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 was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. 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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Saratoga Springs, NY Offers Summer Fun

Horse Racing, New York City Ballet, Spas, History

Quaint Saratoga Springs Offers Summer Fun: Horse Racing, and so much more.

“Known for its period charm, world-class horse racing, mineral springs, outdoor activities, and diversely rich cultural calendar, Saratoga Springs was a health resort and gambling center for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. But here are some of the delightful must-sees and dos in this century…”

FORBES Article: Quaint Saratoga Springs Offers Summer Fun: Horse Racing, New York City Ballet, Spas, History

It’s a Wild Ride for Jockey Agents in Horse Racing

Lawson is Prat’s agent — a job deeply woven into the sport’s fabric, but no more recognized than the work on the backstretch performed by dozens of people who feed, bathe and care for the horses.

Average racing fans pore through a day’s program, trying to piece together the puzzle of horses, owners, trainers and jockeys. But most don’t have a clue about how jockeys get aligned with horses, and the complicated dance by their agents that makes it happen.

“We’re salesmen,” Lawson said. “It says on our license that we’re jockey agents, but it might as well say that we’re selling something from Procter & Gamble.”

Read the Rest of this insightful story: It’s a wild ride for jockey agents in horse racing

My Wild Ride – check out the 5-star story of this Southern California trainer

Star Handicapper, Horse Owner Bryan Wagner Passes Away

Bryan and Judy Wagner at 2018 Eclipse Awards, Gulfstream Park, FL 1.25.2018

Horse Racing Has Lost a Great Man

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Wednesday, August 1, 2018) – Bryan Wagner,

a 12-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) and the 2009 NHC Tour winner, passed away Sunday in Atlanta. He was 75. His wife, Judy Wagner, was at his side at the time of his death.

The Wagners have been a constant and popular presence at the NHC and NHC qualifiers around the country since the event’s inception in 1999. Bryan introduced Judy to the art of handicapping on a date at Fair Grounds Race Course in 1994. They were married the following year and the pursuit of winning horses was a shared passion ever since. Judy, a member of the NTRA Board of Directors, won the 2001 NHC and is a 13-time NHC qualifier. (Bryan would have been a 14-time NHC qualifier if not for two years, 2015 and 2016, when he was ineligible to compete due to Judy’s position on the NTRA board.)

Bryan Wagner earned $101,110 at the annual NHC finals in Las Vegas and thousands more at other NHC sanctioned events and contests. In 2009, Bryan and Judy finished one-two on the NHC Tour.

Bryan Wagner owned and operated a successful insurance company in New Orleans but was perhaps best known as a politician and political operative. He was a member of the New Orleans City Council from 1980-86 and the Council’s first elected Republican in more than 100 years. He was a Louisiana delegate to seven Republican National Conventions and led the delegation in 2008, the same year he masterminded one of the greatest political upsets in the state’s history, helping lawyer Joseph Cao to become the first Vietnamese-American elected to U.S. Congress. With scandals plaguing the incumbent, Wagner saw an opportunity and convinced Cao to switch parties and run as a Republican in a district that traditionally voted overwhelmingly for Democrats.

Wagner, a graduate of Tulane University, was a genuine “only-in-New Orleans” personality, once described in a Rolling Stone feature on the NHC as a gentleman “who holds court like a John Grisham character.” He liked to boast that due to arcane line-of-succession laws, he had technically served as Mayor of New Orleans for a day on three separate occasions. He was a minority shareholder in the New Orleans Saints in the 1980s.

James Bryan Wagner was born March 2, 1943, in New Orleans, to Wiltz Wagner, manager of Municipal Auditorium and president of a bakery supply firm, and Helen Wagner, an English professor at the University of New Orleans. In addition to Judy he is survived by three children – Leslie, Bryan Eustis, and Amanda – six grandchildren, and a brother, Dr. Wiltz Wagner Jr. Visitation (2 p.m. CT) and services (3 p.m. CT) are scheduled for Monday at Christ Church Cathedral Episcopal on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans.

Source: NTRA

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – Aug. 1, 2018

copyright AGameofSkill.comComplimentary Horses to Watch & Trip Notes for AGOS visitors.  Add these horses to your stable notification service.

SARATOGA

MORRISON (Race 8 @SAR, 7/25/18) – 3yo is now two for two against state bred company on the lawn.  Joe Sharp runner upset a good field that included two veteran nine year olds.

TAYLER’S THE BOSS (Race 2 @SAR, 7/25/18) – 3yo daughter of Street Boss dropped into open company, facing two life, but was also facing a very strong favorite in the eventual wire-to-wire winner.   She chased that older filly around the track in a very good performance for trainer Steve Asmussen.

TURCO BRAVO (CHI) (Race 1 @SAR 7/20/18) – new runner in the low percentage Barrera barn ran a big race in the opening of the Saratoga meet.  He stumbled at the start and recovered to run a clear second to a drop-down winner.  Loves the Saratoga main track.

