Walk into your favorite OTB, track, or peruse your favorite signal at home doing a little betting. You’ll see some entertaining folks who bring you a little inside info. – Most tracks have gotten wise and try to reach new demos while entertaining the customers. You know what’s wrong with this picture ? – Not a darn thing. – When you see the smiling good looking people talking horses trying to reach through the glass. This may be one of the most important tools the track could do for the players. Here are a few of my favorites that catch my attention anytime they pop up.
Andy Serling / NYRA = Andy may be the best the sport has to offer. Once in a awhile you have to ignore some biting remarks, but the content is good as gold. I have watched “Talking Horses” and “Trips and Traps” where he is joined by a bevy of heavyweight handicappers who know how to bring the game to life: Richard Migliore, Travis Stone (odds-maker / track announcer), Anthony “Big A” Stabile, and Maggie Morley in the paddock bringing up-to-the second info about who looks good and why. – If you’re a Timeform US fan you have to love David Aragona’s words of wisdom as he’s a very good handicapper. In my opinion NYRA does it right, and many can learn what the fans want by pulling up a chair.
Ron Nicoletti / Gulfstream Park – Ron could have starred in your favorite Robert DeNiro movie, and has a smooth delivery that makes you feel like pulling up a chair and having a beer with this longtime ‘capper. His analysis is strong and pairing him with Acacia Courtney and paddock commentator Gabby Gaudet gives a fuller picture to make players feel they are right there in Hallandale Beach. – I love the paddock portion, as Ms. Gaudet has brought some really great insights to the table. – They make a great trifecta for handicapping selections, color and paddock info. – When track announcer Peter Aiello is on deck with Ron, play close attention to anything he has to say. A longtime handicapper who has a memory like an elephant. He never forgets a race, a bad trip, or a horse that didn’t look good. Be sure to turn up the sound for this announcer, as he’ll paint the picture and give one of the most accurate calls in racing.
Don Stevens / Delta Downs – Don is a very good handicapper, and the busiest man on social media. His presentation is smooth and chock full of great info. If you go to You Tube and take a look at Horseman Don you’ll see his selections, morning works, drone footage of the track, and promotion of racing in the most positive light. Many in racing could borrow a page from Don’s plan about reaching players. – By the way. He is one of the most underrated announcers in the sport, and doesn’t go over board with trying to outshine the horses. He is always on Facebook, and has even offered critiques and advice to announcers at other tracks. – (Thanks for your help, Don.)
These are just a few that jump out as top signals to pay attention. They bring the inside info every player would love to know. – Players with money make a few bets and hopefully do well. – Give the same players additional insight and inside perspective and you have the complete handicapper. – This is the stuff that all handicappers want, and is valued by new patrons and longtime players. – So don’t turn down the sound. Pay close attention as the “Talking Heads” have plenty you’ll want to hear.