Picks and Ponderings: 2018 Blue Grass Stakes and Ashland Stakes Preview

This weekend features the second to last Saturday of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks points preps, and they will run from coast to coast.  This piece focuses on the pair of points preps at Keeneland: the Ashland (G1) for the fillies, and a loaded renewal of the Blue Grass (G2) for open company.  Each offer 100-40-20-10 points toward their respective goal races, guaranteeing their winner a ticket to Louisville in May, and likely ensuring their second-place finishers berths as well.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of Saturday’s pair of three-year-old preps at Keeneland, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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”