I've been meaning to write up a post on the Horse Races NOW app and finally got around to it this morning. Several months ago I wrote about various horse racing centric mobile apps currently available, specifically the
Blood-Horse (not Blood-Horse! Sorry, Equibase) EquibaseYearbook, the Equibase Today's Racing app and the Racing Post app. The Blood-Horse Equibase app is one of the best out there if you are looking to review stakes action throughout the year. Not only can you pull up the results of every graded stakes race in the country, but you can also view the chart and a video race replay. The Equibase Today's Racing app is great for pulling up results and entries for a couple of days.
This past spring, trainer Ken McPeek and his wife Sue, in partnership with The Jockey Club Technology Services, launched an iPhone, iPod and iPad app, named Horse Races NOW, specifically geared to providing live video and odds. This represented a big change from the apps currently available as most only provided after-the-race data and not real-time information.
Some of the features of the Horse Races NOW app are:
- Overnight entries for upcoming races
- Streaming live video from participating racetracks
- Results and payoffs delivered quickly
- Race Replays from participating racetracks
- Select your Favorites - Racetracks, Horses, Trainers and Jockeys
- Push notification for each Favorite
- Search engine to find replays from participating racetracks.
Perhaps the best feature of the app are the race replays. Unlike other apps which generally only provide replays of stakes races, the Horse Races NOW app provides replays for all participating tracks. Want to watch a replay of the fourth race at Saratoga from last Sunday? Just touch "Replays", select Saratoga, choose the date and the race, and you're off and running. The race replays aren't just limited to a few days or weeks. I went into the Emerald Downs archive and pulled up a replay from August 15th, 2012, which is great if you like to take your Form and handicap away from home (like I do) and are able to still call up race replays.
For tracks that currently provide live video, Once more tracks are added to the Live Video sections,
Going forward, there are a couple of things I'd love to see added to this app that would make it picture perfect. Obviously, increasing the number of tracks that provide Live Video is a big part of the growth process. Additional video is already a stated goal of the app. Expanding the archive of results would be another huge feature. Currently, the app is limited to the last four days results. If the results archive could be expanded to match the replay archive, including pdf charts, the app would really be the perfect on-the-go handicapping tool.
If you're a i-whatever user, head to the iTunes app store and download the free Beta version of the Horse Races NOW app and give it a try. The app represents a huge move in the right direction for horse racing-centric apps and should only serve to "push the envelope" for bringing technology to horse racing.
The Horse Races NOW app is currently free but will eventually involve a minimal fee which, given the functionality of the app, would be well worth it if you're a player that relies heavily on mobile devices. There are plans to add an Android version in the near future.
Currently, the Horse Races NOW app includes the racetracks listed below, although not all of the tracks listed below offer live video. There are plans to add replays from the Magna tracks in the near future, according to a recent Tweet from Horse Races NOW
GOOD NEWS! We are soon adding replays of Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Pimlico, Portland Meadows, Laurel, and Golden Gate. Thanks Frank! :)— Horse Races NOW (@HorseRacesNOW) August 10, 2012
Lincoln Race Course
Lone Star Park
Sam Houston Park
Tampa Bay Downs
Will Rogers Downs