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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The Warriors that Keep Horse Racing Going

Handicapper Art ParkerBy ART PARKER

Last Saturday I notice the entry of a horse named Dance Floor Maniac in a $6,250 claiming race at Prairie Meadows. It has been a while since I ran across his name and I knew he was an older gelding. I looked at the past performances and remembered him more clearly. He is one of those that captures my admiration and respect as much as a graded stakes winner.

Dance Floor Maniac left the gate for the 100th time in the race at Prairie Meadows. He stalked and pounced and did his job with the same enthusiasm as a promising, high- priced, three year old. The best part of the race was that Dance Floor Maniac got to the wire first.

Dance Floor Maniac entered the Winner’s Circle for the 23rd time and certainly behaved like he had been there before. Winning 23 races out of a 100 is a pretty good percentage for any horse and he has won 3 of 8 this year.

Dance Floor Maniac is 10 years old. The Kentucky bred son of Eurosilver is 23-17-17 overall, which means he gets a check in 2/3 of his starts. He has over $250,000 in career earnings. He is owned by Greg Frye and trained by Karl Broberg.

No one will ever remember Dance Floor Maniac like famous geldings such as Kelso, Forego and John Henry. But guys like this are just as important, if not more so, because the racing game depends upon them a great deal. Whenever you see one of these old geldings run don’t look at them like a cheap horse. They are the warriors that keep the game going and their presence at the race track is just as important as any horse you do remember.

Betting on Historic Horse Racing? Tracks eye new source of cash …

historic horse racing machineIt sounds like the ultimate sure thing — or the ultimate sucker’s bet: Wagering money on horse races that have already happened.

Source: Betting on races already run? Tracks eye new source of cash …

The Queen, MC Hammer, and Bing Crosby’s Unlikely Shared Passion: Horse Racing

source: Royal Ascot

*Known as the “sport of kings”, horse racing has long been associated with the rich and famous. While in ancient times, the sport was run purely for the thrill of the competition, today, the spectacle of the occasion – and the betting involved – has …

Source: MC Hammer, the Queen and Bing Crosby’s Unlikely Shared Passion: Horse Racing

Is Horse Racing Dead? Golden Gate Field Reports Gains

Golden Gate Fields concluded its 99-day winter/spring meet on Sunday, June 18 with gains in both attendance and on-track handle. The Bay Area track was able to achieve these gains despite experiencing one of the wettest seasons to affect Northern California in years, with over 40 inches of rain recorded during the first part of the season. This is the first winter/spring meet since 2011 where attendance was up by 5.65% with on-track handle also increasing by 3.44%. The most notable change in attendance came from the popular Dollar Day Sundays which saw a 13% increase year-over-year.

“We are very happy with our loyal fans for braving the weather and supporting our live racing product. I look forward to seeing them again during our summer meet,” said Joe Morris, senior vice president of West Coast operations for the Stronach Group.

The leading trainer of the meet was John Martin with 62 wins, leading him to back-to-back winning trainer titles (Martin was the leading trainer of the 2016 fall meet at Golden Gate Fields). Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer came in second. The leading jockey for the winter/spring meet was Abel Cedillo with 89 wins.

“It was a long meet. I’ve just been working hard and running a lot of horses. I tried really hard to win it this time. I need a little bit of a rest now,” said trainer John Martin. 

“I learned a lot down at Santa Anita from great jockeys like Mike Smith and Kent Desormeaux. I’m just blessed I’m here. I’m getting great horses now and my agent, Roger Olguin, couldn’t be better,” said jockey Abel Cedillo.

Golden Gate Fields is set to open its doors for another exciting summer meet on Thursday, August 24. The brief summer race season will run through Sunday, September 17, with special holiday racing on Labor Day Monday, September 4. First post every race day is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. The summer meet will feature a Turf Festival during the last two weeks: September 8 to September 17, a time in which Golden Gate Fields will be the only track in California offering turf racing. The track will offer vanning and stabling incentives for horsemen looking to ship from Southern California. The Turf Festival will be highlighted by the $50,000 Rolling Green Stakes, which will be contested on the lakeside turf course at a distance of a mile and one-sixteenth.

