Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: San Gabriel, CA
Best Women Handicappers
top 25 in order:
1. Joanne Jones-HRTV Analyst: How do I describe her. Um, she is like horse racing's best female handicapper and analyst ever! She could really handicap a race and she could beat a favorite as well. She could lead the way for people that want to learn from her. She's really like the best HRTV has aside from the boys on HRTV. This girl has handicapped and has been on like almost all the network television networks and she's like considered as a veteran television broadcaster. She even worked on the backside as a foreman and exercise rider for Jack Van Berg. She could really teach you how handicap races well. She has appeared on New York City OTB, FOX Sports Net, FOX Sports Midwest, SKY Channel in Australia and TVG. She was the first woman on the West Coast to do television commentary at a racetrack when she worked at Hollywood Park. In addition to that paddock role at Hollywood Park, she also appeared on FOX Sports Net West's show "Hollywood Live."She has also had paddock roles for a number of prominent race meetings through the years, including: Gulfstream Park, as she also served as hostess of their replay show, Fairplex Park, Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Lone Star Park. Joanne has done numerous radio shows since the 80's and then did seminars from coast to coast and attracting women to racing is something near and dear to Joanne's heart. In addition, Jones has served as speaker for a number of racing-related seminars in recent years, and is the creator, and host, for "Track Diva Day," a special event to educate and enlighten women on the nuances of Thoroughbred racing, which debuted in 2000. She's literally like the best ever and she's a pioneer for women in broadcasting!
2. Christina Olivares-TVG Host/Reporter: She sure could lead TVG the way as it's best racing analyst they have male or female. She could do serious interviewing and handicapping. She has the pedigree to prove that because she's the daughter of a jockey. She's really like one of the best young female racing analyst right now. She has a very bright future and she certainly is due to leave one day because she's weigh over qualified and smart for this job on TVG and smarter than these clowns on the network. Don't be surprised if one day she lands on a local news channel. Because during a TVG community interview she said that she's always wanted to do TV News someday if she hadn't been involved in horse racing, and plus her degree from USC is in news. It's too bad HRTV couldn't see how good she really was when she was first starting out her career. She was like used as a reporter for it's Santa Anita races and a producer for it's shows. HRTV must of not token her seriously and are probably Amy Zimmerman the head boss for the HRTV commentators is probably hitting herself in the head thinking what a mistake they made by not paying any attention to her knowledge. Bottom line is she is a true inspiration for young people who want to be on broadcast television as well.
3. Carolyn Conley-HRTV Host: She's really smart when it comes handicapping the races and presents a broadcast. She used to be a groom in Spokane, Washington as a good and was an exercise rider for numerous California connections in the 90's before moving onto the television scene. Began her television career at Santa Anita covering it's big feature races for Fox Sports Net and also worked for it's in-house feed too. She was involved in several shows on Fox Sports Net like Santa Anita Live, Santa Anita Today, Inside Santa Anita and the Best of Santa Anita. She was fixture their for 6 years. She was also a fixture on Fox Sports' regional coverage of it's NTRA Champions on Fox. She then spent summers at Monmouth Park as a hostess of it's replay and paddock shows while the replay show was on Fox Sports New York. After Monmouth, she disappeared from the racing scene for a while but eventually came back to horse racing in the fall of 06 and it was great to see her back. When I first saw her back it was on a Pursuit of the Cup feature but at first I thought it was an old feature from one of the Santa Anita shows that HRTV often show but when I saw her anchoring on the desk I was like wow it's so great to have her back in horse racing and certainly it was a few years since we've seen her.
