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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Here are my most recent posts

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – 4/16/19

Complimentary horses to watch for AGOS visitors

Keeneland

SUENO – (4/31/19, Race 9 at KEE, Lexington Stakes) – continues to get less-than-ideal rides from Corey Lanerie. He had this colt in traffic on the backstretch and then went very wide turning for home in the Lexington Stakes. Finished willingly in a sneaky good 3rd place effort. Keith Desormeaux charge may benefit from a new rider.

Tampa Bay Downs

JOSIE’S RIDDLE (4/12/19, Race 7 at TAM) – 4yo Ontario-bred gelding was making first start off the claim for John Rigattieri and handled the rise in class without any trouble.  Honest runner is in razor sharp form for new outfit.  Handles dirt, turf or all-weather.

ZACAPA RUN (4/12/19, Race 8 at TAM) – This 3yo loves the grass and has picked up a major check in all four attempts.  Gray gelding finished well for second but had no chance behind the lone speed winner ridden by Antonio Gallardo.  Very tough at the 2-life claiming level on the grass.

Initiative would authorize casino gambling at Nebraska race tracks

A proposed constitutional amendment authorizing casino gambling at Nebraska horse race tracks may be on the general election ballot in 2020.

Lance Morgan, president and CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., announced Thursday that a ballot initiative proposal has been filed with the secretary of state’s office.

Expanded gambling would generate an estimated $50 million in new state tax revenue that could help fund property tax relief and support public schools, Morgan said.

Nebraska is “missing out on taxes and proceeds from about $500 million that residents wager annually in surrounding states,” the petition sponsors said in a news release.

A similar petition effort in 2016 failed to acquire the required number of signatures.

As was the case three years ago, the initiative campaign committee will be called “Keep the Money in Nebraska.”

Accompanying the proposed constitutional amendment will be two statutory initiatives to regulate casino gambling.

Ho-Chunk, which owns the Atokad track in South Sioux City, is partnering with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent Protection Association to bring the issue to Nebraska voters.

Those connected to the racing industry have long viewed casinos as a lifeline for the state’s horse racing tracks, which have suffered through decades of decline.

In 2017, wagering on live races and races simulcast to the wagering facilities in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island and Columbus totaled $67.9 million, the lowest total since simulcast wagering was added in Nebraska in the ….

An Inside Look at Dubai World Cup night at Meydan

On Saturday March 30, I was lucky enough to attend the Dubai World Cup at Meydan – the richest race meeting on the planet.

Here is my review of the experience…

Location/course – 9/10

The Meydan racecourse is a 15-20 minute drive from the main hub. It takes slightly longer though if you have the Dubai version of Mr Bean driving your bus, as we did on Saturday. The course itself is an absolute behemoth, with the Meydan Hotel directly adjacent to the grandstand. Punters staying in the hotel can watch the action from their rooms if they don’t fancy wandering 200m down the road.

We were based in the press room on level 5, in line with the winning post, which provided a decent view of the track. The general public area down on the ground stretches for about 200m from the 400m to the furlong marker. Part of that area is what was formerly known as the ‘international village’ – a section with various bars, heavily-populated by foreigners. The grandstand wasn’t much to look at during the day but once the sun went down, it took on a much more visually appealing state.

Record-breaking Superstar Winx goes out on 33rd consecutive victory

She Did It Again!

(CNN)The Australian wonder-horse, Winx, racked up a 33rd straight win and a third consecutive Queen Elizabeth stakes in the final race of a remarkable career on Saturday.

In doing so, the seven-year-old mare extended its already record haul of coveted Group One victories to 25.

Dubbed the “Usain Bolt of horse racing” by some, Winx has earned its owners more than $16 million in recent years as well winning international recognition through awards such as the 2018 Longines Horse of the Year alongside Cracksman.

Long time jockey, Hugh Bowman, who piloted Winx to one final victory Saturday, said he was “proud to be a part” of the horse’s story, in comments carried by the AFP news agency. “(Winx) has captured the hearts of people all around the world.”

A crowd of over 50,000 whooped and cheered as Winx passed the winning post at the Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney, Australia, one final time.

Despite starting the race cautiously, she started moving through the field as the finish approached.

Chris Waller, the trainer of Winx, later fought back tears as he spoke to Australia’s Channel 7.

Funds returned to bankrupt horse betting firm should go to charity

The case involves Racing Services Inc., a company owned by Susan Bala that filed for bankruptcy in 2004, shortly after the company came under scrutiny by federal authorities.

A case was eventually brought in federal court and Bala was ultimately sentenced to prison on illegal gambling charges. She was released early after her convictions were overturned on appeal.

