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

Casino industry launches campaign to legalize sports betting

Sports bettingWASHINGTON — Casino industry officials on Monday launched a new campaign to legalize sports betting, something New Jersey has been trying to get for years. They’re behind the new American Sports Betting Coalition, which is trying to get Congress to repeal a 1992 law that allows such wagering in only four states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and… [Read more…]

Secretariat and the Greatest Horse Racing Performace Ever

“It was like the Lord was holding onto the reins and Secretariat was one of his creatures.”

The Great Secretariat

The Great Secretariat. Photo by Rich Nilsen

His performance on the track in Elmira, New York, back in 1973 placed a close second behind basketball star Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game on ESPN’s “Who’s No. 1” list of greatest sports performances by individual athletes. It was that spectacular. Secretariat was the only athlete on that list with one name. And four legs. As we… [Read more…]

Royal Ascot Set to Thrill the NBC Audience Later This Month

Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire, England has agreed a deal with NBC to broadcast all five days of the Royal Ascot Festival starting on June 20th. But what can US audiences expect from the royal extravaganza?

The world’s most prestigious race meeting gets underway on June 20th, with coverage beamed around the world. Over £1 million worth of prize money is handed out on each day of the festival, with a number of top-class horses expected to be in action.

Historically, US representatives tend to be few and far between at the festival, although Lady Aurelia, trained by Wesley Ward, was successful in the 2016 running of the Queen Mary Stakes. The trainer is feeling bullish about his filly’s chances of repeating the trick 12 months later, but this time in the Kings Stand Stakes.

It isn’t just Ward who is confident of her chances, with Lady Aurelia recently priced up as joint-favourite for the race. If you’re not as enthused over her chances, however, it may be worth taking advantage of welcome money-back offers from bookmakers such as those from Sportsbet; punters will get their initial stake refunded should she fail to find success if they visit the promotions page of the website here.

Ward is also sending Bound for Nowhere to the festival, likely to compete in the Commonwealth Cup towards the end of the event with Fairyland and Princess Peggy currently being considered for the Albany Stakes. The trainer sent out his string at Keeneland recently in preparation for this summer’s exertions and there is sure to be plenty of interest in his stable occupants.

Acapulco could feature during the festival for trainer Aidan O’Brien. The US bred horse was previously trained by Wesley Ward before making the move to Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth II will be attending the event once again having not missed a single Royal Ascot since her reign began and there will be plenty of celebrities spotted during the five days.

One of the key races of the festival arrives on the third day, which is also branded Ladies Day. It is competed over two miles and four furlongs and was won by Aidan O’Brien’s Order of St George in 2016.

The Irish stable are set to send their stayer here once again, as he bids to retain his crown. However, he will face tough competition from the French-bred Vazirabad who has been impressing during preparations for this contest.

There are 30 races in total, with eight of those being competed at Grade One level, and there is plenty at stake for owners, trainers and punters.

There is a strict dress code for visitors of Royal Ascot with top hats, waistcoats and ties a necessity for gentlemen, whilst ladies must not wear strapless dresses and hats are also essential. This is strictly enforced upon entry. A number of Best Dressed competitions take place in between the action on the turf as the festival continues its long-running association with sartorial elegance.

All of the action can be enjoyed on NBC across the five days as sport meets fashion in the county of Berkshire. There is plenty of American interest this year, with the impressive Wesley Ward string hungry for success once again. It is set to be another spectacular festival, which will be relished and enjoyed by race-goers and TV viewers alike.

A New Reality? Santa Anita Adjusts to 3-day Race Week

SANTA ANITA ADJUSTS RACING SCHEDULE OVER NEXT TWO WEEKS  

 NO LIVE RACING ON THURSDAY, JUNE 15 & THURSDAY, JUNE 22; ADDITIONAL RACES TO BE OFFERED ON FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS

 

Santa Anita apron

copyright AGameofSkill.com

ARCADIA, Calif. (June, 2017)—With Santa Anita’s current Spring Summer Meet set to conclude on Tuesday, July 4, the track has modified its current racing schedule for the next two weeks, as the track will now run a pair of three-day weeks, beginning Friday, June 16 and Friday, June 23, in advance of a five-day closing week, which starts on Friday, June 30.