Old Sports Spectrum / Louisville Downs to Become State-of-the-Art Facility

Churchill Downs Incorporated to Invest $60M into Louisville Location

“Stronger horse racing means a stronger Kentucky.”

Press Release

Churchill Downs Incorporated has announced it is investing approximately $60 million to construct a state-of-the-art historical racing machine (“HRM”) facility in Louisville. The 85,000-square-foot facility will be built at 4520 Poplar Level Road—Churchill Downs’ former Trackside (also known as the former Sports Spectrum) site, and conveniently located less than half a mile from the Poplar Level Road exit off the Henry Watterson Expressway (I-264). CDI’s request to offer exotic wagering on historical racing was conditionally approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission this afternoon.

“With a state-of-the-art facility and new, innovative historical racing machines, we will deliver an exciting and compelling product for our customers in Louisville. This is a great opportunity for us to revitalize another area of our city while strengthening the Commonwealth’s equine industry through larger purses and greater incentives for Kentucky breeders and owners,” Churchill Downs Race Track president Kevin Flannery said. “Stronger horse racing means a stronger Kentucky.”

historical racing facility

source: CDI

The company says the facility will create 450 new jobs for the local economy, including 250 construction jobs. An estimated 200 new full- and part-time jobs will be created to operate and manage the facility. Churchill Downs will hire both hourly and salaried employees in areas including operations, marketing, finance, food and beverage, maintenance, information technology, human resources, security and administration. Job fairs will be held at Trackside for the neighborhoods surrounding the facility and the Churchill Downs Race Track.

This announcement comes on the heels of CDI’s decision to relocate its TwinSpires.com business to Louisville from Silicon Valley, California, creating more than 70 high-tech, high-paying jobs for the city.

The planned facility will house two quick-service, walk-up food venues, as well as a bar with seating for 50 and large format televisions for guests to take in all the best sporting action year-round. The gaming area will open with 600 cutting-edge historical racing machines and a player’s club reward center offering special perks and benefits, including an exclusive parking area for loyal guests.

Construction is slated to begin later this year, and CDI hopes to open the facility by summer of 2018.

U.S. Trainer Wesley Ward is a man on a mission at Royal Ascot

It costs around US$30,000 (Dh110,200) to send a horse on the round trip from the United States to England for Royal Ascot. That sum puts into perspective quite how much a risk it was in 2009 when Wesley Ward came to Royal Ascot with a team of seven …

Source: Horse racing: Wesley Ward is a man on a mission at Royal Ascot

Is Horse Racing Dead? Handle Up on 3-Day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

Belmont Park horse racingAll-source handle for the three-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival at Belmont Park was $124,740,193, eclipsing 2016’s all-source handle of $122,816,359.

All-source total on Saturday, which saw Tapwrit win the 149th edition of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets, was $93,666,832. Saturday’s on-track handle was $11,594,599, virtually unchanged from 2016’s on-track handle of $11,694,897.

All-source wagering on the Belmont Stakes itself was $47,163,773.

This year’s Belmont Stakes also featured betting in Japan, in a non-commingled pool. The total Belmont Stakes handle from Japan, which is not included in the all-source handle figure, was $4,698,525.

Paid attendance for Belmont Stakes Day was 57,729.

 2017 Handle:

Thursday all-source handle = $10,309,891

Friday all-source handle = $20,763,469

Saturday all-source handle = $93,666,832

Belmont Stakes Racing Festival all-source handle = $124,790,193

Belmont Stakes all-source handle = $47,163,773

Belmont Stakes Japan handle = $4,698,525

Expert Selections for Gulfstream Mandatory Payout Day – 6/17

Source: Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 could climb as high as $5 million Saturday, or more, due to a mandatory payout.

Saturday’s carryover is $998,088 going into today.

Gulfstream handicappers Ron Nicoletti, Jason Blewitt and Acacia Courtney look at Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence.

Ron Nicoletti

We have another exciting and life-altering Rainbow 6 mandatory payout on Saturday with over a $4 million pool expected. My strategy is to always try to find a race where I can ‘single’ a horse so I can add more choices in races that are tougher to handicap.

