Well, is referenced anyway, in the awkwardly titled Dick Francis's Gamble by Felix Francis. After all, Dick Francis isn't gambling, is he? Perhaps this should be called G.P. Putnam Sons's Gamble on Dick Francis's Name. But I snark.
I saw it at the CostCo a couple of weeks ago and did not buy it (yay, me). It came in at the library very quickly, making me wonder if people fear the Francis brand has been diluted. But it reads like a Dick Francis, that's for sure, perhaps a hair off the usual Dick Francis, but all the elements are there: the racing connection, the person dropping dead on the first page, the self-contained protagonist caught up in it all. I'm enjoying it a lot.
Here's a teaser from the opening sentences:
"I was standing right next to Herb Kovak when he was murdered. Executed would have been a better word."
Doesn't that sound like a Dick Francis thriller to you?