4. Caton Bredar-HRTV/ESPN Analyst/Reporter and Radio Handicapper: She is a veteran horse racing analyst in this industry and has been a fixture on racing television for two decades now and is considered horse racing's best female network analyst. Has a background on the backside and has a trainer's license as well. Made her television debut as the track analyst at Arlington Park in the late 80's when the new Arlington International re-opened. Continued to serve as simulcast host for several racetracks throughout the 90's like Gulfstream, Hileah, Calder, Monmouth, Atlantic City, and the Meadowlands. While her successful run in the 90's, she began making her network television debut on ESPN as its racing reporter on it's 1992 Caesars International broadcast and for the next 6 years served as ESPN's leading racing reporter and analyst. She continued to become known as racing's best analyst on television at the time before TVG and HRTV came around was also part of FOX Sports Net and Fox Sports' national and regional coverage of the NTRA Champions on FOX series, which lasted three years from 1998 to 2001, and CBS Sports' NTRA Summer Racing Tour Series. Then in 1999, she had already established herself as a true horse racing analyst for big racing telecasts and elsewhere, so she decided to leave behind her simulcast gigs and ESPN gig to become and help launch a new racing network called TVG Network. Whom the next 5 years she served as the lead anchor/analyst for the network and was anchoring in and out of the studio traveling like everywhere. After 2004, she started making Louisville a permanent home for her as she started doing local news and was like a full-time news anchor for like 3 straight years until freelancing for a bit but don't know if she still contributes or not to Wave 3 because now she's back for good on its big racing telecasts, but during her brief hiatus from racing televison would be like semi-involved by working as a freelance national handicapper for the Chicago-Sun Times and contributes still since 2005 to Siruis Radio's Down The Stretch where she talks about the big stakes races of the day which is on Saturdays. Though hadn't really contributed to racing telecasts since leaving TVG back in 2004 she returned to the horse racing telecasts but on rival network HRTV to serve as it's on-site reporter and it was great to see her back on racing television because she is a veteran and hadn't really been involved in racing telecasts since back in 05 covering the Dubai World Cup feed. Also back in 07 came back to ESPN/ABC to serve as its racing reporter on horse-back during its Breeders Cup and Triple Crown coverage and still continues doing it though ESPN hasn't really been a friend to racing after like 06 or 07. It's really good to see her back to where she belongs as racing's veteran television personality that we know and love dearly. Also, because she is a legend and a pioneer among women in television broadcasting of horse racing. This is where she belongs in horse racing broadcasting!
5. Jill Byrne-Churchill Downs Handicapper/HRTV Analyst/Reporter: I kind of picture her as like a Kentucky person than in general a elsewhere person. Although, I do find her to be a great acclaim racing analyst for horse racing television. She comes from a racing family and her dad was a trainer. She was an exercise rider for her dad and Scotty Schulhoffer. During that time when she worked for Scotty, she met her future husband trainer Patrick Byrne whom she married and had a child. She served as an assistant trainer for him for several years and was around nice horses like Countess Diana, Favorite Trick and Awesome Again. Those were some certainly very nice horses. She began to do some television work for TVG back in 2001 serving as like Jeff Lifson's helper during the 2001 Kentucky Derby week and would like report on who would do good and who would not do good in the mornings leading to Derby 2001. She thought Monarchos looked the best and guess what the horse won and was chosen again to serve as Jeff Lifson's helper again during 2001 Breeders Cup week and made TVG a good impression by saying Tiznow was the best Breeders Cup horse out of all the contenders leading up to BC races and the horse won and TVG was so impressed that they wanted to use Jill full-time but she wanted to go part-time because her husband Pat still needed her help at the time so she would only be used for it's on-site events only. During that time, she did radio for Fox Louisville as it's handicapper. But in 2004, TVG offered her a full-time deal to make more appearances and make in-studio appearances as well and she took it probably because the Pat Byrne barn was starting to maybe slow down a bit. She was really like TVG's leading analyst and had knowledge as well and really knew her stuff as well. But one thing negative is she tends to be on the chalk too much but I feel that she's more consistent at Keeneland when she analyzes a race because that's the best racetrack to make money at and she has had some good winners there in the past. She was on TVG for 8 years and was like it's lead analyst and reporter. She in 2008 became Churchill Downs' Paddock Analyst and had been filling in for the old paddock host for the past 4 years and was even writing down her selections for the website the past few years too. In 2009, she joined Churchill Downs on a full-time basis to serve as it's Director of On-Air Communications and continued her television assignment too at Churchill Downs. With her assignments at the racetrack, she had to give up her TVG role and switch over to rival network HRTV to serve as it's leading on-site reporter although her appearances are like only when their at the CDI racetracks that's the only time you get to see her on HRTV. She also contributes to CDI's websites as well for their big events too. So Jill whether she's reporting primarily in Kentucky or outside of their she certainly is the key for handicapping races.
