Churchill Downs Expands After Record-Setting Attendance

Churchill winner's circle There are few American sporting events with as much tradition and fanfare like the Kentucky Derby. From the lavish hats to the mint juleps to the many parties, there’s plenty to experience at horse racing’s most prominent event. This year’s race will take place on Saturday, May 6, with “the most exciting two minutes in sports,”… [Read more…]

Horse Racing Club Investment Pays Off for Newbie

horse racing blinkers“The education, through seminars, speaking engagements and financials, has been more than expected and I can honestly say this is the beginning of a new journey for me in horse racing ownership and management,” said Stephens, who is also considering enrolling in the University of Louisville’s Equine Industry Program.

LITTLE ROCK — A passenger in a New Orleans-bound vehicle, the commercial airline pilot battled sporadic cell coverage in South Arkansas to sign up for the Churchill Downs Racing Club.

Source: King: Horse racing club investment pays dividends

Churchill Downs Aims to Cut Racing, Threatening Jobs in Illinois

Churchill winner's circle ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Horse racing in Illinois would plummet, threatening thousands of jobs at tracks and across Illinois agribusiness, under a plan by Churchill Downs, Inc., to upend its obligation to live racing and usurp the state’s authority to determine the racing schedule.
The Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association strongly opposes CDI’s… [Read more…]

2013 Kentucky Derby Analysis with Expert Wagering Strategies

BONUS: Full-card Selections for all 13 races at Churchill Downs, Saturday May 4, 2013. Includes two Best Bets on the undercard and two longshots for the Derby!

Get the expert analysis of Kentucky Derby 139 from Agameofskill.com founder Rich Nilsen. The report includes analysis of all 20 starters in the Run for the Roses, along with wagering strategies for three different sized budgets. Each horse is rated as a contender, borderline exotic use, or a throwout.  Rich has not one but two longshots that he loves in the Derby.

Kentucky Derby 139 analysis

Click here for instant download

About the Author

Nilsen has worked the past 20 years in the equine industry, including managing a horse racing stable for 10 years.  During his long tenure at Brisnet.com and TwinSpires.com, Nilsen managed the successful Players’ Pool syndicate, which pooled funds from the account wagering members to go after large Pick-6 carryovers. The Players’ Pool produced a significant profit for the members over several 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.

Nilsen is one of the top participants in the history of the $2 Million National Handicapping Championship (NHC), having qualified 10 times. He was the first player, and one of only two, to finish in the top 10 at the NHC twice.

Get his in-depth KY Derby day analysis for only $6.97 – covers all 13 races

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BONUS: Full-card Selections for all 13 races at Churchill Downs, Saturday May 4, 2013. Includes two Best Bets on the undercard and two longshots for the Derby!

Kindle edition also available through Amazon.com!

Maker’s “Marvel” is AGameofSkill Claimer of the Week

Claimer of the Week at AGameofSkill.comThe versatile Major Marvel made it back-to-back wins with a runaway victory in the third race at Churchill Downs Friday afternoon. The 6 year old gelding is trained by Michael Maker. His victory at Churchill was by more than 6 lengths going a mile on the turf in the $10,000 starter event. Major Marvel was a couple of lengths back at the quarter pole but when asked by rider Miguel Mena, the son of Bernstein turned on the afterburners and embarrassed the competition. Major Marvel got the mile in 134.27 and paid $3.00 to his backers. Claimed for only $10,000 in April by owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Major Marvel has won in two different countries, on turf, on an all-weather surface and dirt. He has enjoyed victories around one and two turns. Major Marvel has 11 career victories and 18 in the money finishes from 37 career starts. His lifetime earnings now exceed $250,000.

— Art Parker

Off the Charts Trip Notes – AGameofSkill.com

Off the Charts Trip Notes spotlights horses throughout the country who encountered some type of significant trouble in their most recent start. Horses spotlighted in Off the Charts Trip Notes are never an automatic bet back, but rather runners to give a serious look at given the trouble spotted by our expert handicappers at AGameofSkill.com.  Horses below listed in date order.

At Arlington Park
Static Kill (Race 5, May 12 at AP; 6 furlongs). Third choice in wagering, field of 9. Checked just past ½ mile pole when competitor rushed up and came out in center of track. Raced well behind leading group drawing close in turn while under tight restraint, then had no place to go the entire stretch. Never had an opportunity for a fully extended run and was behind a wall of 7 horses at one point, from rail outward. Ran evenly the entire stretch.

