About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 15-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the NHC Tour for 2018 with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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Florida Banned Greyhound Racing In 2018

Is Horse Racing Next?

…Berman says the focus of the issue should be the jobs and economy that horse racing generates in Florida, a number that climbed 47% since the last study was conducted over a decade ago, according to a 2018 report by the American Horse Council (AHC).

Broward local Jennifer Pierce echoes that sentiment. She’s been working within the broader industry for 25 years. Her history includes lobbying for Gulfstream Park — home to the Pegasus World Cup — and “instant racing” tracks. Nowadays, Pierce acts as a consultant for Florida pari-mutuel permit holders.

Pierce couldn’t comment on the sport’s parallelism to greyhound racing but stressed the economic contributions we see on a local level in Broward County. “Gulfstream attracts a much larger amount of interest than other racetracks, which is part of what makes it so successful. Because of the enormous amount of money wagered down here, there’s more money to give out for prize money. So, therefore, it attracts the better horses and the better the horses, the more interest you have betting on it. So more people come down here and they make it a destination,” she says.

“So not only do you have the economic impact from the people that are doing the business of racing, but you have Gulfstream itself as a tourist destination… These are multimillion-dollar animals with multimillion-dollar breeding potential. Any horse that goes in this race is like the best of the best. And they have an entourage to match it.”

Canterbury Park plans richest day of Minnesota horse racing this summer

While much of Minnesota was shoveling snow Monday, Canterbury Park provided a glimpse of summer.

The Shakopee horse racing track announced its thoroughbred stakes schedule for the 2019 season, which includes 31 races worth $2.235 million. The track has grouped several of those stakes races on big-event cards scattered throughout the 66-day season.

The Northern Stars Racing Festival, a hit with horseplayers when it was introduced last year, will be June 22 and is anchored by the richest race of the season, the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby. The event’s five stakes races also include the $100,000 Lady Canterbury and the $100,000 Mystic Lake Mile.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not in Minnesota horse racing

The Northern Stars festival generated $2.068 million in wagering last summer, a Canterbury Park record…

Massive Record Pick-6 Pool Possible for Saturday 2/2

Santa Anita apron

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SANTA ANITA TO GUARANTEE $2 MILLION IN FRIDAY’S 20 CENT SINGLE TICKET RAINBOW PICK SIX JACKPOT AS ALL SIGHTS REMAIN ON A MASSIVE MANDATORY PAYOUT THIS SATURDAY

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 31, 2019)–With a massive mandatory payout looming on Saturday, Santa Anita Park will again guarantee $2 million in Friday’s 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot, with first post time for a nine-race card set at 12:30 p.m.

Even though Thursday’s Rainbow Six sequence endured a total of 14 program scratches, mainly as a result of heavy rains, $199,909 in “new” money was bet today, creating a total live money Rainbow Six pool of $1,699,756.

There were 117 consolation tickets today with six winners, each worth $910.30. (Through 21 racing days, the average daily payout on Santa Anita’s 20 cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot has been $7,560.60.

With no rain forecast for Friday, Rainbow Six field size stands at better than eight horses per race. Friday’s Rainbow Six will begin with race four, which has an approximate post time 2 p.m. PT.

Although rain is predicted for Saturday’s 10-race card, all 10 races will be run on the main track, including the Grade III, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes, which has been carded as race six and the Grade II, $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes, which goes as the ninth race.

Should there be no Single Ticket winner on Friday, track officials project Saturday’s mandatory payout Jackpot pool could reach $15 million.

For additional information, including entries for both Friday and Saturday, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

Time Is Running Out for a Beloved Mechanical Horse-Race Game in Vegas

End of an Era

Sigma Game Inc.’s Derby machines started appearing on casino floors in 1985. The rules were simple enough for anyone who had already enjoyed a number of complimentary drinks to follow, and the display compelling enough to hook even the soberest of minds: A series of odds ranging from 2-1 to a maximum of 200-1 are displayed before each race. You have 30 seconds to insert your quarters and place your bets on one of 10 possible quinella combinations—which two horses will place first and second—at one of the 10 stations surrounding the toy track. Then you cheer on your chosen ponies as an elaborate series of gears hurtles them around the track for 60 seconds. If your chosen horses come in first and second, you win the corresponding odds.

(For example, if you bet on the combination with 2-1 odds, you’ll get two quarters for every one that you bet. If you have money on the 200-1 and it happens to come in, you’ll win 200 quarters per quarter bet, and the infectious communal joy of winning the big one with your fellow players.)

Bryan Wagner, Trey Stiles Selected For NHC Hall of Fame

Wagner, Stiles Selected For NHC Hall of FameLAS VEGAS, NV (January 31, 2019) – Bryan Wagner, a 14-time National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) qualifier, and David “Trey” Stiles, who has qualified for every NHC since 2003, have been selected for induction into the NHC Hall of Fame, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today.