A federal judge ruled in 2014 that the state of North Dakota wasn’t authorized to collect taxes on account wagering, a form of gambling that utilized services like RSI, during the time period involved and North Dakota agreed to pay RSI’s bankruptcy estate about $15.9 million.

Early on in the bankruptcy case a large creditor — PW Enterprises — filed an initial claim of about $2.2 million.

After the state agreed to pay the bankruptcy estate nearly $16 million, PWE amended its claim, boosting what it sought from the estate by about $10.8 million.

PWE owner Peter Wagner was described in court documents as a high-volume computer player who had agreements with RSI regarding things like gambling rebates.

In late 2018, a bankruptcy court judge denied PWE’s amended claim, but approved the initial claim of about $2.2 million.

PWE appealed the decision, maintaining that under state law it was entitled to money North Dakota paid …

2020 National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) Returning to Bally’s

Entertainment have signed a multi-year agreement to move the event to Bally’s Las Vegas. The 21st edition of the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), presented by Racetrack Television Network, Caesars Entertainment and Bally’s, will be held February 7-9, 2020.
Bally’s, which completed a $125 million renovation in 2018, previously hosted the NHC from 2003-2007.
“Caesars Entertainment is a world-wide leader in gaming, entertainment and customer service. We look forward to working with them as we return the NHC to the newly renovated Bally’s in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip,” said Keith Chamblin, Chief Operating Officer of the NTRA and NHC Tournament Director.
The 2020 NHC will take place in the Bally’s Events Center, a 40,000 square foot space that will nearly double the NHC’s footprint while being transitioned into the world’s largest race book.
“The NTRA National Horseplayers Championship is the premiere handicapping tournament in all of thoroughbred racing. We look forward to hosting this tournament at Bally’s Las Vegas inside our world-class Events Center, along with showcasing our recently renovated room product,” said Jim Korona, Vice President of Casino Marketing with Caesars Entertainment.

Bally's Casino Las VegasBally’s Las Vegas

Bally’s Las Vegas is located on the center of the world-renowned Las Vegas Strip, across from Caesars Palace and next to Paris Las Vegas. The 44-acre resort consists of two 26-story hotel towers including the Jubilee Tower and offers more than 2,800 guestrooms, including 244 suites. Bally’s Las Vegas features highly acclaimed restaurants including BLT Steak and Sea Thai, as well as the famous Sterling Brunch, a relaxing pool oasis, a lavish spa and casino space featuring a poker room, 1,500 slot machines and a first-class Race & Sports Book known for its stadium-style seating and abundance of high-definition television screens. Nitro Circus Theater will house the first-ever Nitro Circus stage show featuring spectacular feats and unbelievable stunts in an intimate theater setting. Bally’s Las Vegas is operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR). For more information, please visit ballyslasvegas.com or the Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas media room. Find Bally’s Las Vegas on Facebook and follow on Twitter and Instagram.
source: NTRA

Saratoga Weekly Ticket plans for 2019 meet on sale Tomorrow

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will welcome the general public to purchase weekly reserved seat ticket plans for the 2019 meet at Saratoga Race Course beginning Tuesday, April 9 at 10 a.m.

A weekly ticket plan offers racing fans the opportunity to purchase a reserved seat in the Clubhouse, Grandstand and The Stretch for five consecutive days of the meet from Wednesday through Sunday (Thursday through Sunday for Opening Weekend; and Wednesday through Monday for Closing Week).

Weekly ticket plans may be purchased online through NYRA Account Manager. All weekly ticket plans include admission and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis (according to available inventory)…

Weekly reserved seat plans for the 2019 meet at Saratoga Race Course are available as follows:

Week 1, Opening Weekend, featuring the Diana: Thurs. July 11 – Sun. July 14

Week 2, featuring the Coaching Club American Oaks: Wed. July 17 – Sun. July 21

Week 3, featuring the Jim Dandy: Wed. July 24 – Sun. July 28

Week 4: featuring the Whitney and Turf Triple: Wed. July 31 – Sun. Aug. 4

Week 5, featuring the Fourstardave: Wed. Aug. 7 – Sun. Aug. 11

Week 6, featuring the Alabama: Wed. Aug. 14 – Sun. Aug. 18

Week 7, featuring the Runhappy Travers: Wed. Aug. 21 – Sun. Aug. 25

Week 8, featuring the Woodward: Wed. Aug. 28 – Mon. Sept. 2

Rich Nilsen’s Analysis w/Wagers for Super Saturday – April 6, 2019

15-time NHC Qualifier Rich Nilsen has analyzed the three big KY Derby preps for Super Saturday April 6th.

