Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings

All Eyes will be on California Chrome

All Eyes will be on California Chrome

Older Males

1. Game On Dude – He holds a head to head match up win over Will Take Charge and Mucho Macho Man so he assumes the top spot for now.  Most people are down on him for his second place effort in the Charles Town Classic, but I still think he ran well.

2. Will Take Charge – From a consistency standpoint he is well clear of the others so far this year.  He’s ran two winning type races when finishing second, and was able to redeem himself with a home track win last time out at Oaklawn.  Looks like he is on his way to another big year.

3. Wise Dan – Most of his big races are still to come so he’s third for now, but what a nice comeback race he had last time out at Keeneland.

4. Palace Malice – Already has two wins under his belt, with the last one being a monster effort in New Orleans.  Came back looking better than ever.

5. Mucho Macho Man – Dull performance at Santa Anita last time out, but he stays ranked out of respect.  Needs to pick it up if he wants to move past the monsters ahead of him.

Sleeper: Normandy Invasion – Obviously he’s come back strong, but he was beaten decisively by Palace Malice last time out.  Wouldn’t toss him out yet though…

Older Females

1. Beholder – Freak of nature!  Not sure if anyone can beat her in this division.

2. Close Hatches – Two very workman like performances at Oaklawn has me thinking she has progressed even further since last year.

3. Princess of Sylmar – Easy winner in her return race.  She’s one that is easy to root for considering she could have easily won the eclipse award last year.

4. Groupie Doll – I put her on here out of respect, and because some of the stars of last year haven’t started yet.  What a great career for this champion.

5. On Fire Baby – Ran two decent races to start the year, no disrespect in losing to Close Hatches…lets see if she can keep improving and stay healthy.

Sleeper: Dreaming of Julia – If she ever makes it back in good form we don’t know how good she could end up being…

3 Year Old Males

1. California Chrome – There is no doubting he’s the top horse in this bunch as of now…can he take his show on the road?

2. Hoppertunity – He’s improving at a rapid rate.  With one more progression he could be the best of the bunch.

3. Wicked Strong – He’s the “now” horse, but like California Chrome he also must prove he can take his show on the road.  Hasn’t ran well outside of New York.

4. Samraat – Yet to run a bad race.  Horse is talented and as steady as they come…pedigree in question for the Derby though.

5. Tapiture – Took a step backwards in the Arkansas Derby, but could see him rebounding.  The talent is there.

Sleeper: Kid Cruz – Quietly winning the smaller races for three-year olds, but could sneak up on a lot of people come Preakness time.

3 Year Old Females

1. Untapable – Cleary above and beyond anyone in this group by a wide margin.

2. My Miss Sophia – Her blowout wins of late make her the intriguing challenger to Untapable in the Oaks

3. Awesome Baby – Declared that she is not running in the Oaks, but still like her talent.

4. In Tune – Has progressed extremely well at Gulfstream, but can she run that well away from her home track?

5. Sugar Shock – Another that has gotten better with each race.  She’s a cut below the best at this point though.

Sleeper: She’s a Tiger – Never ran a bad race as a two-year old, but yet to see her this year.

Sprinters

1. Secret Circle – This division hasn’t heated up yet, but when it does he’ll be the top dog.

2. Goldencents – Haven’t seen him yet this year, but has already proven to be a monster at a mile.

3. Gentleman’s Bet – Another that is training forward for his 2014 debut.

4. Sahara Sky – Has found his stride after a slow start to 2013.

5. Wild Dude – This is a rising star in the division who has run three strong races in a row at Santa Anita.

Sleeper: Vicar’s In Trouble – He may be pointed to the Derby, but when they shorten him up he could really be something special.

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Cali Swag: A Tribute to the Handicap Division

With three months of the year gone there is no question what the most exciting division has been: The Older Male Handicap Division!  Today we’ve went back into our archive of photo’s from Mike Sekulic, and found pictures of the divisions four heavy hitters: Palace Malice, Mucho Macho Man, Game On Dude, and Will Take Charge.  Enjoy!

Cali Swag: Big Cap Day at Santa Anita

It was a massive day Saturday at Santa Anita, and of course Mike Sekulic was on had to capture all the action.  Here are his great shots of Big Cap Day!  Photo’s include: Game On Dude, Will Take Charge, California Chrome, and many more!  Enjoy!

Weekend SimplePlays™ Now Available

SimplePlays

Instead of having four tracks at a time, we have massively expanded to covering currently 16 tracks, with FREE picks available every day of the week!

However, given the massive overhaul, we now only offer SimplePlays™ on weekends and holidays. We also are offering SimplePlays™ each and every race day at Oaklawn Park and Fonner Park.

Here are your weekend SimplePlays™ featuring Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita Park and Aqueduct:

Saturday Cards

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for March 8, 2014 at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.

