Out of the Gate with ... Ellis Starr
Ellis Starr has been the national racing analyst for Equibase for the past 13 years and is based out of the company’s Lexington, Ky., office. One of Starr's passions is to work with groups and engage with fans at racetracks to demystify handicapping and betting. Starr also appears as a regular analyst on radio, including Horse Racing Radio Network.
Name: Ellis Starr
What I do for a living: National Racing Analyst for Equibase Co.
How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing: From as young as I can remember, my father and I frequented the tracks in California. I was lucky enough to see racing in its heyday and witness such greats as Ack Ack and Cougar II.
My favorite racetrack: Keeneland, with Del Mar a close second.
My favorite Thoroughbred racing event: Any day at the races where I am able to share my passion and experience with racing fans one on one or in groups.
Other sports/teams I follow: Curling during the Winter Olympics
What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred racing: More mentoring of fans of all levels to help them gain confidence and understand the nuances of handicapping and betting, which in turn would generate more handle.
What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing: Short fields (seven or less).
Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me: Gambling and socializing combined ("and" doesn't count, right?)
First Thoroughbred track I ever attended was: Hollywood Park
Favorite all-time Thoroughbred: A.P. Indy
My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing: When a fan came up to me after a seminar at Pleasanton (in Northern California) and told me that using my selections he made a score and put a new roof on his house.
Best racetrack food can be found at: Keeneland
My favorite jockey: Eddie Delahoussaye
My favorite trainer: Too many to name
My heroes: The late Dick Mitchell, who in my opinion was the Zig Ziglar of the racing world.
Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with: Jim Rome
My philosophy on life: Concentration, determination, discipline
Favorite quote or motto: Friends don't let friends bet chalk.
Favorite animal other than a horse: Great Dane (pretty close to a horse, though)
Favorite food: Street taco
Favorite vacation spot: Portugal
Favorite city: Lexington, Ky.
Favorite musician/band: Jethro Tull
Favorite all-time movie(s): “Transformers”
Favorite TV show: “Justified”
Favorite hotel: Baltimore Waterfront Marriott
Websites I visit daily: Equibase, Equidaily, Paulick Report
What I drive: Jeep Wrangler with the soft top up or down in the summer, hard top in the winter
Pet peeve: Any racing analyst that says the term “smart money.”
Favorite movie about horse racing: “Seabiscuit”
Which actor would play me in a movie: James Cromwell
Alma Mater: Loyola Marymount University
Favorite radio shows/channels: NPR
Best book I recently read: “Keeneland's Ted Bassett: My Life”
Favorite memento: Kentucky Colonel Certificate presented by the First Lady of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Jane Beshear
Favorite dessert: Apple cobbler
Favorite drink: Horchata
Favorite scent: Pina Colada
What I like about my job: Trying to crack the puzzle of various races daily
Favorite Tech gadget: iPad
Twitter handle: @Ubercapper
No. 1 Bucket-List item: Visit Saratoga