  • Keeneland’s Blue Grass Stakes – a great betting race
  • Aqueduct’s Wood Memorial – Nilsen has a value play on top!
  • The Santa Anita Derby – He’s going against Breeders’ Cup champ Game Winner in this spot.

Each race includes Nilsen’s expert race and pace analysis, along with top selections, and a detailed wagering strategy to attack each race.  Don’t miss it on one racing’s biggest and best days of the year.

Only $12.97 for the instant PDF download

 

ABOUT THE HANDICAPPER

Rich Nilsen caught the horse racing bug at a young age when his father took him to the racetracks in New York. He eventually attended the University of Louisville Equine Business Program with the goal of making a career in the horse racing industry.

Nilsen has worked the past 25+ years in the equine industry, serving most of those years as the Marketing Director for Brisnet.com and TwinSpires.com, the Official Wagering Site of the Kentucky Derby.

During his long tenure at the Churchill Downs-owned properties, Nilsen managed the successful Players’ Pool syndicate, which pooled funds from the account wagering members to go after large Pick-6 carryovers. During Nilsen’s leadership, the Players’ Pool produced a significant profit for the members over the course of seven years. One of the best hits was when the Players’ Pool took down half of the Pick-6 pool on Kentucky Derby Day 2007, with a gross return of over $500,000.  The Pool had several other hits over $250,000.

The $3 Million National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) is the premier horse racing tournament in the nation. It is basically horse racing’s version of the World Series of Poker, with the main difference being that players cannot buy their way into the NHC. Players can only win their way in via tournaments held throughout the country. Nilsen is one of the top participants in the history of the event, having qualified 15 times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 at the NHC twice and is ranked in the top 10 all-time at the NHC.

Nilsen is the founder and editor of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

JUST ONE TESTIMONIAL

As horse death toll grows at Santa Anita, fans and foes of racing see a hard battle over sport’s future

The CHRB has called a special meeting Friday, April 12, at Santa Anita, and could take action to move racing dates to another track for the rest of this year’s season, which is scheduled to continue through Sunday, June 23.

Larry Levine, a Los Angeles-based political consultant who said he has been a horse racing fan since visiting Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana with his father at age 14, said he would be surprised if legislators put a racing-ban measure on the ballot, a move that could mean lost state revenue and attracting the ire of racing supporters. So any such move, he said, would be up to activists.

“In California, it comes down to ‘Do you have enough money to pay the signature-gatherers the $2 or $4 or $6 or $10 they want (per signature)?,” Levine said.

“Then it comes down to the political moxie of the industry to fight back,” he added. “Nobody can show me (the racing industry) has shown a lot of political moxie in recent years.”

But the racing industry nationwide, and related industries and labor groups in California, would spend money to protect their interests in a major racing state. Levine said such pro-racing spending would make any racing ban proposition “a very expensive campaign.”

The problem for those arguing for keeping racing, Levine said, is “How do you overcome the emotions (about) a dead horse?”

The 23rd and most recent fatal breakdown during the current Santa Anita season, which started on Wednesday, Dec. 26, occurred in the San Simeon Stakes on the hillside turf course Sunday, March 31, when the 5-year-old gelding Arms Runner fractured his right foreleg as the horses crossed the main track near the top of the stretch. Arms Runner and jockey Martin Pedroza fell, taking La Sardane and rider Ruben Fuentes down with them. Arms Runner had to be eunthanized

Senator Feinstein calls for suspension of races at Santa Anita

The LA Times reports:

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein called for the suspension of races at Santa Anita until an investigation into what has caused 23 horses to die at the track since late December is complete.

In a letter sent to California Horse Racing Board chairman Chuck Winner on Tuesday, the Democratic senator wrote she is “appalled that almost two dozen horses have died in just four months.”

“I believe that racing at Santa Anita should be suspended until the cause or causes of these deaths can be fully investigated,” Feinstein wrote. “I also ask for more information about what the California Horse Racing Board is doing to both investigate this matter and address some of the concerns that these incidents have rightly raised.”

Feinstein asked the CHRB whether it was considering other changes to improve the safety of horses after it agreed to phase out race-day medications and limit the use of whips on horses.

“While these are positive initial steps, please let me know whether the Board is considering other actions that have been proposed by trainers and animal welfare advocates, including the complete elimination of medications such as Lasix and the use of synthetic track surfaces,” Feinstein wrote. “In your view, would these or other steps be reasonable measures to prevent horse injuries and death?”

Rep. Judy Chu (D) called for a congressional hearing and investigation into the treatment of horses Monday, a day after Arms Runner became the 23rd horse to die at Santa Anita since the start of the track’s winter/spring meet on Dec. 26. The track reopened Friday after being closed to racing for nearly a month after 21 horses died over a 10-week span.