6. Jessica Pacheco-Arlington/Gulfstream Analyst: She's the best regional horse racing analyst we have right now. She's currently the racing analyst at both Gulfstream Park and at Arlington Park. Tries to always take a stand against the favorite and it would work it out perfectly. Hope that TVG or HRTV have her on a plane to California so she could work there full-time she'll be fine. Started off her horse racing television career as it's paddock analyst at Louisiana Downs back in 06 but it was very unnoticing because the track she worked for a few seasons for is a track that doesn't really attract too much attention but she was a very fine handicapper at Louisiana Downs. After her first season at Louisiana Downs, she went to spend the winter up at the Fair Grounds and that's when she was like recognized finally and finally people took her seriously and people were like so impressed with her that they thought she'd be going big time pretty soon. She did serve as an internet reporter for Kentucky Derby.com during Derby week 2007 before going for her summertime role at Louisiana Downs. After her second season at the Fair Grounds, Arlington Park gave her the paddock role in 2008 and has had that role since and even became a more known name in horse racing. After Arlington Park, ESPN/ABC decided to give her job during the 2008 Breeders Cup when it was at Santa Anita. I thought ESPN made the right move by putting her on the anchor desk with the two stupidest handicappers on ESPN like Kenny Mayne and Hank Goldberg. I really Jessica should teach the ESPN horse racing team how it works to handicap a race. On Day 1 of it's broadcast, she was at the table with Hank and Kenny. Could not get a word in edgewise with those two and seemed very uncomfortable. Hank would not even look at her when she was talking You Could tell Kenny was also not uncomfortable either. Only silly thing I found from her was trying to beat the great Zenyatta with Carriage Trail in the Ladies Classic but Zenyatta wasn't well known yet at the time so we will forgive her for that. So on Day 2 of it's coverage, Jessica was removed from the table and placed near the paddock to give her insights. In the first BC race on Saturday, she gave out 2 longshots. One of them was Desert Code, which paid $75 to win. After that race was over, nobody in the telecast said anything about her mentioning the horse as a longshot play. Furthermore, no mention of her was made after that, nor was she seen on the telecast again until the end of the day. In contrast, when Hank would hit one of his exacta boxes of the favorites, it was mentioned numerous times. Was very much baloney and Jessica was probably not satisfied the way she was treated for ESPN's coverage team or in general. That's probably ESPN hasn't called her back because she probably wasn't pleased with the treatment she got or the appearances as well. Very immature of ESPN to do that. NBC Sports gave her a guest appearance during the 2010 Wood Memorial broadcast and was fantastic as well should have been used more but NBC didn't realize it but it was just a one time deal most likely. Didn't go for a 5th season at the Fair Grounds because I heard that she demanded more money from the track but couldn't come up with a deal so she left her wintertime role their and became the new racing analyst up at Gulfstream Park and did a fine job there as she always does. Though hasn't really had a shot to be on a major network or cable channel full-time she could really be great to work their full time!
7. Mary Rampellini-Daily Racing Form Handicapper/Reporter: Usually spends the winter in Hot Springs, Ark., and in the spring in Grand Prairie, Texas, covering Oaklawn Park and Lone Star Park as well as major stakes at other tracks in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. In the summer, she's at Louisiana Downs and in the fall at Remington Park. Love to read her articles and her analysis of the races from Oaklawn, Lone Star, Louisiana Downs and Remington Park. Her work is very well done and has been doing it for 15 years. I think she's like one of the smartest women in racing handicapping.