Wagner and Stiles represent the fifth class of NHC Hall of Fame inductees and will be recognized during the NHC Champions Dinner on Sunday evening at the conclusion of the 20th NTRA NHC Presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race Lens™ and Treasure Island Las Vegas, set for Friday to Sunday at Treasure Island. Since its launch in 2014, the NHC Hall of Fame has inducted two impact figures each season, making Wagner and Stiles the Hall’s ninth and tenth members.

The Wagner name is already part of NHC lore. The husband of 2001 NHC Champion and 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Judy Wagner, Bryan Wagner earned the distinction of 2009 NHC Tour Champion and earned more than $100,000 at the annual NHC finals in Las Vegas. In addition to their handicapping proficiency at other NHC-sanctioned contests, Bryan and Judy Wagner were among the Tour’s most popular figures. Bryan Wagner, who died in August of 2018, was particularly known for his gentlemanly ways and was described in a Rolling Stone feature as holding court “like a John Grisham character.”

“I am thrilled to hear Bryan is being voted into the Hall of Fame,” Judy Wagner said. “Bryan was almost a lifelong handicapper. It started when he learned to sneak into Fair Grounds in New Orleans as a young teenager. He had an unbelievable mathematical/analytical mind that was a perfect fit for handicapping.

“When the NHC Tour kidnapped him a few years ago he accepted the challenge and fought long and hard to achieve his goal of winning the Tour. Although he had many memorable handicapping experiences winning the Tour is near the top. This honor of Hall of Fame is another that I am sure would be at the top.”

Stiles, an attorney in Houston, TX, began visiting the racetrack in his teens at Delta Downs and has gone on to become one of the most recognizable faces on the NHC Tour.

A self-taught handicapper, Stiles played in his first handicapping contest in 2001 and began his record-setting streak at the NHC with a win at a contest at Retama Park in his native Texas in 2002. His knowledge serves both himself and other horseplayers well as he is also a NHC Mentor, teaching new Tour members the ins and outs and strategies involved with contest play.

“It’s a pretty amazing group so it’s quite an honor,” Stiles said of his Hall of Fame induction, adding that his first NHC experience lit the fire for his 16-year run. “I would say it would be my first time (at NHC that stands out), not because I did my best, but I enjoyed it so much that it made me want to get back there. It was such a cool experience. It hooked me and it made me want to learn and I’ve done that.”

Wagner and Stiles join Steve Crist (2016), Mike Mayo (2015), Chris Larmey (2018), Ron Rippey (2015), Paul Shurman (2017), Judy Wagner (2016), Steve Wolfson, Sr. (2017), Steve Wolfson, Jr. (2018) as Hall of Fame inductees. The honorees are chosen by the NTRA in consultation with the NHC Players’ Committee.

The main criteria for the NHC Hall of Fame are as follows:

· Competed in NHC-sanctioned tournaments;

· Played consistently well over an extended period of time;

· Gained the respect of peers;

· And, contributed to the overall growth and success of NHC tournament play, with indelible positive and lasting results.

10 Facts You might not know about Horse Racing in Australia

#7 There have been many great trainers in British Flat racing over the years, but nobody has dominated quite like Tommy Smith did in Australia. For 32 years he won every single Trainers’ Premiership, from 1953 until 1985, earning 282 Group 1 wins along the way. He died in 1998, but his legacy lives on in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes ran at Randwick in the Autumn. He is the father of 2013 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Gai Waterhouse.

#8 Vegas Showgirl is well known in the world of bloodstock as the dam of Winx, but the queen of Australian racing isn’t the only Group winner the 16-year-old has produced. El Divino was born in October 2013, two years after Winx, and has gone on to compete in a number of Group races in Australia. In April 2016, he was a dead-heat winner alongside the Godolphin-owned Astern in the Group 3 Widden Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick.

#9 Very few horses have the distinction of claiming victory over Winx, but First Seal has the honour of boasting four occasions in which she bettered the world’s joint-best turf horse. Wins in two Group 2s and the Group 1 Coolmore Flight Stakes all came at the superstar’s expense, before a hoof injury placed First Seal on the sidelines. When she returned to battle Winx once again, the narrative was very different. The wondermare bested her by four and three quarter lengths in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes, before First Seal finished more than 13 lengths behind her rival in the Doncaster Mile. They never faced off again, and First Seal was retired in …

Two bills in Pierre focus on South Dakota’s horse racing industry

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO.com)– At least two of the so far 300 bills filed during this year’s Legislative session are focused on South Dakota’s horse racing industry.

Senate Bill’s 105 and 128 are tied to South Dakota’s horse racing industry.

SB128 would attempt to retrieve money moved from the live horse racing fund around 20 years ago for other uses and return it to District 24, where it was intended for use at the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Fort Pierre

SB105 would establish new mechanisms for funding horse racing in the state. Representative Tim Rounds says he plans to bring a version of SB128 to the House for safekeeping…

“Just in case, something doesn’t come across, I want the discussion to be held over in the House too. Both of them, in their demise over in the Senate that means we won’t have that discussion.” Representative Mary Duvall says the bills bring up a separate valid discussion. “The Legislature has a habit of sweeping funds that were established for a certain purpose. And budgets get tight or we have a pet project, so we sweep those funds into our general fund for whatever purpose. We’ve done it with the state highway fund, the aeronautics, fund the railroad fund. Shame on us.”

