HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - Handicapping horse races is no easy task, especially when you consider you’re dealing with an animal who has a mind of its own. Even those who do it for a living have their bad days.
Ellis Park has a good one though in Jimmy McNerney. If you’ve been to the races, then you’ve heard him many times, as he’s been the track announcer at Ellis Park for the past six years.
Over the last three years, McNerney has set the morning line odds for each day’s races. Now in addition to those duties, McNerney is also the track’s main race analyst - meaning he breaks down each race live on the simulcast telecast, which is seen nationwide at other tracks and off-track betting parlors.
McNerney basically grew up at Ellis Park, and this gives him a distinct advantage.
“Knowing the day-to-day activities of Ellis Park as well as I do gives me a little bit of an advantage,” McNerney said. “I grew up coming here. I know all the players, the horses and the trainers so well that race here. I know their angles, and I like to capitalize on that. Being up here with a bird’s eye view of the races, it gives me an advantage that a lot of other analysts don’t. Knowing the track surface, the little nuances of the track surface. When it gets really hot, or when it gets rainy or wet.”
Through Saturday’s races, McNerney says his top pick winners are hitting at a 39% clip, so he’s definitely one to listen to for handicapping advice.