8. Lauren Stitch-Radio/Pedigree Handicapper: Well, if you're planning on skipping a madien race well you don't need to because Lauren will help you out with pedigrees and how the sire and dam of the horse will do first time out. The emergence of The Racing Times lured Stich back to racing, where she wrote a daily pedigree column, "Today's Two Year Olds." After the untimely demise of The Racing Times, Stich continued her column for the Staten Island Advance, and began freelancing for Thoroughbred Racing Action and American Turf Monthly. She also wrote "The Pedigree Page" and authored the foreward and a chapter in "Handicapping in Cyberspace - The Horseplayer's Complete Guide to the Internet," edited by George Kaywood. Stich also wrote a chapter, "Stich on Pedigrees", in "Bet With The Best", and the best-selling "Pedigree Handicapping," published by the Daily Racing Form, considered the authoritative work on the subject. Her chapter in her most recent book, "Bet With the Best 2: Longshots", centers on the hidden turf (HT) factor, a term she coined to highlight overlays in grass races. Stich was a pedigree analyst on Sportschannel's nightly show, "Thoroughbred Racing Action" hosted by Harvey Pack, and became a regular guest on the New York Racing Association's "Paddock Show" with Mary Ryan. She also co-hosted a weekly Thoroughbred radio show from New York City, "Turf Talk", with racetrack announcer Larry Lederman and Peter Parella. Relocating to Las Vegas in 1997, Stich uses her knowledge of pedigrees as a handicapping tool. Stich wrote two weekly columns for Daily Racing Form called "Pedigree Handicapping," for 10 years. In addition, Stich continues to freelance for various industry publications such as American Turf Monthly, and also writes pedigree handicapping selections for todaysracingdigest.com. Stich is the pedigree analyst and commentator on the "Thoroughbred Digest" Radio Show hosted by Jay Privman and "Race Day Las Vegas" Radio Show (KSHP-1400 AM) hosted by Ralph Siraco. She has presented seminars at Belmont Park, Saratoga, Del Mar, Gulfstream Park, Hollywood Park as well as Ballys Las Vegas and the Reno Hilton.
9. Jeannine Edwards-ESPN Reporter: She's basically known as horse racing's best network reporter who has been covering the sport for ESPN and has been there for 16 years and has been involved in racing television for 18 years. She certainly knows her stuff pretty well but the network ESPN/ABC hasn't really been a good friend to horse racing since like 06 or 07 and horse racing has like hardly been shown on the network since last year's Breeders Cup and that's the only time ESPN will show horse racing. She has like basically moved on to cover other sports now like doing sideline reporting for college football and basketball as well as contributing to some of ESPN's shows as a fill-in host and does contribute to ESPN's Sports Center to cover other sports but does file breaking horse racing reports and was covering the Triple Crown this year for Sports Center. She still remains a good friend to horse racing and though that's her primary sport to cover and that's why she was with ESPN in the first place to be ESPN's leading horse racing reporter until ESPN stopped being a good friend to ESPN. Prior to being with ESPN, she had jobs on the backside like being an exercise rider, jockey, trainer and assistant trainer so she basically had every job on the backside. She turned to television in 1993 to become the paddock host for 9 years at both Laurel Park and Pimlico while still working for ESPN at the same time and was also briefly in 2003 a TVG reporter part-time primarily involved in their on-location work. Joined ESPN in 1995 when horse racing at the time was like the main focus of ESPN at the time for like a decade until a decade later ESPN just stopped being so enthusiastically into horse racing. When ESPN would have all the on-air talent make a selection for a race she would know what she would say and would know her stuff pretty well but ESPN stopped making the on-air talent making a selection for a race but she certainly knows how to analyze a race pretty well all in all.
10. Donna Barton Brothers-NBC/TVG Reporter/Analyst: She was once a jockey that came so close to being the first woman to win the Breeders Cup. Certainly her knowledge of handicapping and reporting is good. She's currently like horse racing's only network reporter covering the sport for a major television network until Breeders Cup comes back to ESPN. After her retirement as a jockey, she got married to trainer Frank Brothers and tried out television work. First as a TV host/interviewer at the Fair Grounds, she made a good impression on Churchill Downs that they wanted to put her on their television feed predicting winners for each race at Churchill Downs back in 99. TVG also wanted put her on as a location reporter for both Churchill Downs and the Fair Grounds which would last 3 years. NBC caught their eye on her and wanted to put her on horse-back for it's Breeders Cup and Triple Crown coverage and has had a key role in their horse racing telecasts since 2000. She came back to TVG to serve as it's Kentucky reporter and analyst back in 09 when Jill Byrne left the network to work for CD full-time and Donna could certainly handicap and analyze a race pretty good as well. I find her to be a fine interviewer that knows how to ask questions on horse-back and her jobs seems like it's pretty stressful in general.
