Weekend SimplePlays™ and Free PPs

Game On Dude looks to defend his title in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic.

Game On Dude looks to defend his title in the $1.5 million Charles Town Classic.

It’s Easter weekend so instead of offering a couple tracks for each day of the weekend, we decided we would blow it up and offer FOUR tracks all on Saturday!

Here are your weekend SimplePlays™ featuring Hawthorne, Charles TownAqueduct, and Gulfstream Park:

Saturday Cards

SimplePlays™ Single Day Cards for April 19, 2014 at Hawthorne, Charles Town, Aqueduct and Gulfstream Park.

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We also offer SimplePlays™ each and every race day at KeenelandPrairie Meadows and Fonner Park.

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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Free Past Performances


G3 Ben Ali S.

G3 Coolmore Lexington S.

Giant’s Causeway S.

Hawthorne Race Course

G3 Illinois Derby

Robert S. Molaro H.

G3 Sixty Sails H.

Third Chance H.

Charles Town Races

G2 Charles Town Classic

Robert Hilton Memorial


G2 Distaff H.

Calder Race Course

G3 Miami Mile H.

Pimlico Race Course

Federico Tesio S.

Henry S. Clark S.

Primonetta S.

Stormy Blues S.



Blinkers Off 035: Weekend at Saratoga and What to Watch 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 or Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed.


Blinkers Off 035: Weekend at Saratoga and What to Watch – August 8, 2013

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview the notable stakes races for the weekend at Saratoga Race Course, including the Fourstardave Handicap, and breakdown what they are most looking forward to this weekend.

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

The Highs and Lows of the Iowa Festival of Racing



If you’ve heard it once you’ve heard it a thousand times…horse racing is a game of highs and lows.  You also hear this same cliché when it comes to life.  This weekend in Iowa I don’t think it could have been on display any clearer…with both horse racing and life.  It was a roller coaster!  So many highlights, so much fun, yet at times sobering.  A story could be told about each aspect of horse racing: Trainers, Jockeys, Owners, Bettors and even on the Dudes’ end.  We’re here to tell it to you.

To start, you have to understand one thing: When it comes to racing in the state of Iowa, Maggi Moss is probably the most well known name over the last four or five years.  She calls Iowa her home, and she seldom travels outside the state to watch her horses run.  That’s probably why she brought her two super star horses, Delaunay and So Many Ways, to Iowa.  Neither one of her horses necessarily “fit” into the Festival, but she was doing Iowa racing fans a big favor by bringing them, and we all figured she’d be rewarded.  As the first race of the Festival drew near on Friday night, Moss had the locally based Lulu Wong in the Saylorville Stakes.  Lulu Wong looked like the winner turning for home, but hit the wall late in the race and faded to third.  It was a solid effort and probably one that had her encouraged.  Delaunay was up next!  The number one ranked sprinter in the world looked amazing in the paddock and was a heavy 1/5 favorite.  As the gates opened, Delaunay broke poorly but recovered nicely and looked to be the winner in mid stretch.  However, Gentleman’s Bet had other plans and was able to repel Delaunay’s strong bid and pulled away by more than a length.  This had to be a crushing blow.  Saturday started off bright as Moss recovered to win a low claimer early in the card, but So Many Ways was not able to hold off Fiftyshadesofhay in the Iowa Oaks and finished a well beaten third.  The “Maggi Moss Festival” was ruined.  Maggi will obviously recover, but the horse God’s had spoken.  Just because you might deserve to be rewarded doesn’t mean you’re going to when those gates open.

“Just because you might deserve to be rewarded

doesn’t mean you’re going to when those gates open.

The horse God’s were messing with jockey’s all weekend as well.  On Friday Robby Albarado was scheduled to ride Gentleman’s Bet and Ricardo Santana Jr. was set to ride Livi Makenzie.  But at post time, neither had arrived as both had flight troubles.  That left the mounts open for local jocks Israel Ocampo and David Mello, who took full advantage and picked up two wins with nice purses.  The big jockey draws of the Festival were Rosie Napravnik and Calvin Borel, although neither one were able to pick up victories.  For the most part the local jockey’s took the “shippers” to school, which begs a question my Dad always likes to ask: Are jockey’s from the local colony better equipped to win at tracks like Prairie Meadows over “top jockey” racing at the track for the first time?  California jock Martin Garcia was able to pick up a win on Saturday in the Iowa Derby and Santana did win the Cornhusker, but still the question is worth considering.