Nearly six million dollars was in the live horse racing fund to help promote live horse racing in both Fort Pierre and the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen. The bill, if passed, would mean roughly three-million dollars each for Stanley and Brown Counties for support of live horse racing…

Handicapping Tip of the Day #47 – 5 Ways to Conserve Wagering Funds

Handicapping Tip of the Day

Handicapping tips from agameofskill.com

by Rich Nilsen

One of the biggest challenges horse players face is the ability to manage their money and wager properly without losing focus.  Fail in any aspect of money management and the result is typically disastrous.  Here are a few quick tips that will help you stay on track by conserving your wagering funds and not wasting bets on races you shouldn’t be playing.

  1. Stay Disciplined – Start with a defined bankroll for a set period of time and refuse to add to it.  ATMs and deposit options are out of the question.  Treat that money like an investment fund and work with it to turn a profit.  Have a game plan to start and stay disciplined in your wagering.
  2. Pick Your Spots – It’s alright to play every race if you have a small ‘Action Bankroll’ available.  You can use that to make bare minimum wagers if you lack discipline and absolutely have to have some action on a race.  However, the most important thing is to spot play and hammer those races accordingly.  Keep in mind that it’s simply impossible to have a good or strong opinion on every race. You have to pick your spots.
  3. Avoid Playing Out of Proportion – If your spot-play type of wager is $50 on a race, don’t play $200 on a race because you really love it for whatever reason.  Keep your best bet plays in proportion to one another, otherwise you risk damaging your bankroll and possibly even going on tilt.
  4. Choose Your Races Wisely – play to your strengths.  If conditioned claimers are not your thing, then avoid them at all costs.  If you excel at maiden turf races, then be sure to start with those races when you begin your handicapping for the day.  Choose your races wisely and your bankroll will be rewarded for it.
  5. Variance Happens – Understand that you’re not going to win every race, and worse yet, losing streaks are part of the game.  One of the best horseplayers in the country that I know has a stop limit.  If he loses a set amount of money, he stops for the day.  It’s a simple rule and he sticks to it, no matter what.  If it’s a good enough rule for a guy who successfully puts millions through the pari-mutuel windows every year, then it’s good enough for us.

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NY OTBs could shed horse racing operations

Off-Track Betting agencies in Nassau and Suffolk counties and across New York could shed their horse racing operations – their main function for nearly 50 years, but also a source of deficits in recent years – under proposals unveiled by the POS Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last week.

OTBs would have greater flexibility to operate under Cuomo’s proposed 2019-2020 budget, as they contend with declining racing revenues. The budget proposal would allow OTBs to decide to get out of horse betting entirely or merge with other OTBs, officials said.

OTB officials and experts say Cuomo’s proposal, which must be approved by the state Legislature, may make it possible for betting agencies to pursue bigger moneymakers, such as video lottery terminals and, perhaps eventually, sports betting.

But at this point Cuomo’s proposals are general, and do not set guidelines for what the changes would look like.

“The whole industry is on the phone, trying to figure out what does this mean,” said Phil Nolan, director of Suffolk Off Track Betting.

OTBs were established in six locations in the 1970s to pass along profits from horse betting to local governments and to reduce illegal gambling. In Nassau and Suffolk, the OTBs have significant numbers of patronage employees.

OTBs simulcast races, take telephone and internet bets and operate automated betting machines. In Batavia in Genesee County, Western OTB manages a racetrack at Batavia Downs.

But the OTBs have struggled in recent years as horse racing has declined in popularity and competition has grown from casinos in other states, officials said…

Pegasus World Cup Soars

For racing media, one of the fun parts of the job, believe it or not, is waking up at ungodly hour, rain or shine, and visiting the barns of the players from the previous day’s big race.

As expected, mostly the winners laugh, tell stories, and the losers say deal. Temporarily sidelined myself, I wonder what happened when my colleagues this morning only to find nobody was home.

That didn’t happen, of course. With winners and losers celebrating or commiserating over dinner late into the South Florida night, Mike McCarthy and John Sadler still needed to show up and check on their horses before watching them be loaded onto a Lexington-bound van.

So it’s not likely that City of Light or Accelerate would have been among this missing this am, but they won’t be around for long, leaving the racing’s stage forever–fertility issues notwithstanding.

While City of Light separated himself from the 2018 handicap champion in the gloaming at Gulfstream Park on Saturday, both will soon arrive at the same stud farm to begin a second career.

Some guys have all the luck.

On a day better suited to Netflix binging than going to the races, the building was hopping despite the elements. Stakeholders, horseplayers and fans showed up brought money, and weren’t shy about spending …