11. Katie Mikolay-Fair Grounds/Presque Isle Downs Handicapper: I must say when she first came in she was just primarily as an interviewer for a show called "Horsin Around TV" on the Comcast Network in Chicago before it got cancelled and switched over to the handicapping scene as Hawthorne's racing analyst. She was terrible in her first season back in 06 and then back in 07 I heard that her picks were scripted and being done for her while still taking handicapping lessons probably. When she went to Presque Isle Downs to serve as it's racing analyst she was picking her own horses and her analysis were decent and fine but Hawthorne was still treating her as if she didn't know nothing so that's probably why she left her Hawthorne role after 4 years their. But she still has her Presque Isle Downs role since it opened in 2007. Took on a bigger role in 2010 to serve as the Fair Grounds' racing analyst and she was fine doing it and she looked comfortable and was even writing down her analysis too during the meet so that was great to see her doing that role and knowing what she was talking about as well.
12. Molly Jo Rosen-Radio Handicapper: She's a smart and knowledgeable handicapper that's on the radio on the weekends and certainly is trusted as a simulcast radio expert. She was a production assistant for TVG Network. She moved then to Louisville for college, where she was offered a job with the Churchill Downs clockers for the 2003 Fall Meet. Since then she has had gigs: Churchill's Corporate Communications intern (2004), Tour Director for Three Chimneys Farm (2005), TVG's Racing Information Coordinator (2006), Manager of Racing Operations for Puglisi Racing (2008-2009), etc… People may have heard her on radio in Louisville on "Kentucky Winner's Circle" or in Del Mar on "Race & Sports Radio." I've also commentated for WAVE-3 in Louisville and sideline reported for VerizonFios1 in New York. Now her current focus/job is on handicapping the Kentucky and New York circuits, plus hosting Post Parade with The Filly & The Clocker heard racedays.
13. Becky Witzman-HRTV Analyst: She has always had a passion for horse racing all her life and even worked alongside hall of fame trainer Richard Mandella. She's worked for him at first during the Del Mar meets as a hotwalker because she was going to school at Arizona in their Racetrack Industry Program their where she has a degree in Animal Sciences and minored in Business Management. After graduating, she moved to California to work full-time for Richard as a stable foreman to assistant trainer. Prior, to going College, she had worked at Canterbury Park at their food stands. Going back to working on the backside, she worked with horses and was around horses like Redattore, Dare and Go, Siphon, Gentlemen, Kudos, Desert, Halfbridled, Action This Day, The Tin Man, Minister Eric, Siphonizer, Johar, and Pleasantly Perfect to name a few. She left the Mandella barn to start a new career as a broadcast analyst for HRTV. Maybe she was tired of getting up early in the mornings toward the end of her run with Mandella as an assistant trainer but she does a fine job on HRTV. She really knows how to report and analyze a race. She has the past 3 to 4 years been behind the scenes working on HRTV's morning show "Race Day America" as their producer to prove facts and interviews. She's like semi-involved on-camera but she's smart whenever she's on.
14. Renee Kierans-Woodbine/TVG Analyst: She's been covering the races at Woodbine for a decade but has been there for 12 years but first two years were with the harness racing side but eventually it was the thoroughbred side up at Woodbine. She's pretty good handicapper for someone who trains race horses and pretty good huh.
15. Elissa Blowe-Fort Erie Analyst: She was well known for being Woodbine's racing analyst for 5 years before joining last year Fort Erie full-time. She had Woodbine's approval to do the Fort Erie gig on her days off back in 06 when Woodbine wasn't running. Before joining last year Fort Erie daily and has said it's no trouble to come up to Fort Erie during her days offs from Woodbine. Reason why she left Woodbine was because she became the marketing manager at Fort Erie full-time besides serving as the TV host. She's pretty much smart at what she does and really knows her stuff pretty well.
16. Dawn Lupul-Woodbine/TVG Analyst: Took over Elissa's role last year and was mainly a harness racing handicapper mainly but now is a thoroughbred handicapper. Although Dawn is no stranger to thoroughbred racing, she was fill-in at Woodbine the past few years before joining full-time last year and did serve as the track handicapper at both breeds of thoroughbreds and harness at Northlands Park. She's fine with her knowledge of handicapping thoroughbreds and seems like she's been doing it forever as well even though her background is harness racing.
17. Nancy McMichael-Mountaineer Handicapper: She's probably one of the smartest handicappers around and has been the paddock host at Mountaineer for 11 years with her and her sidekick Mark. Her sidekick talks more than she does and when talks she really knows what she is talking about. Prior to her TV work, she was a trainer there for 7 years until moving to the TV side. Bottom line is she is a very smart handicapper who is low key!