Kale's Kourage and Bashaar

Kale’s Kourage and Bashaar

From the trainers prospective, we simply must look through the eyes of our friend Kelly Von Hemel.  The local trainer had two horses running in the Festival and one running in a low claimer on Saturday.  On Friday he was all smiles prior to the start of the races and when his Iowa Bred Queen Lily Kay ran fourth in the Iowa Distaff he was still fairly happy.  She had ran a respectable race…just not quite good enough to win.  However the smile turned quickly, as the Queen had been pulled up on the far turn and was being attended to by the track vets.  She left the track in the horse van and several anxious hours passed before we heard the news that she looked to be ok.  Bullet dodged!  Saturday started great for Kelly, as his low claimer Handsome Yansom ran an incredible race rallying from last to first to win by almost eight lengths.  Then it was time for the big one…the “house” horse Kale’s Kourage was running in the Iowa Derby.  It was Kale’s first Stakes try, but the hopes were moderately high that he might run well.  However, Saturday wasn’t his night, as he failed to make much of a rally and finished sixth.  The highs and lows had hit again.

Betting wise this Dude had a great weekend!  Friday was very respectable and gave me a nice bankroll to start with on Saturday.  We got to the track early to try our hand at blackjack, and after three rounds, I had $20 more than I came with!  What a victory!  Now it was time for simulcasting.  Two win wagers later at Churchill and Penn National I was sitting pretty.  I had made my goal for the weekend before the Saturday night racing had began!  While doing a mini-celebration in the simulcast room and enjoying life, I see my wife out of the corner of my eye.  Looking defeated, she walked my way.  I’d seen this look before…blackjack had jumped up and bit her.  I hoped the loss wasn’t much…but I knew better.  I asked the dreaded question, “How Much?” and the answer was sobering.  All my horse profit had been lost…plus a little more.  Highs and lows…they weren’t stopping!

Finally, the highs and lows hit the Dudes’ group of four.  Things started so promising on Friday.  An awesome meal at Jethro’s and a great view of the races at table 306 thanks to the Von Hemel’s and Jake VanOort.  Good times with friends!  Then the races ended and we headed to the Motel 6 across the street from the track to check-in.  When I walked into the hotel I had a feeling things were going to go wrong.  While the hotel looks pretty nice on the outside, the inside lacked a little.  The room was what you expected from that level of hotel.  Not great but not too bad.  Then we used the sink…and soon there was a pond in the bathroom!  Front desk was called.  A guy in pajamas (yes pajamas) arrived with duck tape and towels.  Much to our surprise, he was unable to fix the leak… Shocking, right?  With a full hotel and no other rooms available, we decided a refund and to go somewhere else was the best option.  How hard would it be to find a room in Des Moines, Iowa?  Not hard right?  WRONG!  Two hours later we finally found rooms.  The Days Inn at Urbandale was a savior.  Although it wasn’t exactly the Marriott…it did the job!  We awoke Saturday feeling good and relaxed after a long night.  More great racing, hanging out with friends, and making new friends (thanks Zipse).  Unfortunately an after race illness of one of the racing dudettes (don’t worry she’s ok now) made for another very long night.  Our weekender at Iowa was great…and then it wasn’t….and then it was….and then it wasn’t!  I guess that’s horse racing…and life!

Iowa Festival of Racing: Saturday Preview

Fiftyshadesofhay Faces a Strong Iowa Oaks Field

Fiftyshadesofhay Faces a Strong Iowa Oaks Field

Iowa Oaks

Racing Dudes Pick: #10 Fiftyshadesofhay

Racing Dudes Value Play: #5 Gold Medal Dancer

Analysis: The Iowa Oaks may be the first stakes on the card Saturday, but it is the deepest field of the entire festival.  The headliners are Black Eyed Susan winner Fiftyshadesofhay (KY), and Eight Belles Stakes winner  So Many Ways (PA).  Both wins were impressive, but it’s significant to mention that Fiftyshadesofhay’s victory was round two turns, while So Many Ways win came in a sprint.  The mile and one sixteenth distance of this race could be the major factor separating the two.  Hitechnoweenie (KY) was the winner of the local prep, but will have to step her game up to compete with the top two.  Seaneen Girl (KY) ran in the extremely difficult Kentucky Oaks and finished ninth, but hasn’t had much success since.  The once promising two-year old has not come back quite as strong in her three-year old season.  The lightly raced Gold Medal Dancer (KY) comes in off a solid second in a Churchill allowance where she was beaten by Flashy American, who is an older horse that is favored in the Iowa Distaff on Friday.  The two other shippers coming in for the race are recent Churchill Downs maiden winner Plenty O’Toole (KY), and Presque Isle runner Cloudy Vow (KY).  Three local horses include Braseana (KY), Glorys Last Chance (KY), and Canticle (KY).  Out of those three Canticle has the best chance of winning as she is coming off a nice second place effort in the Panthers Stakes last time out.