At Presque Isle
No Contest (Race 3, May 15 at PID; 5 furlongs). Third choice in wagering, field of 10. Broke directly left toward the rail and was left behind. Move outward at ½ mile pole and moved further out entering the turn. Very wide throughout turn and was 8 wide at top of the stretch. Ran well in stretch and gained more than 2 lengths on leaders in last 1/8 mile without being pushed.

At Woodbine
Sisterdini (Race 5, May 16 at WO; 5 ½ furlongs). Sixth choice in field of 12. Had horrible debut start. The filly jumped slightly at start and appeared tangled in the gate. When she finally left the gate she was easily 6 lengths behind the back of the field and a dozen or so from the front. She went around horses entering the turn and then came back to the rail in the last portion of the turn. Moved outward toward track center when in stretch and had to hesitate slightly for racing room just past 3/16 pole. When straight she closed very well and barely missed third, seemed determined all the way in what was a very impressive run for a rookie.

At Churchill
Original Kitten (race 3, May 18 at CD, 1 mile 1/16 Turf). Second choice in field of seven. Moved out wide into first turn and forced out foe in process. Out of first turn she came back inside to rail and enjoyed an uneventful ground saving trip, under tight restraint, until the top of the stretch. Looked to move down on rail when entering stretched but cut off by leader and foe running second. Moved out for racing room but was cut off again and bumped by eventual winner. Did not shake free until last 100 yards and closed well to gain third.

At Belmont Park
Ibid (Race 3, May 20 at Bel, 6 furlongs). Debut runner was fourth choice in field of eight. Jumped up at start and into the left side of gate then forced to pull back slightly when shut off in the first 100 yards. She was cut off again and squeezed back a second time near the 5/8 pole then dropped back next to last with her effort showing inexperience. Once into the turn the filly rallied well while wide and moved into contention at the top of the stretch where she was seven wide and, at that point, tried to move inward bumping with a foe. Once free from interaction with opponents in center track she ran well to gain third. The race was a combination of bad luck and inexperience. She was more than a handful for her rider.

Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy featured on Spiral Stakes Day

The Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy, a division of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America, is among the two official named charities of the 2012 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway Park on March 24. Last year Animal Kingdom won the Vinery Spiral Stakes in his final prep before upsetting the Kentucky Derby.

The KRTC oversees chaplaincy programs at Turfway, Ellis Park, and Churchill Downs, and employs five full-time chaplains.

As an official named charity, KRTC will have a race named in its honor, and will receive matching gifts in the winner’s circle from Vinery and Turfway Park, in support of the Turfway chaplaincy. It will also be receiving cash donations, and auctioning a selection of premium artwork and electronics.

“What a great opportunity to showcase a wonderful ministry,” said KRTC president Pam Sears. Turfway’s chaplaincy has operated a successful food pantry and clothes closet for many years, as well as worship services and pastoral counseling for workers on the backside.

Turfway’s chaplain, Tom Farley, had a long and distinguished career before his recent retirement, his successor to be named in the coming months, according to RTCA director Paul Ransdell.

The other named charity of the Spiral Stakes is the Blue Grass Farms Charities.

For more information about the Kentucky Race Track Chaplaincy or to support this wonderful cause, go to www.kychaplaincy.org or contact RTCA’s National Service Center at (859) 410-7822.

Weather forecast for Breeders’ Cup

Churchill Downs had beautiful yet chilly weather this morning, but that quickly changed when heavy rains hit in the past few hours in Louisville, KY (SDF). However, the good news is that the weather will clear for Friday, ensuring a fast main track for both days of the Breeders’ Cup. The turf course drains well but will certainly have some “give” to it, although probably not as much as many of the Europeans are accustomed to. Overall, it looks as though conditions will be fair to all runners for Friday and Saturday.

One of the all time great racehorses has arrived for Breeders’ Cup

The Great Goldikova racehorseGOLDIKOVA (Ire) arrived last night in Louisville, Kentucky off her flight from Le Bourget Airport in France. The winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile the past three years over males will seek an unprecedented 4th win in the Breeders’ Cup. Due to the importance of this race, it has been moved to the final event before the featured Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday.

There is nine hours of television coverage on Friday and Saturday. Don’t miss a single moment.

Breeders’ Cup Wagering Manager Ken Kirchner

This is an insightful interview with my friend Ken Kirchner, who has managed the wagering and simulcast schedule for the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships for as long as I can remember.

“In 2000, the Breeders’ Cup was the first to add the pick four to the menu, and that’s now the most popular exotic bet in the country. We’ve experimented with head-to-head betting, future bets, jockey bets. We moved to reduce bet minimums, thereby giving more players the ability to cash in on the monster payouts offered every year at the Championships.”