collective four entries covered all of the European horses other than the horse in the 14 post in the Juvenile Turf (8th race) on Friday with zero overlapping wagers between the four separate entries. Combining four separate entries to create a larger bankroll to permit wagering on more horses in a single race is an unfair advantage over other participants playing one or two entries. Mr. Moomey and Mr. Ball made all of their wagers in these two races within close proximity to each other and used the same four wagering machines for all of these wagers. Many of these wagers were made at nearly the same time.

Other allegations of collusion amongst additional BCBC participants were extensively investigated but the investigation led to the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence to support a finding that a violation of the rules occurred. Specifically, BCL received a complaint about Nisan Gabbay and Kevin McFarland. Both individuals only had one entry per person (as opposed to the permitted two entries per person). Mr. McFarland wagered throughout both days of the BCBC. Mr. Gabbay did not wager until the sixth race on Saturday and incurred 5,000 penalty points on Friday and 6,000 penalty points on Saturday for failing to place minimum wagers in accordance with the BCBC Official Rules. Mr. Gabbay and Mr. McFarland stated unequivocally that they do not collaborate on wagering strategy even though they share tournament winnings. The BCBC Official Rules do not prohibit the sharing of winnings and the investigation concluded that such sharing does not violate the rules in effect. Moreover, Mr. Gabbay and Mr. McFarland played only one entry apiece and the wagering patterns employed could have been employed by one participant with two entries within the rules.

BCL received additional complaints regarding a revision to the BCBC Official Rules on minimum wagers. Prior to the 2016 BCBC, participants were given a 5,000-point penalty per race for failing to bet the minimum wagers on Friday and a disqualification for failing to bet the minimum wagers on Saturday. BCL felt that the penalty was too harsh and the BCBC Official Rules were revised in 2016 for the 2016 BCBC to state that participants would receive a 1,000-point penalty per race on Friday and a 2,000-point penalty per race on Saturday for failing to bet the minimum wagers without providing for disqualification. The investigation concluded that the imposition of penalties in 2017 was consistent with the current version of the rules and that the application of those rules does not warrant the disqualification of Mr. Gabbay in addition to the specified point penalties.

While other major handicapping tournaments also have minimum wager penalties similar to the current BCBC penalties, BCL is nevertheless reviewing its Official Rules for future years to encourage wagering throughout the two days of racing while mitigating penalties for those players that unintentionally failed to meet the minimum wagering requirements.

As part of its investigation, BCL has received significant feedback from participants regarding improvements to the BCBC. As a result, BCL has recently formed a Wagering Committee made up of BCL Members and chaired by Craig Bernick and Mike Rogers. Other Members from BCL include Fred Hertrich, Bret Jones, Mike Levy, and David Richardson. Horseplayers and tournament players will be represented on the Wagering Committee by Paul Matties, Joe Appelbaum, Jonathan Kinchen and Tom Quigley. As stated by Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel, “while we hope that the work of the Wagering Committee will lead to improvements for the Breeders’ Cup and Thoroughbred racing generally, the first priority will be to review the operation of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge as well as the rules governing play. We expect to address concerns related to collusion, the audit/referee function, minimum play requirements, bet types and any others brought to our attention by the committee or the tournament community. While this has been an unfortunate occurrence, we expect to make changes that will set an example for the industry and establish a foundation for growth. We welcome input from horseplayers as part of those efforts.”

BCL would like to thank all BCBC participants for their patience and cooperation in the delay of the official results as well as for their part in making the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a success.

Sports writer Dick Jerardi looks back at his remarkable career

Sports writer Dick Jerardi looks back at his remarkable career Philly.com Full coverage

Source: Sports writer Dick Jerardi looks back at his remarkable career