Kentucky Derby Day!

The Derby is upon is, and I've got picks and analysis! Over at Picks and Ponderings, I join Paul Mazur and Chris Hernandez to discuss every horse in the field: our picks, our tosses, and everyone in between. For more detailed analysis with an eye to pace, read my piece at ShapperDaCapper. My picks have... Continue Reading →

Pace and the 2016 Kentucky Derby

Though the Kentucky Derby won't be drawn until Wednesday, it's not too early to start looking at the likely pace scenario. With twenty horses in the field, all three-year-olds young enough to still develop, it will not be cut-and-dried.  But, we have enough information to identify which horses will likely play certain roles, and which... Continue Reading →

Thursday: Derby talk with Dane and Ben!

This Thursday morning at 9:05am Central, tune into the Dane and Ben Show on Sports Town Chicago! Thursday is a perfect time for Kentucky Derby talk: the draw will be over, and my picks will be finalized.  I did Triple Crown race segments with Dane and Ben last year as well, and they were a... Continue Reading →

an early showdown!

Last year, nestled between the Golden Rod Stakes (GII) and the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (GII), Churchill Downs carded an allowance-optional.  It was an N1X for two-year-olds, going a one-turn mile on the dirt. Dortmund came.  Dortmund saw.  Dortmund conquered.  Dortmund proved a force on the Derby trail. This year, Churchill carded the same sort... Continue Reading →

our chapter

eleven names have always hearkened back to what the books of history have said mute tones of sepia and white and black accented with blue checks or devil’s red illuminated manuscripts of old bring illustrated tales of hero steeds though yellowed leaves fall short of making bold the full extent of witnessing those deeds our... Continue Reading →

Kentucky Derby Day!

Two weeks ago, I went to the Kentucky Derby with Candice. It was my first trip to the Derby (though not my first to Churchill Downs), and my first to any Triple Crown race.  It was a bit different than I expected, mainly because I am so used to being a railbird, and yet general... Continue Reading →

Kentucky Derby Day: all the information!

After months of preps and excitement, the Kentucky Derby is finally here! Kentucky Derby Roundtable: Paul Mazur, Chris Hernandez, and I go horse by horse through the Derby field, and separate the contenders from the pretenders. Detailed Derby Discussion: I go into the horses I like in the Derby in a bit longer form.  This... Continue Reading →

in-depth Kentucky Derby analysis

Derby fever has set in...and has even caused Chicago Railbird to fly (at least figuratively) south to Kentucky for the weekend! In the first of my two columns at ShapperDaCapper this week, I take a deep dive into the Kentucky Derby.  I split the horses into tiers, explain why I like the horses I like,... Continue Reading →

Picks and Ponderings: 2015 Kentucky Derby Preview

Historically, Picks and Ponderings has done a point-counterpoint for the Kentucky Derby, with Paul Mazur and Chris Hernandez duking it out over the Derby field.  However, since I joined Picks and Ponderings in the time since the last Derby, that point-counterpoint has become a roundtable. A few horses we agree on.  Others, less so.  However,... Continue Reading →

The Final Wager: Parimutuel Wagering

Part of the reason I got so deeply into horse racing is the trivia aspect.  Being able to remember little details about horses, their pedigrees, and their races makes the sport fun. In light of that, I am excited to announce that I collaborated with Keith Williams of The Final Wager on the latest Fact... Continue Reading →

Blinkers Off talks Derby on the radio!

Got Derby fever?  I can't cure it, but I can enable it. Tune into Sports Town Chicago this Thursday (April 30) at 9:05 am Central.  I will be a guest on the Dane and Ben Show, and they will be interviewing me about my handicapping insights and picks for Saturday's Kentucky Derby. The station streams... Continue Reading →

Keen Ice: he’s in!

I have been following Keen Ice since before he debuted.  He finished fourth in his first race, a five and a half furlong maiden race at Ellis.  He was well-beaten that day, and starting to run late.  I hardly worried, though.  Curlin babies tend to develop with age, and five and a half furlongs seemed... Continue Reading →

Chicago Railbird: 1.16.15

Not often does an Illinois-bred horse make it to the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby.  The last time a horse bred in the state even made it into the starting gate on the first Saturday in May was in 1989.  That year, Western Playboy won the Jim Beam (now Spiral) Stakes (GII) and the... Continue Reading →

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