It starts in Race 6, and I’m going 3 deep in the opening leg with Sunshine Smile, Crazy for Sophia and Go Astray. Race 7 is another wide-open affair, so I’m going 4 deep with Schettino, It’s a Given, my longshot Valoordo and Golden Point. Race 8 is another competitive field, so I’m going 3 deep again with Dardo, Annie’s Big Boy and Haybub. Only 2 deep in Race 9 with Yo No Se and Great Skellig. In Race 10 I’m using 3 selections with Crazy Frank C, Magnanimous Mine and Capital City. Finally in Race 11 my single is multiple graded stakes-placed Enterprising, who should be the odds-on choice in the finale.

Ron’s Rainbow 6 Ticket

Race 6:  1-2-6

Race 7:  1-3-7-9

Race 8:  1-3-7

Race 9:  8-12

Race 10:  3-7-9

Race 11:  3

Total:  $43.20

Acacia Courtney

Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will cover Races 6 through 11, and I will use a single in the final race to anchor my ticket. My best bet, Enterprising, shipping in from Churchill Downs where he faced Grade 1 company last time out after notching his multiple graded stakes victories at the Fair Grounds in the two races prior, will face eleven other foes in the nightcap, the Soldier’s Dancer Stakes. He is the class of the field and in excellent form for trainer Mike Maker, plus has leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard, who is also very familiar with this horse.

The Rainbow 6 starts with a maiden special weight event for two-year-old fillies, and I’ll use a first time starter in Crazy for Sofia as well as the horse with experience, Go Astray. Having my single in the finale allows me to use some coverage in the middle of the sequence, as Races 7, 8, and 9 in particular are great betting affairs with lots of potential for value. I will spread the most in Race 7 using five horses, and hope for some better priced winners in the races leading up to my single.

Acacia’s Rainbow 6 Ticket

R6: 2-6

R7: 1-8-9-10-11

R8: 1-4-7

R9: 1-8-11-12

R10: 1-3-9

R11: 3

Cost – $72.00

Jason Blewitt

Two-year-old filly maidens ring in the opening leg of Saturday’s monstrous Rainbow 6 mandatory payout! Only two of the nine fillies entered have raced and a good firster will beat both the experienced Go Astray and Holy Diver.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that trainer Antonio Sano has a very “live” runner in Crazy for Sofia, a Mizzen Mast firster who attracted leading jockey Tyler Gaffalione.  Sunshine Smiles may get some play as well, given her decent worktab and the presence of an excellent two-year-old sire in Katharos.

A big field of 11 awaits players in race 7, a $10,000 claimer on the turf.  Little in the ability department separates the majority of this group.  Lay It Down had little luck at the draw with his 11 post, but his last couple of races have been good and shortening just a touch to 1 1/16 miles should help him.  Vedelago and Golden Point should both run well for excellent barns.

In the eighth, Dardo ran a weird but gigantic race first time out. He chased early, suddenly dropped back mid-turn, and then re-rallied late while very green. Considering he caught an extremely wet track and ran so well in his debut, it’s a little surprising Dardo drops in for $10,000. Still, he’s an obvious must-use and will likely find himself a single in more budget-minded plays. Those looking to use another horse may want to look at Mongolian Dancer. If this gelding is going to show anything, it will be in this race as he goes turf to dirt for a trainer (David Kassen) who excels with that move.

A dozen turf runners are entered in the ninth on the turf and this leg is a must spread! It’s likely worthwhile to use every bit of Malibu’smostwanted, Yo No Se, Czarmo and Great Skellig.

Tough lower-level claimers meet in race 10 at seven furlongs. Let’s Go Ben goes turf to dirt for trainer Keith Bourgeois, who is very dangerous in this spot. Capital City is clearly the gelding to beat, given his current two-race win streak. If he fails to score the hat trick, the aforementioned Let’s Go Ben, Phish Fan and maybe Fenerbahce are dangerous and must-uses.

An unforgettable day of racing and Rainbow 6 sequence closes with race 11, the co-featured Soldier’s Dance on the turf.  Enterprising is likely to start as a big favorite and single for many players given the top connections in his corner and his classy resume. A B-minus level from Enterprising won’t be good enough to get it done here, but anything above that and close to Enterprising’s best makes him too much racehorse to handle for his foes. Single.