SHADY SHADY SHADY (Race 2 @SAR 7/20/18) – Finished well in this state-bred turf sprint behind the winning favorite from the Chad Brown barn.  Solid effort for a barn that is only 8% with debut runners.  She is out of a stakes placed Street Sense mare.

LYRICAL LADY (Race 5 @SAR 7/20/18) – $625,000 purchase for Phoenix Stable crushed his field first out for trainer Steve Asmussen.  Daughter of More Than Ready is out of stakes placed La Song and looks to have a bright future.

2019 Dubai World Cup prize fund raised to $35 Million

Dubai World CupDubai World Cup prize fund raised to a whopping US$35million

Check out the TimeOutDubai.com Full coverage

Source: Dubai World Cup prize fund raised to US$35million

All-in Approach Wins 2018 Del Mar Cash Tournament

Dennis Montoro, 32, from New York, went all-in in the last race with a $7,000 win bet on #2, 5-1 Raven Creek, to finish with $42,000. Montoro qualified to the Del Mar Challenge from a $400 feeder contest on HorseTourneys.com essentially turning a $400 investment into more than $135,000 in prizes.

Gary West from Rancho Santa Fe, CA and Florin Sima from Burbank, CA both cashed in the last race to finish second and third to round out the top three.

Montoro, an analytics player with years of experience in online contests was playing his very first “live money” contest. Prizes won include $75,000 cash, $10,000 entry in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and entry in the $2.5 million National Horseplayers Championship (NHC). Montoro is also eligible for a $1 million bonus if he wins the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Churchill Downs.

Players started with a $6,000 bankroll in the two day Challenge. The top eight finishers receive BCBC entries and the top ten receive entries in the $2.5 million National Horseplayers Championship or the Del Mar $4,500 Fall Challenge November 10 & 11.

PLACE NAME FINAL BANKROLL
1 Dennis Montoro $42,000
2 Gary West $29,070
3 Florin Sima $28,290
4 Kyle Fitzgerald $26,563
5 Jonathon Kinchen $25,689
6 Frank Mustari $23,332
7 Jim Videtic $20,800
8 Jim Meeks $20,240
9 Blake Jessee $19,240
10 Gary Broad $19,182

Golden Gate Fields Sees Increase in Handle in 1st Half of 2018

Track reported total handle was up 15.85% for meet that ended June 10, 2018

Source: Golden Gate Fields Sees Increase in Handle

Justify a Horse Racing Great?

Justify winning the Belmont – AP source

On a picture perfect Saturday afternoon on Long Island, horse racing, a sport with a long and rich tradition, once again reigned supreme at Belmont Park.

Justify ($3.60), a 3-year-old chestnut purchased for $500,000, etched his name in racing history, becoming only the second undefeated colt to capture the Triple Crown by going wire-to-wire to win the 150th Belmont Stakes.

Source: Post Time: Justify enters pantheon of racing greats

AGOS Horses to Watch & Trip Notes – July 26, 2018

DEL MAR

OPUS WON (Race 4 at DMR, 7/18/18) – first time starter from barn that only wins 7% with debut runners also broke from a tough outside post.  Rated off the pace and when moved into the top of the stretch and the rider Flavin Prat asked her, she exploded in the final furlong, finishing willingly on her own and just missing 2nd.  Cal-bred daughter of Eddington has talent.  She’s a half to two winners including a nice stakes winner.

FINGER LAKES

SHAKESPERIAN DREAM (Race 8 at FL, 7/18/18) – this veteran mare was set to run a big race but lost all chance behind as slow a pace as you’ll ever see.  No match for the odds-on favorite who won but rallied gamely to be in a photo for 2nd after having to alter course around that rival.

LOUISIANA DOWNS

CULP’S HILL (Race 4 @LAD, 7/16/18) – gelded son of Eddington was the controlling speed on the drop to the $5,000 level and he ran a winning race, finishing 2nd to another dropper from the red hot Broberg barn.  This LA-bred four year old loves the grass, and I wouldn’t mind seeing the blinkers removed on this speedy runner.

THISTLEDOWN

I’M IN A HURRY (Race 7 at TDN, 7/18/18) – odds on favorite returning off a layoff suffered a terrible trip.  He was stuck inside of horses on the backstretch and had no where to go behind a trio of runners turning for home.  Jock decided he wouldn’t take chances going between runners and he wrapped up on him in the final 1/8th.  Should bounce back in a big way with that race under his belt and get his 18th career win.

Second Quarter Wagering, Purses Improve in Horse Racing

Is Horse Racing Dead? Nope

With the Triple Crown races delivering strong numbers when compared with last year, wagering on U.S. races in the second quarter of 2018 improved just more than 5% compared with the same quarter last year.

Source: Second Quarter Wagering, Purses Improve