writing

A selection of my best work over the years is available on my Best Of page.  This includes writing here at Blinkers Off, as well as elsewhere.


In addition to Blinkers Off, there are several other places where I write regularly, mainly about Chicago-area racing.

Starting with the 2014 Arlington racing season, I am a co-author at Picks and Ponderings on ChicagoNow.  Along with founder Paul Mazur, we focus on racing going on at Hawthorne Race Course and Arlington Park.  In addition to the blog, we also jointly maintain a Twitter account at @picksponderings, where we post news updates, paddock notes, and race results.

I am the Illinois racing analyst at shapperdacapper.com.  My column, Chicago Railbird, appears there twice a week during the Chicago thoroughbred racing season, and once a week during the off-season.  During the season I write analysis of races going on locally, focusing on specific connections to watch on the circuit, and spot plays in light of those connections.  During the off-season, Chicago Railbird branches out into historical and pedigree topics.  The archive of my columns can be found in the Illinois racing section on shapperdacapper.com.

I also write weekly on the blog at The Tournament Edge.  My topics there range from handicapping strategies and contest plays to looks at major contenders on stakes days in Chicago.  I have also branched into doing some live video content there, doing Arlington Million Periscope broadcasts both from morning works and from the paddock on race day.

I also write the Chicago Contest Corner column on the DerbyWars blog at Horse Racing Nation.  Once a week, when DerbyWars is running contests at Chicag0-based tracks, I zero in on the most interesting contest plays: both Sure Survivors for more cautious players, and Promising Prices for those looking to take a swing.


In addition to these regular pieces my writing has also been published on other horse racing sites.  Some are specifically focused on handicapping particular races; others are focused on particular horses or racing related stories:

  • All Day Racing
  • America’s Best Racing
    • Turf vs. Tech Handicapping Challenge: On March 15, 2014, I represented the technology professionals against Lee Davis, one of the cast members of the TV show Horseplayers.  I provided picks and short explanations for three of the stakes races that day, and mine were the more profitable set of picks in the contest.
  • And Down The Stretch They Come
    • Fanshot – Will Take Charge Should Race As A Four-Year-Old: The title of this is self-explanatory; it was prompted by the rumblings after the 2013 Clark Handicap that Will Take Charge may go to stud.
    • Fanshot – Thank You, Mandy Pope: a response to Mandy Pope’s decision to run Groupie Doll in the 2013 Cigar Mile, after having bought her as a broodmare prospect.
  • Danonymous Racing
    • Jockey Journals — Santo Sanjur:  I interviewed jockey Santo Sanjur about how he became a jockey, how he made his way to Chicago, and what it’s like being an apprentice.
    • Why We Love This Game: This was the first longer-form piece I wrote about horse racing.  It’s a few words on how I got into this crazy, beautiful sport in the first place…or the second place…or the fifth.
    • Who Do Ya Like?: On several occasions over the last two years, I have contributed as a guest handicapper.
      • On April 13, 2014, I contributed my picks and analysis for the full card.  This was my first time having my picks up on Danonymous Racing.
      • On April 19, 2014, Illinois Derby Day, I wrote picks and analysis for the biggest day of the Hawthorne spring meet.
      • On May 24, 2014, Arlington Matron day, I contributed picks and analysis for the full Arlington park card.
      • On June 21, 2014, Lincoln Heritage day, I contributed picks and analysis for the full card at Arlington Park.
      • On July 14, 2014, Arlington Million Preview Day, I wrote full-card picks and analysis for Arlington Park.
      • On August 16, 2014, I contributed a full-card writeup for Arlington Million day.
      • On November 15, 2014, I contributed a full-card writeup for the first day of the Hawthorne fall stakes season.
      • On November 29, 2014, Hawthorne Gold Cup Day, I wrote full-card picks and analysis for Hawthorne Race Course.
      • On January 3, 2015, I contributed full-card picks and analysis for the final day of the Hawthorne fall racing meet.
      • On February 21, 2015, I wrote full-card picks and analysis for Saturday of the opening weekend of the Hawthorne spring meet.
      • On July 11, 2015, I wrote full-card selections and analysis for Million Preview Day at Arlington Park.
      • On August 15, 2015, Danonymous Racing featured my full-card Arlington Million Day selections and analysis.
      • On October 3, 2015, I previewed the card for Saturday of Hawthorne’s opening weekend at Danonymous Racing.
      • On November 28, 2015, Danonymous Racing featured my analysis of the Hawthorne Gold Cup Day card.
      • On January 2, 2016, my full-card selections and analysis for Hawthorne’s closing-day card were published at Danonymous Racing.
      • On March 12, 2016, Danonymous Racing featured my full-card Hawthorne selections and analysis for Saturday of opening weekend.
  • Getting Ready to Go
  • The Final Wager
    • Fact Primer: Parimutuel Wagering: Leading into the Kentucky Derby in 2015, Keith Williams and I collaborated on a crash course in how parimutuel wagering works, aimed at people who enjoy trivia but were not yet exposed to how betting the races works.
  • Past the Grandstand
  • Outsports
    • Fanshot – Did You Wear a Big Hat? – Some preconceived notions about who would fit into the sport of horse racing made getting involved scary — but I’m glad I took the risk.
  • TwinSpires Blog
    • How to Handicap the Super High 5 at Hawthorne: My look at the 8th race at Hawthorne on Wednesday, December 30, for which there was a $294K High Five carryover and a mandatory payout.  In addition to writing this preview, I also served on the handicapping panel for the TwinSpires players’ pool.

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