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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Here are my most recent posts

Handicapping Tip #39 – Pace Makes the Race

Handicapping Tip of the Day

by Rich Nilsen

On select major days throughout the year, I offer my professional analysis of the big race, e.g. Preakness, and the undercard races at that track.   This past Saturday I did the 14 races on the Pimlico Preakness card, which is always a great day of wagering.  One of the key aspects of my report is the pace scenario analysis for each race.  If you don’t understand the expected pace of the race, it can be very difficult to select the winner or the top finishers.  How the race sets up is critical to predicting the outcome.

In turf sprints I almost always emphasize early speed, especially if it is a 5 furlong grass race.  In analyzing the pace of race #2 on Saturday (May 20, 2017) one horse jumped out to be as the lone speed.  #1A FLIGHT CREW was 20/1 on the morning line, enough to scare off many horseplayers.  After determining that he was probably the early pace setter, I needed to look at the overall early pace to determine if he could “hold on.”  Was there enough other early speed to put pressure on him at some critical early juncture of the race?  I came to the conclusion that the answer was “no.”  It looked like a moderate pace, so now I was very intrigued with this longshot and dug deeper.

Pace makes the race

He was the son of Elusive Quality, who has sired many good horses sprinting on the law, and out of a mare by Danzig (enough said).  The pedigree was certainly there.  This was only the 2nd career grass start for Flight Crew.  In his only other attempt, he pressed a fast pace (+17 +19 on the BRIS Race Shape figures) while going 1 1/16 miles on a good turf course.  Despite that, and breaking from a poor outside post, he still ended up defeating half the field, finishing 5th.   He was trained by 15% local horseman Hugh McMahon.  What else did one need to pull the trigger on a big longshot?

Pace makes the race.  Flight Crew did not get the initial lead but by the time the field hit the far turn of this turf dash, he was in complete control.  At odds of 9-1, he opened up under Katie Davis and kept the field at bay down the lane. Scores like this are very sweet indeed.

Make sure you analyze the pace of every race you wager.  It’s the first step to selecting many winners.

Top 10 US states likely to pass iGaming legislation in 2017

Top 10 US states likely to pass iGaming legislation in 2017 Casino City Times (press release)

Though the New York Senate’s budget proposal included online poker, the Assembly’s did not, and there continue to be concerns over the status of poker as a game of skill .

Source: Top 10 US states likely to pass iGaming legislation in 2017

Cloud Computing, surprise Preakness champion, is uncertain for Belmont Stakes

With Preakness champion Cloud Computing uncertain to start in the Belmont Stakes, the thoroughbred racing world faces the strong possibility of a second straight year with three different winners of the three Triple Crown races. Trainer Chad Brown said Cloud Computing came out of his upset victory in good order.

But even in the immediate afterglow… [Read more…]

Trump administration asked to support N.J. sports betting appeal

Washington DCWASHINGTON — In his quest to legalize sports betting in New Jersey, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is seeking help from President Donald Trump’s administration. Pallone (D-6th Dist.) is asking Acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall in a letter to be sent Tuesday to request that the U.S. Supreme Court to hear New Jersey’s appeal of the latest… [Read more…]

‘Dream’ Team wants to keep running Kentucky Derby Champ for the Good of Horse Racing

Triple Crown trophyBALTIMORE — When American Pharoah followed his historic Triple Crown run in 2015 by racing three more times and ultimately closing his amazing 3-year-old season with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, owner Ahmed Zayat put untold millions at risk to give more horse racing fans the opportunity to see the sport’s newest superstar. The… [Read more…]

Nilsen’s 2017 Preakness Full-card Analysis w/Wagering Strategies

Rich Nilsen handicapperFull-card Selections & Two Spots (Best Bets w/wagers) for Saturday’s Preakness card (May 20, 2017)

Selections for every race, all 14 included.

Several longshots selected including a bomber in race 8, the James Murphy Stakes

Recommended Win wager and exotic wagering plays for the Preakness.

Expert Pace Analysis for all 14 races.

BONUS: Two Spot Play Selections

Get Rich Nilsen’s analysis of the 2017 FULL-CARD Preakness Stakes including two spot plays on the Preakness Day undercard.    This has always been one of his favorite days of the year to play.

Nilsen, a 6-time major tournament winner and 13-time NHC Qualifier, used to work in Maryland under the tutelage of Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury.  He knows this circuit well.

Preakness Day coverage includes:

Top selection, Contenders, Pace Analysis and recommended wagers.

Two Spot Play (Best Bet) selections for the undercard.

Buy Now

Download now to any device – only $12.97 for the 10-page report

Jockey Jorge Carreno set for biggest race of career in Preakness 142

Mo Money’s octogenarian owner is not the only latecomer to the spotlight that surrounds the 142nd Preakness Stakes. While 81-year-old owner Tom McKenna has several decades on the horse’s 34-year-old jockey, Saturday’s race will certainly be the biggest of Jorge Carreno’s career.

“I try not to put too much (pressure),” Carreno said Tuesday. “I know it’s… [Read more…]

142nd Preakness Stakes Field Drawn

The $1.5 million Preakness, set for its 142nd running as race 13 on a 14-race card, is set for 6:48 p.m. ET Saturday in Baltimore.  Horse name, jockey, trainer, morning line odds.

Preakness Stakes 142, May 20, 2017 6:48 PM ET

1 Multiplier Joel Rosario Brendan Walsh 30-1
2 Cloud Computing Javier Castellano Chad Brown 12-1
3 Hence Florent Geroux Steve Asmussen 20-1
4 Always Dreaming John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 4-5
5 Classic Empire Julian Leparoux Mark Casse 3-1
6 Gunnevera Mike Smith Antonio Sano 15-1
7 Term of Art Jose Ortiz Doug O’Neill 30-1
8 Senior Investment Channing Hill Ken McPeek 30-1
9 Lookin At Lee Corey Lanerie Steve Asmussen 10-1
10 Conquest Mo MoneyJorge Carreno Miguel Hernandez 15-1

Always Dreaming The Big Preakness Favorite

With the post positions to be drawn today, Always Dreaming remains the clear favorite Tuesday heading into the Preakness Stakes. The Kentucky Derby winner has 10/11 odds to win Saturday’s race and his odds to win the Triple Crown are 11/4 compared to 2/9 to lose, according to betting side Bovada. In a routine 1… [Read more…]

At 81, Conquest Mo Money owner Tom McKenna a newcomer in Preakness spotlight

Tom McKenna was 12 years old when his beloved grandfather, a Texas judge with a passion for horse racing, helped fuel his own love of the sport by having him ride one of the quarter horses in a race at Cowboy Park in El Paso.

“I was scared to death,” McKenna, now 81, recalled this week.… [Read more…]