Our Double Play Comes Back to Iowa Looking for Another Win

Our Double Play Comes Back to Iowa Looking for Another Win

Iowa Derby

Racing Dudes Pick: #4 Betweenhereandcool

Racing Dudes Value Play: #2 Kale’s Kourage

Analysis: This years Iowa Derby is definitely filled with “up and coming” horses.  Three horses come into this race on two race winning streaks and the other four have at least hit the board in stakes races in the past.  The Bob Baffert trained Manando (KY) actually has been made the morning line favorite, but he probably hasn’t shown enough to warrant favoritism.  He’s just two for nine lifetime, and doesn’t have a great track record in stakes races. Trainer Kenny McPeek brings back Our Double Play (KY) who won the local prep race for this.  The colt is steadily improving, but has never won a race past one mile.  Bashaar (KY) was second to Our Double Play in the Prairie Mile, but made a huge closing move on a track that favored speed.  The added distance should really be to his liking, and the colt has started to hit his stride since winning back to back races at Oaklawn.  Speaking of hitting their stride, Betweenhereandcool (KY) comes in off back to back wins at Oaklawn Park and Churchill Downs.  The Steve Asmussen trainee seems primed and ready for his first stakes try.  Kale’s Kourage (FL) comes in as the local favorite (and Racing Dudes favorite) for this race, and has won two allowance races in a row.  The colt has shown steady improvement and development over the winter and spring, and looks to be ready to step up into stakes competition.  Looking Cool (KY), who finished second in the Northern Spur at Oaklawn two races back, and Stormdriver (LA) finish out the field of seven.

Former Iowa Derby Winner Prayer for Relief Back to Capture the Cornhusker

Former Iowa Derby Winner Prayer for Relief Back to Capture the Cornhusker

Cornhusker Handicap

Racing Dudes Pick: #5 Prayer For Relief

Racing Dudes Value Play: #6 Taptowne

Analysis: Last year this race was won by Fort Larned, who  went on to win the Breeders Cup Classic in an incredible performance just four months later.  Successful Dan was also in that race, which made for an entertaining showdown.  This year looks to be another showdown between two horses, although the quality might not be as strong.  Prayer for Relief (KY) and Silver Max (KY) look to be the standouts in this one.  Silver Max has done most of his work on the turf, but surprisingly he was a huge ten length winner on the dirt last time out.  Prayer for Relief was the winner of the 2011 Iowa Derby, but is winless in his last twelve starts.  However, he has had two solid second place efforts in Grade 3 races to start this year.  If you are looking for value Taptowne (KY) could be your best bet.  He’s never won a race of this magnitude, but he was a solid second in the Oaklawn Handicap earlier this season.  Nicklaus Way (KY) will be making his stakes debut, but this could be a nice spot for him to try.  Red Lead (FL) has been around for what seems like forever, but is only one for nine over the Prairie Meadows oval.  He ran in the Cornhusker in 2010 and 2011, but a sixth place effort was his best finish.  Tiz Ready (KY) is the lone local horse in the field, and is the longest shot on the morning line at 20-1.


Iowa Festival of Racing: Friday Preview

Beat the Blues Returns to Prairie Meadows

Beat the Blues Returns to Prairie Meadows

Saylorville Stakes

Racing Dudes Pick: #5 Beat The Blues

Racing Dudes Value Play: #3 Lulu Wong

Analysis: The Saylorville Stakes will kick off the Iowa Racing Festival Friday night, and has drawn a solid field of six.  Beat the Blues (FL) is the obvious favorite for the race as she comes off a determined stakes score at Churchill Downs last time out.  The six-year-old mare also won this race in 2011 so she has proven she can handle the track as well as racing under the lights.  Her main challengers could also be Churchill Downs shippers.  Livi Makenzie (KY) won an allowance at Churchill Downs last time out impressively, and her trainer Ron Moquett has been hot as of late.  Devious Intent (KY) ran second to Livi Makenzie in that same allowance race, and will have Rosie Napravnik aboard.  If you like the locals, Lulu Wong (KY) is your horse.  She won the local prep for this race, and her Owner/Trainer/Jockey combination all are atop the standings at Prairie Meadows for this meeting.  This will be a class test for Lulu Wong, but it never hurts to know she’ll be coming out of her home base for this one.  Long shots Second Street City (KY) and Denali Dreamscape (KY) will round out the field.