Jason’s Rainbow 6: 

R6:   1,2

R7:   8,9,10,11

R8:   1,4

R9:   2,8,11,12

R10: 1,3,5,6,9

R11: 3

Total Cost is $64

TV Coverage: Live from Churchill Downs Saturday Night

Churchill winner's circleNBCSN, HRRN To Broadcast Live Stephen Foster Card

NBCSN will be onsite live from 8:30-10 p.m. Saturday to launch its 2017 “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, presented by Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing” television schedule. Also, Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN) will air live coverage from 8-10 p.m. ET online at www.horseracingradio.net.

This year’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, now in its fourth year on NBC and NBCSN, will showcase 11 live programs featuring 17 qualifying races and other major stakes on the road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar on Nov. 3-4.

“In conjunction with our partners at NBC Sports, we look forward once again showcasing the biggest stars in our sport competing in the highest quality of races throughout the summer and fall leading to the World Championships,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO. “We greatly appreciate NBC’s expanded commitment and expertise in covering Thoroughbred racing, and express our gratitude for the support of our presenting sponsors of the Challenge series in Lane’s End Farm and America’s Best Racing.”

Products from Amazon.com

Monster-Size Rainbow 6 Pool Heading into Friday

Mandatory Payoff Set for Saturday @ Gulfstream Park

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved at Gulfstream Park Thursday, producing a carryover jackpot of $951,476.94 for Friday’s nine-race program.

The popular multi-race wager has gone unsolved for 33 consecutive programs.

Multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $1,100.16.

Gulfstream Park grandstand copyright All Star Press 2012The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is paid out only when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket sold, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 4-9, highlighted by an optional claiming turf allowance for fillies and mares at a mile in Race 5. Multiple-stakes winner Temple Fur, who counts stakes scores in the Betsy Ross and Mary Todd among her four career victories over the Gulfstream turf Course, faces seven rivals in the second leg of the Rainbow 6.

There will also be a Super Hi-5 carryover of $10,122.82 heading into Friday’s program.

Mandatory Rainbow 6 Payout Scheduled for Saturday

A mandatory payout of the 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover pool at Gulfstream Park is scheduled for Saturday. Should Gulfstream’s innovative wager goes unsolved Friday, the pool is expected to swell into the millions.

On mandatory payout days, a single unique ticket with all six winners is not required to take down or share in the carryover jackpot. The entire Rainbow 6 pool is paid out to the holders of tickets with the most winners.

Mandatory payouts are also scheduled for the Late Pick 5 and last Super Hi-5.

The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 6-11, anchored by the $100,000 Soldier’s Dancer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and up. Multiple graded-stakes winner Mike Maker-trained Enterprising headlines the 12-horse field for the Race 11.

The highly anticipated Rainbow 6 sequence kicks off in Race 6 with a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event that attracted a field of nine 2-year-old fillies that includes first-time starters saddled by Antonio Sano and Stanley Gold. Sano is scheduled to send out Crazy for Sofia, a daughter of Mizzen Mast who has been working sharply at Gulfstream Park West, while Gold will be represented by Denver, a daughter of Awesome Again. Race 7 will be contested by a well-matched group of 11 $10,000 claimers going 1 1/16 miles on turf. A field of 10 $10,000 maiden claimers has been assembled for Race 8 at six furlongs on the main track. Race 9, a 7 1/2-furlong race for $10,000 claimers on the turf course, is slated to be contested by a field of 12, while a field of 10 will gather for Race 10, a seven-furlong dash for $6,250 claimers.

Gaffalione Continues on a Roll with Three More Winners

Tyler Gaffalione continued to pad his Spring Meet-leading win total with three more wins Thursday, including a late-closing triumph aboard Editorial ($2.80), a half-brother to 2010 Eclipse Award-winning juvenile Uncle Mo, in the fourth race. The Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-old son of War Chant captured the maiden 7 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event on turf by a neck in in 1:30.50. Gaffalione also scored aboard Battle Tux ($3.80) in the second and Who’s Your Drama ($6.60) in the fifth to push his meet total to 85 and his nation-leading 2017 total of 141 wins.