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New Esquire Network Series “Horseplayers”

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  • New Esquire Network Series “Horseplayers”

    Horseplayers, a new docuseries for the Esquire Network, will feature successful handicappers on their quest to reach the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) in January 2014 in Las Vegas. The series is being produced for Esquire Network by Go Go Luckey, who also produced the popular reality series Jockeys, and begins filming this weekend at the Belmont Park Handicapping Challenge at Belmont Park in New York.

    Horseplayers travels the country as the handicappers crisscross North America betting on Thoroughbreds at some the world’s most iconic racetracks, while competing to earn a spot at the NHC in Las Vegas. Following shooting at the three Triple Crown events and this weekend’s tournament at Belmont Park, Horseplayers is scheduled to be on location at handicapping tournaments at Monmouth Park, Del Mar, Saratoga, Woodbine, Arlington Park, Keeneland, Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park, before concluding at the NHC in Las Vegas.

  • #2
    Looks like a winner to me!


    • #3
      Popular image of a horse player

      Be careful of what you wish for. You may get it.


      • #4
        "Esquire Network" ? Never heard of it before. Is it on many cable systems?


        • #5

          Esquire Network will debut on Monday, September 23, 2013, it was announced today. The network will kick off primetime with a two-hour special that commemorates Esquire magazine’s landmark 80th anniversary, timed to coincide with the October debut of the magazine’s anniversary issue. The original ESQUIRE 80TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL (working title) will look back at the social, political and cultural forces that shaped our lives over the last eight decades – told through the lens of the magazine, its stories, images and covers.


          • #6


            As previously mentioned, the Esquire Network is new. It will be debuting on September-23rd. It's a creation of NBCUniversal, and will be replacing the G-4 Network.

            The target demographic is men, but not necessarily young men.

            I had to chuckle when I read an article from Variety that contained this sentence:
            "There’s a sizable contingent that sees Esquire’s appeal as broadest among guys who are pretty well worn."

            Well-worn! That's certainly an apt description for most Horse-Players.

            In my case, Worn-Out might be even more accurate.


            • #7
              Well, those of you familiar with Esquire magazine better hope they don't give any of those horseplayers their dreaded "Darwin Awards."


              • #8
                OK G-4 I get that one. It's one if the ones I hide (nothing worth watching), I'll have to unhide it come Sept.


                • #9
                  I heard an interview on HRN with Keith Chamblin on Saturday. From what he is saying NBC is putting "millions" behind this show and have contracted with a few past winners of the NHC including John Conte (he should be fun to watch) and Boychek (sp) along with other "good" handicappers on their pursuit of the holy grail. I think he said that they would be following somethink like nine handicappers. While that may have been a good idea, particularly when Barbaro was one of the horses, when they followed five or six contenders on the Derby trail as part of the First Saturday in May, trying to find the one guy who will pull down the top prize in Vegas next January is certainly not as certain. There will be something like 13 shows that will run on a weekly basis with the show starting towards the end of December. Thus, it will be completed after the NHC is held. Nonetheless, it should be fun to watch, even for those of us who are basically boycotting the thing.

                  Come on HTR folks - let us know if you are one of the "lucky 9".


                  • #10
                    Did he say millions of WHAT was being invested? Surely not $$.....


                    • #11
                      i don't know what else NBC would be investing other than bucks but maybe Chamblin was referring to contestants - who knows?


                      • #12
                        We are as anxious as anyone to see this new production be a great success. Any successful program highlighting a sport we love will be welcomed. We wish them nothing but success.

                        I am assuming (which you should never do) that this is the same group that contacted Bryan back in March. He was asked to do an interview via Skype for what was possibly a new production about horseplayers and NHC. I must say Bryan was initially thinking he was contacted because he has had success in tournaments and Tour. He was excited about the possibility of the publicity for tournaments and the horseplayers. He is always extremely supportive of my participation and past success in what he got me into after we met. Therefore he asked person calling if I was being contacted. (He was either called at his office or cell, do not remember) He informed person that called him his wife was a horseplayer and involved in handicapping contests. They agreed to interview both of us via Skpye for whatever they were looking for although it would be a brief 10-15 minute interview. (we were not given lots of details) When Bryan told me about this I was not as impressed as he. First of all I told him we did not have the glitz, glamour, personalities, looks, etc that a program like this wanted. Also, I must say I was not thrilled the interview was scheduled during a very busy time for me as Racing Commissioners International was in New Orleans for their annual meeting during this time. When my registration fee was paid for this not only did I feel an obligation to attend, I find these meetings interesting, informative and beneficial. We had our brief interview with someone that had what I thought was a set of "canned questions". We did not feel we were speaking with a person that was a horseracing fan or horseplayer. Interviewer was gracious, thanked us for our time and said he would pass the tape along. That was it except I did ask if some of the players I know that are long time horseplayers were being interviewed. I was told they were not sure. It was acknowledged that the filming that was very prominent at BCBC at Santa Anita last November with Christian Hellmers was possibly part of this project. I would imagine he will be a player in this production. I specifically asked if a friend that has won back to back high profile tournaments was being interviewed and I was told they did not know. A couple of weeks later I saw him and asked him. He was never contacted. (He is a highly successful handsome professional that has a young family to support. I would have thought he would have been a perfect candidate for this. The fact his day job is not a handicapper may not have fit the profile of characters they were seeking.)

                        As I mentioned before I wish nothing but success for this series. I welcome any and all positive showcasing of our great sport. But as Richard Goodall said when he won NHC, we all want to win but when we know we are out of it we wish success for our horseplayer friends. I hope to see familiar faces and horseplayer friends in the upcoming productions.



                        • #13
                          Sounds like it has the potential to be an interesting show.

                          From a horseplayers perspective solely, I am hoping that they keep it as true-to-life as possible.

                          However, many of the reality shows I have seen tend to seem "overscripted", introducing manufactured-drama into the equation. This may end up frustrating some of us purists, but the networks have had some past successes in broadening the appeal and generating interest in some other "micro-niche" activities (bidding on adandoned storage lockers, repossessing cars, catching fish with your hands, etc.). This could turn out to be a not-so-bad thing.

                          I don't think I will be able to watch it as broadcast however, this will definitely be a DVR event for me, as I'm pretty certain that the inevitable array of Cialis, angry Wilford Brimley and Alex Trebek Colonial Penn commercials will render real-time viewing intolerable.
                          Last edited by MVM; 27 June 2013, 08:00.36 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MVM View Post

                            I don't think I will be able to watch it as broadcast however, this will definitely be a DVR event for me, as I'm pretty certain that the inevitable array of Cialis, angry Wilford Brimley and Alex Trebek Colonial Penn commercials will render real-time viewing intolerable.
                            LOL Mike.
                            Dan G
                            "I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars: I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over." ~ Warren Buffett


                            • #15
                              The film crew was present for the Belmont Summer Handicapping contest. They spent the entire two days filming John Conte, Mike Beychok, Christian Hellmers, and a few others that I did not recognize (all sitting in a special reserved area). The cameras were capturing them literally screaming at the monitors as they rooted their picks home.

                              I've never thought that watching horseplayers watch races qualifies as "must see TV". Horseplayers at contests isn't great third party entertainment in my view. However, any exposure is something more than we have currently, so I won't begrudge it too much. Watching them film the screaming, I felt like the whole thing was a contrived mess much like a lot of reality TV. I didn't see any of their names in the cashing range when it was all said and done so I'm not sure what the nonsense was about other than playing it up for affect. Maybe someone in the group that I am not familiar with finished in the Top 10....