“It’s always been our goal to run more race dates, but as we’ve said, consistently, we need to present racing cards that provide the most value and are in the best interest of our customers,” said Joe Morris, The Stronach Group’s Senior Vice President of West Coast Operations.  “Looking forward, we will continue to evaluate our racing schedule as we strive to present the best possible product for our fans.”

                Santa Anita has added extra races today, tomorrow and Sunday, resulting in a total of 30 races for the week, compared to 34 that were run over the previous four-day week.  Additionally, entries averaged 8.7 per race this week, compared to 6.9 horses per race last week.

With the current meet set to end on July 4, Fan Appreciation will be a top priority over the final three weeks, with free Club House admission added on Fridays, along with free parking on those days as well.  The final two days of the season, July 3 and 4, will be Dollar Days, with one dollar beers, sodas and hot dogs.

                Santa Anita, which carded a nine-race program today, will offer a special 11-race card tomorrow, Belmont Stakes Day and a 10-race program on Sunday.  Admission gates open early Saturday at 8 a.m. and Santa Anita’s first live race post time is set for 12 noon.

                For complete racing information, please visit santaanita.com.

Nilsen’s Full-card Belmont Stakes Analysis 2017

Download Rich Nilsen’s Belmont analysis here

with Wagering Strategies & Spot Plays by Rich Nilsen

Get the complete analysis of the 2017 Belmont Stakes with Nilsen’s value play selections for the big race.  There may not be a Triple Crown on the line, but just like last year, this is a tremendous betting race.   Speaking of last year, Nilsen gave out $34.80 winner Creator as his top pick as well as the huge exacta with Destin that returned over $260!

Three weeks ago with his Preakness day analysis, Nilsen gave out several winners including a $21.60 Spot Play (Best Bet) on the undercard!

Founder of AGameofSkill.com, Nilsen is the winner of 6 major handicapping tournament and a 13-time qualifier to the multi million-dollar National Handicapping Championship (NHC).  There are a lot of pretenders out there.  Get affordable, expert advice for this year’s amazing Belmont Stakes card.

This sheet contains:

Top selections for all 13 races

Sophisticated Pace Scenario for all 13 races

Spot Plays (Best Bets) on the undercard w/ wagering strategies

In-depth Analysis of the Belmont Stakes.  Two Value plays keyed in Exacta, Trifecta & Superfecta strategies.

Get all 13 races on the Belmont card.  Download now for only $15.97 to any device.

Buy Now

Last Year’s Write-Up on TOP SELECTION CREATOR

CREATOR lost his best chance when he broke from an inside post in the field of 20 and encountered a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby.  Prior to that he was ultra impressive, sweeping by the field in the G1 Arkansas Derby.  If you want to see an incredible maiden win, just go back and what this colt’s Feb. 27 score at Oaklawn, and you’ll again see the type of late kick this guy possesses.  Trainer Steve Asmussen has the son of Tapit working well for this rebound race, including a blowout 4f drill over the Belmont training track. Bred to run all day, Creator will drop back under new rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. and come rolling late at a big price. 

Belmont Favorite Irish War Cry Looks to Rebound on Saturday

Belmont Park crowd

copyright Agameofskill.com

ELMONT, N.Y. — The last time we saw New Jersey’s horse, he was making a left turn, looking for a street that didn’t exist at the start of the Kentucky Derby. Quicker than you can shout, “Typical Jersey driver!” the inevitable happened. The Jersey horse slammed into Tapwrit, who hit McCraken, who bumped Classic Empire, who… [Read more…]

2017 Belmont Stakes Field is Wide Open

The 149th running of the Belmont Stakes this Saturday won’t include the Kentucky Derby (Always Dreaming) or Preakness (Cloud Computing) winners but could attract its largest field since a record 15 broke from the starting gate in 1983.

