A Day at the Races: Tampa Bay Downs

Last week, I returned to one of my favourite tracks: Tampa Bay Downs.  Over at Brisnet, I talk about my trip in words and pictures.

The big races of the weekend were the graded stakes on Saturday, and you’ll certainly see the likes of McCraken and Isabella Sings here.  But, you’ll also see the other race days, the mornings, and the unique events that give Tampa Bay Downs its character.

Go see Tampa Bay Downs through my eyes — and then plan a trip there when you can, so you can see it through your own!

share pictures of the horses *you* know!

I love Instagram.

I shied away from it for a long time given my questionable photography skills, but finally gave it a shot in 2015.  Posting horse pictures there has been fun, as has looking at everyone else’s horse pictures.  Though my Twitter and Facebook pages are a little bit of everything, I’ve focused my Instagram to be completely horsey.  I post nothing but horse-related pictures on there.  My timeline abounds with racehorses, foals, and riding horses.  It’s my Internet happy place.

Still, there’s one thing on Instagram that makes my blood boil: accounts that take other people’s pictures and use blanket phrases like “photos not mine” or “credit to the photographer”.  No, that’s not evidence of permission, and that’s not proper credit.  There are plenty of pieces out there already about why stealing people’s photos and posting them without credit is not okay.  This won’t be a treatise on copyright law.

Instead, I will be positive.  If you are going to post on Instagram, focus on posting your own pictures.  Your pictures are you, and your pictures are enough.

Continue reading “share pictures of the horses *you* know!”

Picks and Ponderings: 2016 Claiming Crown Preview

Gulfstream opens Saturday, and we all know what that means: Claiming Crown Day!

I love the Claiming Crown — love, love, love the Claiming Crown.  As someone who spends so much of my time handicapping, following, and adoring claiming horses, I love that racing takes a day to put them on centre stage.

And, if you are coming into it from more of a wagering perspective?  The Claiming Crown features huge, well-matched fields.  There’s something in it for everyone.

In my latest piece for Picks and Ponderings, I preview the pair of turf routes, the Emerald and the Tiara.  In addition, I will have picks for all nine of Saturday’s stakes races at Gulfstream.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, and get ready for one of the best race days of the year: the Claiming Crown!

Chicago Railbird: 10.24.16

Jockey Julio Felix has been on fire through the first three weeks of the Hawthorne meet.  This week’s Chicago Railbird takes a look at his riding statistics so far, as well as a pair of the races in which he rides on Wednesday and Thursday.  We look at Wednesday’s 8th and Thursday’s 8th.  Both races drew big fields.  In one, Felix rides the top selection; in the other, he rides an interesting price horse.

Head over to ShapperDaCapper, read the latest Chicago Railbird, and get ready for another week of action at Hawthorne!

Chicago Railbird: 8.28.16

This Sunday’s Arlington 4th is a contentious and classy affair: a wide-open two-year-old maiden special weight going a mile on the grass.

The race drew a field of eight, and, an argument can be made for most of the field.  However, there is one horse who looks to have an experience edge and a pace edge — and who looks to be a playable price, to boot.

Head over to ShapperDaCapper, read the latest Chicago Railbird, and get ready for an exciting race at Arlington!

Picks and Ponderings: 2016 Travers Stakes Preview

This Saturday’s feature at Saratoga is a deserving one, even amid the Breeders’ Cup quality card: the Grade I Travers Stakes.

The Classic-distance race for three-year-olds drew a capacity field of fourteen.  The field includes two of the three Triple Crown race winners, the winners of both local preps, and a lot of horses who have been coming close against such illustrious company all spring and summer.  The Travers deserves its Grade I status, easily.

Over at Picks and Ponderings, we have analysis whether you like written words, video, or both.  I have full written analysis of my reasoning.  On video, Paul Mazur and I go horse-by-horse, since so many of the runners have a shot.

Let us help you get ready for the race of the summer.

Picks and Ponderings: 2016 United Nations Stakes Preview

In addition to covering the Iowa Festival, Picks and Ponderings also wanders to the Jersey Shore this weekend for the Grade I Man o’ War.

We see a few familiar faces from Arlington: 2015 American Derby winner World Approval, and 2015 Arlington Million entrant Triple Threat.  However, I like an always-dangerous graded stakes jockey with a live mount on his home turf.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of the United Nations Stakes, and let me know what you think in the comments.

Arlington full-card picks and analysis: 6.25.16

Arlington pulled together a solid card today.  In addition to the anchor race, the Grade III Chicago Handicap, the rest of the day features full fields and solid horses.  There’s a pair of maiden special weights, including one for two-year-olds.  There are several salty $25,000 claiming races.  Top to bottom, it should be a fun card, with some good betting opportunities.

Without further ado, let’s get into the card!

Best Bets:  Boom Box (race 5), You Bought Her (race 6)

Longshots of the Day:  Sacred Canyon (race 4), Event Of Default (race 8)

Continue reading “Arlington full-card picks and analysis: 6.25.16”

Hawthorne Selections: 1.1.16

It is just about post time, so the analysis is far briefer than usual, but for anyone who may have missed me on the Hawthorne pre-race show — these are my picks for today.  I’ll be on Twitter throughout the day; if you have any questions about individual horses, or my logic, send me a tweet at @rogueclown, or leave a comment here.

Good luck today!

Race 1: U S Fever (3), Itscoldoutsidebaby (1), Ya Mon (4)

Ya Mon rates for undersides, but as a 22nd-start maiden, has little appeal on top.

Race 2:  Lady Ice (2), War Facts (1), Fayreen (7)

Lady Ice and War Facts are my top two win choices by far.  There is a lot of speed, but if speed holds strongly, Fayreen looks the fastest early, and drops in class.

Race 3:  Betty Grables Legs (7), Henry’s Song (5), Shadow Valley (6)

This race has almost no dirt form of which to speak, and Betty Grables Legs has actually won twice on dirt.  Henry’s Song, at least, is first-time dirt.

Race 4:  Call Me Courageous (4), Be Good to Us (3), Dulcimer Sound (5)

Call Me Courageous showed good speed last out, making him particularly dangerous if sleed holds well.

Race 5: Devil and a Half (2), Lethal (6), Revelation Bowl (3)

This race has almost no speed on paper, making Devil and a Half a threat to wire this field.

Race 6: Shanghai Red (3), Superstar Leo (7), Western Elegance (2)

For my full analysis of this race, read the latest Chicago Railbird.

Race 7: Shame On the Night (5), My Moment (3), Lake Snow (7)

Shame On the Night has a lot of open wins in protected company at Fairmount, making her a clever condition book pick at a price.  Three Tootsies (4) will be the heavy favourite, but loves to finish second.  She is a key underneath in exotics, but has no appeal on the win end.

Race 8:  What’s In a Name (8), Legend In Time (2), Sing Kitty Sing (9)

Even with the scratch of Dennie’s Dream, there is still a lot of pace , and What’s In a Name stands to tuck in right behind and acatch them when they tire.  Morning line favourite Lydia’s Angel (6) is worth covering in any ticket that spreads here in a multi-race bet, but these top three appeal just as much, for better prices.

Chicago Railbird: 12.30.15

Wednesday’s card at Hawthorne features a mandatory payout of all jackpot pools.  In addition to the super high five carryover, there is also a carryover into the Pick 6 pool.

In the latest edition of Chicago Railbird, I look at a pair of races in Wednesday’s Pick 6 sequence — both of which have beatable chalk — and highlight strong options for beating them.

Head on over to ShapperDaCapper, read the latest Chicago Railbird, and get ready for the Pick 6 carryover tomorrow at Hawthorne!