18. Jeanne Wood-New York City OTB Handicapper: Jeanne began riding and working with horses as a child. She became interested in racing after seeing Secretariat in a morning workout at Saratoga. When hired by City OTB in 1998. When hired by Capital OTB in 1998, she had over 25 years of hands on experience with horses and bringings that perspective to handicapping. Since taking the position, Jeanne has hosted handicapping seminars, served as a panelist for the National Museum of Racing and worked to encourage participation in racing by young people.
19. Alyssa Ali-Arlington/HRTV Reporter: She certainly is a young girl with a fresh face who has a bright future for entertainment stuff and shows. But comes from a horse racing family though. She was kind of like a fill-in at Arlington prior to being like it's Entertainment Reporter back in 09 and they had this girl (Lauren Massarella) who tried to be a racing reporter but failed to do so just good with entertainment so they like let her go and replaced her with this girl. This girl's knowledge of racing was okay but did stumble a few times but was still good enough to be trusted. She was hired to serve as Gulfstream Park's television reporter and analyst for it's meet. Her handicapping in the beginning weren't that great but began to improve her knowledge and handicapping toward the end of her run at Gulfstream. Her interviews were great and could definitely ask a question perfectly. Her interviews began to appear on HRTV and the network even gave her a job to appear as it's leading reporter in the paddock for Kentucky Derby week 2010 and to serve as it's backside reporter for it's Pursuit of the Crown. Did a great job at reporting the races and came back to Arlington Park to serve now as it's racing reporter for select races to do interviews and storylines on the races. Even filled in for Jessica Pacheco the regular analyst when she would be absent and did great analyzing the races so yes her knowledge has improved a bit but too bad couldn't go for season two up at Gulfstream but maybe because now she's Arlington Park's Promotions Coordinator now and is full-time basis job but still contributes to the television role on both in-house and HRTV still and her knowledge is getting better each time she comes on.
20. Maggie Wolfendale-NYRA Reporter: She comes from a racing family from Maryland was the former 2008 Miss Preakness winner pageant who has always wanted to be in horse racing broadcasting. She started off her television career working as a reporter for the 2008 Preakness in her University she went to, to cover the Preakness of 2008. She started her racing televison debut as a racing analyst at Colonial Downs in 2009 and had the role for a few seasons and I must say that she was awful when she was opening up the intro saying we have a full field of six or four in a race and it was like wow!! How big of field it was like not!! She back in the fall of last year she was hired by NYRA to serve as its paddock reporter and analyst and she has improved with her analysis a bit bit she will get better with her race analysis of a race.
21. Jessica Paquette-Suffolk Downs Handicapper: Has been at Suffolk Downs for seven years. She knows what she's talking about when I ever pay attention to the track.
22. Inez Karlsson-Hawthorne Handicapper: She was good at handicapping the races at Hawthorne this year (2011). Hopefully she'll comeback for the fall but I heard once she comes back from maternity leave she may comeback as a jockey. But hope she pursues a career in broadcasting because she seems to know her stuff pretty well. I think jockeys really know what they'e saying because they staratigize how they win before a race, look at replays to see what kinds of mistakes they make too so that's why Inez seemed to know what she was saying.
23. Margo Flynn-Tampa Bay Downs Analyst: She's just a worker at Tampa Bay Downs year round as the marketing manager and TV host at the track. She does fine as it's handicapper and prior to being at tampa she worked at rockingham park as it's paddock host.
24. Crystal Leriger-Northlands Park Handicapper: Don't really know too much about her but when I would pay attention to her seems like she's smart and knowledgeable. So yes she's a good handicapper but her work there is unnoticeable because that racetrack never really gets attention.
25. Angela Hermann-Canterbury Park Analyst: Feel bad for her because Canterbury Park right now is closed and hope the problem will be solved soon. I've heard her a few times analyzing a race and she seemed like she was doing it forever. Tough I don't follow the track she works at or the other tracks she's worked at in the past, she seems like she could be a decent enough racing analyst. She previously worked at bush tracks like Lincoln state fair park and at Columbus agriculture racetrack.