Source: Belmont Stakes field is deep

Met Mile Contender Wows Trainer

NYRA PRESS DEPARTMENT

Shadwell Stable’s multiple Grade 2 winner Mohaymen put an exclamation point on his final preparations for the Grade 1, $1.2 million Mohegan Sun Metropolitan Handicap June 10with a bullet five-furlong breeze Sunday morning.|

 Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said he caught the 4-year-old son of Tapit going a half-mile over Belmont Park’s main track in 47 1/5 seconds, and he galloped out five-eighths in 1:00.22, according to New York Racing Association clockers.

The time was the fastest of 16 horses at the distance Sunday and the second straight bullet from three works following Mohaymen’s fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Westchester May 6 at Belmont – his first start since late August.

“Did you see him work? Wow, he worked great,” McLaughlin said. “That’s what we were looking for. He did it well within himself, he worked great and galloped out well, so we’re ready.”

Unlike his half-mile breeze May 28 at Belmont, where he was clocked in 47.09 seconds – the fastest of 93 horses – Mohaymen breezed by himself Sunday rather than in company.

“Last week when we had two in front of him, he just got too far back and then he caught up, and it wasn’t ideal for him. So, I said let’s go back to the basics and just work him on his own,” McLaughlin said. “He’s worked three times and he’s worked well all three times. He’s doing very well, so we’ll see.”

Mohaymen broke his maiden at Belmont in September 2015, the first of five consecutive victories to open a career that included the Grade 2 Nashua and Grade 2 Remsen at 2 and the Grade 2 Holy Bull and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at 3. He has gone winless in five subsequent starts, finishing fourth in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 2 Jim Dandy.

AGOS Horses to Watch – Belmont Park, more – June 5, 2017

Horses to Watch for AGOS Visitors

Belmont Park

5/29/17

Race  #4 – Ancient Secret – 1 mile turf

She was making her first start of the 2017 season for Chad Brown. Irad Ortiz in the saddle and was tracking perfectly in the two path and weakened down the lane to finish 4th this day. – Toss this race as needing one and you’ll be pleasantly surprised next time she hits the track.

5/27/17

Belmont

Race #1 – The Crocheron Kid – 6f turf

Jose Ortiz in the irons for David Donk. This guy had an overland trip spinning wide into the lane costing precious ground. He scored this day, and is a perfect candidate for a repeat preformance at the windows.

Race #7 – Vigor – 6f turf

Jose Lezcano in the saddle for Bill Mott and they do very solid work together. He was wide grabbing the lead and later inhaled by a solid winner Rublinda. Give him a hard look next out, and catch him if you can !

Fear No Evil – (Same race)

Luis Saez at the controls for trainer Thom Albertrani. He was tracking perfectly and shut off trying to tip off the rail. He dove right back to the inside and found no room. Saez wrapped up on his mount and saved plenty of gas in the tank for next out.

Race #8 – Kitten’s Cat – 7f  turf

John Velasquez for trainer Joe Sharp. It was a quick pace and he came flying late in the lane, but couldn’t pass the impressive winner Big Handsome. Shipping in from Churchill Downs;  his second time out in the “Big Apple” will make this son of Kitten’s Joy ultra tough.

Santa Anita

5/27/17

Race #5 – Avenge – 1 1/8 turf

Flavien Pratt in the irons for Dick Mandella. She grabbed the lead from the rail and was heavily backed at the windows. She faced a monster this day with Lady Eli and if she catches anyone else she’ll give them all they want next time she hits the track.

 

No Derby or Preakness winner, but 2017 Belmont Stakes has intrigue

Triple Crown trophy

No Triple Crown on the line this year

Here we are again, facing a second consecutive Belmont Stakes without a Triple Crown on the line. And this year, the field won’t include either the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winner, the first time both have skipped the race voluntarily since 2010. It’s difficult to spin that into an ideal scenario for the third leg of… [Read more…]