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Sunday Cards

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for March 9, 2014 at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

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Weekend Cards (Combined) 20% off!

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for March 8, 2014 at Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park.

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for March 9, 2014 at Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

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About SimplePlays™

Using the information created by our custom, systematic approach, we give you a product that shows exactly how and what the Dudes bet at the track. With SimplePlays™ you not only receive your traditional Win, Place, and Exacta wagers, but also suggested multi-race (Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Pick 6), Trifecta and Superfecta wagers for every race on the card!

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TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

Blinkers Off 063: Massive Weekend Stakes Action and Mailbag Podcast Released

Blinkers Off Logo2Blinkers Off has released a new episode!

Blinkers Off provides weekly insights into the world of horse racing including race selections and previews, handicapping methods and exclusive stories.

You can view all episodes of Blinkers Off by visiting our podcast page.

Blinkers Off 063: Massive Weekend Stakes Action and Mailbag – March 7, 2014

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview a huge weekend of racing including the Grade II San Felipe Stakes and Grade I Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita Park, the Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap at Gulfstream Park and the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby at Tampa Bay Downs; and reopen the mailbag to answer some listener questions.

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Cali Swag: Mucho Macho Man Preps for the Big Cap

Everyone knows we are huge Will Take Charge fans, but this Saturday it was Mucho Macho Man that was on public display at Santa Anita as he prepped for the Santa Anita Handicap.  Mike Sekulic was on hand to capture the public workout, and here are his awesome photo’s!

Blinkers Off 056: Weekend Stakes Action Podcast Released

Blinkers Off Logo2Blinkers Off has released a new episode!

Blinkers Off provides weekly insights into the world of horse racing including race selections and previews, handicapping methods and exclusive stories.

You can view all episodes of Blinkers Off by visiting our podcast page.

Blinkers Off 056: Weekend Stakes Action – January 16, 2014

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes talk some Mucho Macho Man and preview stakes racing at Santa Anita Park, Oaklawn Park and Fair Grounds Race Course.

[audio https://racingdudes.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/blinkers-off-056.mp3|titles=Blinkers Off 056: Weekend Stakes Action]

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

Racing Dudes Personal Favorite Top 5 Races of the Year

1. Will Take Charge and Oxbow finish 1-2 in the Rebel Stakes

2. Oxbow wins the Preakness Stakes

3. Photo Finish in the Breeders Cup Classic

4. Will Take Charge surges late to win the Travers

5. Wise Dan wins the Breeders Cup Mile

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Cali Swag: Pictures of the Year Part 1

Mike Sekulic has provided us with many great pictures over the course of the year.  Here a few we thought that were just too incredible to only post once!  Enjoy!

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The Top 15 Horses to Watch for in 2014

Beholder is Our Number One Horse to Watch for 2014

Beholder is Our Number One Horse to Watch for 2014

1. Beholder

This could be the new queen of racing!  She was always thought of as a superior race horse, but her smashing victory in the Breeders Cup Distaff has vaulted her to a whole other level.  Nothing captivated racing like the Zenyatta/Rachel Alexandra era, but racing could be bracing itself for a repeat of that in 2014 as Beholder and Princess of Sylmar look to become rivals.  The two have already dueled twice, with Princess of Sylmar taking the Kentucky Oaks and Beholder taking the before mentioned Breeders Cup Distaff.  As we head into the new year Beholder does hold a slight edge, but it’s not by much.  Look for her to sharpen up in California a few times, and then maybe she’ll travel east for a big showdown prior to what could be another classic race in the 2014 Breeders Cup Distaff.

2. Will Take Charge

If they gave out awards for “horse of the half-year” this would be the winner.  Will Take Charge has grown into his enormous frame, and has figured out exactly what he’s supposed to be doing out on the track.  His devastating stretch run is tough to hold off, and he’s already shown that he can run with his older rivals without any problem.  The scariest part about Will Take Charge…D Wayne Lukas has said from day one that he will only get better with age.  The ceiling could be unlimited for the this giant beast, and he will surely be put on a campaign that will make him Horse of the Year worthy.  As long as he is not retired to stud (there is a chance he might be) he will be the premier male of 2014.

3. Wise Dan

You can knock the connections all day long for their campaign of this horse, but Wise Dan is on the verge of becoming Horse of the Year for the second straight year.  That’s not mismanagement if you ask me!  However, there has been talk that they could point Wise Dan to more dirt races in 2014.  That should make all the haters happy, but you can put me in the “don’t care where you run” category.  I’m just thankful that they are bringing him back once again.  Sometimes it’s good to be a gelding!

4. New Year’s Day

Everyone is hyping Honor Code, but we shouldn’t forget about New Year’s Day.  He won the biggest two-year old race of the year over what was most likely the toughest field of the year.  He did take advantage of a nice trip while others had wide trips, but getting the victory is always the most important thing.  The horse has the right connections to get him to the Derby, and the pedigree is pretty strong.  He’ll be the number one horse in California heading into the ever important Santa Anita Meet.