Queen Lily Kay gets Shot Against Open Company

Queen Lily Kay gets Shot Against Open Company

Iowa Distaff Stakes

Racing Dudes Pick: #7 Queen Lily Kay

Racing Dudes Value Play: #4 Cruzette

Analysis: The Iowa Distaff could be lacking in star power, but this field of seven is about as evenly matched as it gets.  The morning line favorite is Flashy American (KY), who ships in for Kenny McPeek.  McPeek has already had success in stakes races at Prairie Meadows this year, as he won both the Prairie Mile and Panther Stakes earlier in the month.  Flashy American comes in from Churchill Downs, where she dominated her rivals in an allowance race last time out.  Queen Lilly Kay (IA) was also dominant in her race last race, as she easily defeated Iowa Bred company going this same distance of ground.  She has won against open company in the past, but this will be her first open stakes race.  The second (Lava Girl (KY)), third (Miss Hockaday (KY)), and fifth (Itsabeautifulthing (KY)) place finishers from the Wild Rose Stakes are back to run in this one, as well a local three-year old in Cruzette (KY).  Out of those four, Cruzette might be the horse that is in best form.  Rounding out the field is the second choice  on the morning line, Magic Hour (KY), who hasn’t run since winning a small stakes at Tampa Bay in March.  If she’s in good form, she could have a say in the outcome.

"Fastest Horse in the World" Delaunay Comes to Iowa

“Fastest Horse in the World” Delaunay Comes to Iowa

Iowa Sprint Handicap

Racing Dudes Pick: #3 Delaunay

Racing Dudes Value Play: #2 Gentleman’s Bet

Analysis: Maggi Moss is bringing her super star to Iowa!  Delaunay (MD) is the number one ranked sprinter in the country, and has won six races in a row!  His latest victory was a romp at Churchill Downs in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on Kentucky Derby day.  He will be a single on many people’s tickets.  Gentlemen’s Bet (FL) will be Delaunay’s biggest challenger.  Like many we’ve talked about in this preview, Gentleman’s Bet also comes in off a BIG Churchill Downs performance in an allowance race.  The horse is four for five lifetime, with his lone loss coming at the hoofs of the classy Justin Phillip in the Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park.  With the talent and speed of these two horses we could see quite a show this Friday night!  Sticking with the theme of Churchill Downs shippers will be Jasizzle (KY) who just missed winning a Stakes last time out as he lost by a head to Scatman.  Two locals, Credit Report (KY) and City Sage (FL), fill out the field of five.

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

Blinkers Off 026: Belmont Stakes Preview 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, blogtalkradio or Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed.


Blinkers Off 026: Belmont Stakes Preview – June 6, 2013

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes breakdown the 145th Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park and make selections for all the graded undercard stakes races. Play   Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

Blinkers Off 025: Stakes Previews and Divisional Rankings 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, blogtalkradio or Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed.


Blinkers Off 025: Stakes Previews and Divisional Rankings – May 30, 2013

The Thoroughbred Racing Dudes preview the notable stakes races for the weekend and review the “Racing Dudes Divisional Rankings”. Play   Blinkers Off | Blog Talk Radio Feed

TwinSpires Million Road to Derby Showdown

5 Tips on Betting the Small Tracks

I’ve been made fun of a time or two for my enjoyment of betting tracks like Prairie Meadows and Remington Park, but the fact is both of those tracks are highly successful and enjoyable for me.  Betting small tracks differ from large ones, and you must adjust your game a little to be successful.  Here are five tips that I’ve picked up on that you might think about when betting the “hidden jewels” of racing.

Know Your Trainers and Jockey’s

This is without a doubt the most important aspect of betting a small race track.  Most times there is a certain jockey or trainer that stands out above the others.  Make sure you look closely at the trainer and jockey’s standings, and then bet accordingly.  No matter what type of race, or what kind of odds are on the board, don’t be afraid to bet these trainers and jockey’s. Here are just few examples of trainers and jockeys to watch for at certain tracks: Continue reading

Mamie Eisenhower and John Wayne Stakes Preview

Mamie Eisenhower

Likely Winners:

#3 Someplace Else (IA) – It’s pretty hard to go against her in this spot.  She’s already beaten almost every horse in the field at one point or another, and looks to be in fine form this year.  She ran extremely well in her season debut in March at Oaklawn Park, where she finished second in a tough allowance race.  Her other start this year was here at Prairie Meadows where she defeated Sakakawea, who had only lost one time in nine starts at Prairie Meadows.  Leading Prairie Meadows jockey Terry Thompson was aboard for both of those starts, and returns to ride in this race as well.  All signs point to a victory. Continue reading