5. Strong Mandate

We’ve all seen the resurgence of D Wayne Lukas as he’s guided Oxbow and Will Take Charge to major success this year, and now he has a legit prospect to kick off next year.  Keep in mind that this time last year Oxbow and Will Take Charge were just maiden winners, while Strong Mandate is already a Grade 1 winner.  We follow the Lukas horses closely, and this one might have more ability than any 3-year-old he’s taken to Oaklawn Park in recent memory.  You have to like that he has given the horse a little break before the Oaklawn meet begins, and you know he’ll give the horse every chance to make it to the Kentucky Derby.

6. Honor Code

The hype is HUGE for Honor Code, and he did a little to back it up when fighting back to take the Remsen Stakes last weekend.  I haven’t totally bought into him yet, but make no mistake…this horse will be the buzz horse of the winter and spring.  The breeding is impeccable, and as we saw last year he has the trainer that can win the big one.  He’s headed to Florida for the winter and will most likely resurface in he always competitive Gulfstream three-year old prep races.  He has the pedigree and the look, but does he have the talent to carry him to the top?

7. Princess of Sylmar

She was the sweetheart of 2013 for most of the year, but now is kind of being forgotten after her poor Breeders Cup Distaff effort.  The speed favoring track and tough campaign really stacked up against her in that race, so I don’t punish her at all for the poor effort.  On a fair track going a mile and one eighth she can definitely beat Beholder, and anyone else for that matter.

8. Cairo Prince

May have lost the Remsen by a nose, but he showed his class in that race.  The slow pace of the Remsen may have actually hurt his chance, as Honor Code was actually ahead of Cairo Prince down the back stretch.  Either way, the horse is gifted with a naturally high cruising speed, and can kick for home when given his cue.  Very capable of having a big year.

9. Palace Malice

Other than Will Take Charge, is there any one horse with as much upside at Palace Malice going into 2014?  The horse had a great summer, and while he came up short in the biggest races this fall, he still ran respectable.  Also like Will Take Charge, I think this horse can get even better as a four-year old.  He will probably be a force on the east coast.

10. Secret Circle

It took him a long time to recover from an injury sustained in his three-year old season, but boy did he come back firing!  In two races Secret Circle went from an after thought to the best sprinter in the country.  From day one you could tell this horse was best at a mile or less, and if he’s spotted correctly it’s hard to imagine him losing a race in 2014.  Yes I said it…

11. Mucho Macho Man

If only he could run at Santa Anita every time!  Over that track he’s proven to be hard to handle, but lets not sell him short when running at other tracks as well.  There is no doubt his 2013 season started off extremely slow, but when he gets to the top of his game he’s as good as anyone.  Look for a similar campaign as the last two years from him, as the main goal will obviously be the Breeders Cup Classic.

12. Game On Dude

It was nice to see Game On Dude run well in the Clark Handicap last weekend.  Both his fans and connections had to be let down by his second straight Breeders Cup Classic flop, and the race being on his home track makes it that much worse.  People can say what they want about him, but he still will be the dominant California older male in 2014.  It’s amazing that this gelding will be seven years old in 2014, yet he’ll still most likely be running at such a high level.

13. Goldencents

The bounce in the Cigar Mile was beyond predictable, but lets not forget about how good he can be…especially in California.  Anytime you have that kind of deadly early speed, you are dangerous over the Santa Anita track.  I expect him to stay at the mile distance range, and to rack up several wins in 2014.

14. Bobby’s Kitten

He didn’t run quite as well as we all hoped he would in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf, but his game third place effort still got my attention.  The pace he set that day was frantic so only getting beat a couple of lengths by two top class Euro invaders is very respectable.  It’s interesting that he got a lot of play in the Kentucky Derby future wager pool, even though the horse has never ran on dirt.  Perhaps that is something the Ramsey’s and Chad Brown will consider in 2014.

15. Close Hatches

The sleeper!  Everyone is raving about Beholder and Princess of Sylmar, but Close Hatches might just be the horse that sneaks up on us all.  Her resume speaks for itself: A two-time Grade 1 winner, a Grade 2 winner, and a two-time Grade 1 runner-up.  Pretty impressive, especially considering the lastest runner-up finish was in the Breeders Cup Distaff.  Add in the fact that she has a great trainer in Bill Mott….this one might have more upside than anyone.

The Next Ten: She’s a Tiger, Ria Antonia, Normandy Invasion, Vexed,  Shared Belief, Tapiture, Tiz the Truth, Flashback, Rise Up, Stopchargingmaria
Ten Sleepers: Gold Hawk, Unstoppable Colby, Unbridled Forever, My Miss Aurelia, Smack Smack, Grace of the Nile, Tap It Rich, Rosalind, Za Approval, Gentleman’s Bet

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