los angeles, ca. saratoga springs, ny. living the horse racing lifestyle…giddy up.

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#CiaratogaPicks: Betting #TheRematch on a Budget

Saturday’s Grade 2, $500,000 San Antonio Stakes marks the long-anticipated rematch between California Chrome and Shared Belief at Santa Anita Park. The 1 ⅛-mile race will be featured on The Jockey Club Tour on Fox Sports 1 broadcast beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET.

This will be the first race for both Chrome and Shared Belief in 2015, with their last meeting ending in defeat for both of them behind Bayern in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic. There’s no denying that these horses have had a great deal of success in their careers thus far, making this an exciting race to watch but also a fun challenge to handicap. Let’s take a closer look at this impressive field to see if we can find ourselves a winning ticket on budget.

Reigning Horse of the Year California Chrome has captivated the entire horse racing industry and beyond with his incredible career. The 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness victor won six out of nine starts in 2014, with his last win on turf in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar in late November. He has shown versatility with stakes wins on turf, synthetic and dirt surfaces, and his confidence continues to grow. Chrome runs with finesse and I feel he will relish the surface on Saturday. Unless Victor Espinoza and Chrome have a bad break, I would find it hard to believe he doesn’t finish in the money.

Shared Belief on paper and on track is quite the horse and provides great competition for California Chrome. With an almost flawless career, Shared Belief won 5 out of 6 starts in 2014. His only defeat was the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic in which he had a troubled start but still managed to finish fourth. Shared Belief is very fast. His last win in December’s Grade 1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita Park earned a speed figure of 114 on dirt going seven furlongs.

Jockey Mike Smith has once again taken the mount on Shared Belief, and knowing Smith’s riding style he will most likely conserve Shared Belief’s speed until the very end and make an impressive finish. I’d be silly not to add him into my play for the day.

Could Hoppertunity come in for an upset? Bob Baffert’s former 2014 Kentucky Derby hopeful has been making a steady comeback since his layoff after a foot injury. Hoppertunity had won his last two starts, the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs in November and, most recently, the Grade 2 San Pasqual on Jan. 10 at Santa Anita. Those two races may have prepared him well to go off at this distance in the San Antonio. I may key Hoppertunity in a few bets along with Chrome and Shared Belief.

This race will be bet heavily and making money can be a challenge if you just play the favorites, but here are a few ways that I would play the San Antonio on a budget. Giddy up and good luck!

Ciaratoga’s Picks:
#8 California Chrome, # 5 Shared Belief, #1 Hoppertunity
Pick A: $5 trifecta: 1,8 with 1,5,8 with 1,5,8 = $20
Pick B: $10 win/show on #1 = $20
Pick C: $10 exacta box: 5,8 = $20


Giddy up and Good Luck!
/ xo, Ci /

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#CiaratogaStyle: Mid-Week Romp

I’m having one of those days where my outfit just magically came together… and has completely taken over my life. I’m feeling pretty good on this Wednesday cause I whipped out what I will now lovingly refer to as the “Freakum Romper” from out of the closet.

There are ton of reasons why I love this outfit choice for the day. The number one reason I adore it is because the main pieces to this ensemble I didn’t find in a store, but rather inside of my friends closets. I snagged this black Forever 21 romper for about $15 from my girlfriend Catherine who was selling some unworn items from her closet, and this awesome statement necklace from my friend Sharla who was looking to give some great accessories to a new home for $Free.99. #ThanksLadies…Happy to take these off of your hands.


#CiaratogaStyle: Mid-Week Romp – Romper; Boots –

#CiaratogaStyle: Mid-Week Romp

Not going to lie, Rompers are an acquired look that can be a challenge for some to pull off. If the one piece isn’t designed appropriately to fit your shape – you can end up feeling pretty uncomfortable or just not liking the style. In my case I usually end up feeling incredibly chunky from a certain angle, or spend the day trying to avoid appearing like I have a huge wedgie. To be honest, I think that happens to anyone wearing a “onesie.” Size is of the most importance, and once you find one that fits – just buy it…and save it for a night out or a cloudy day.

This black romper is the latest to join my collection thanks to Catherine – who was even awesome enough to hand deliver the outfit to me herself during the middle of her day a few weeks back. I have two other romper short sets, and two romper pant sets – they are all different and if you’d like, I’d be happy to blog about them in the future.


#CiaratogaStyle: Mid-Week Romp – Romper; Boots –

What’s not to love about this. I never wear the color black, so that alone made me feel a little edgy. The plunging neckline is also mirrored in the back of the romper with a nice size opening. I wore a bra that had a simple yet sexy lace print because the back of the Romper as well as the sleeves are a bit sheer – so sassy.


#CiaratogaStyle: Mid-Week Romp – Romper; Boots –

This necklace, though!? I think that my girl Sharla could easily open an online boutique or kiosk at the track to sell all of the awesome hats and accessories that she no longer wanted to hold on to. The other week Sharla hosted a happy hour gathering where she set up a lovely display of hats, necklaces, and other accessories and ladies were able to grab pieces that they wanted while drinking champagne and chatting horses. This necklace was among some of the treasures I went home with (along with another necklace and 3 new track hats!) Thank you darling – it’s the perfect touch for this outfit.

#CiaratogaStyle: Mid-Week Romp – Romper; Boots –

I finished the ensemble with these super high boots from and a matching bag from DSW Warehouse. Since I run around Los Angeles all day, the boots keep me comfortable and stylish – not to mention the romper can ride a little short at times so they provide the right amount of coverage. If you’re not a member of’s VIP program – you should be! Most items are only $39.95 and will ship to you for free! Click here to learn more about joining JustFab!

I may transition this look right into a Nightcap look by adding a jacket and a pair of heels – stay tuned!

/ xo, ci /

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#CiaratogaStyle: Sunshine Millions @santaanitapark

The Great Race Place was filled with many horse (and wine) for Sunshine Millions Day! I spent the day with friends, colleagues and guests in the ever-gorgeous Chandelier Room and enjoyed the *amazing* Guest Chef Series featuring the culinary skills by Rory Herrmann and Timothy Hollingsworth. I love this #ChefsandChandeliers series that Santa Anita has rolled out this year. For only $65, you’ll get to watch Thoroughbred racing in one of the most elegant space – get a complimentary racing form, glass of champagne and feast all day on unique selections from some of the best chefs in the City of Los Angeles while a awesome band plays in the background. Have I twisted your arm yet to join me next time? Maybe this photo of yesterday’s Raw Bar will convince you then…

Well anyway – the day was great. My boy Mike Smith came through with back-to-back wins on Forest Chatter and Chief of Staff – and it was finally warm enough to rock this awesome dress that has been sitting in my closet for a few months.

Yesterday's #CiaratogaStyle:
Westville Dress, Monica Rose for Lovers + Friends, $220
Ci's Purchase Price – $30!

I will swear by sample sales now for the rest of my life. Everything that day in the headquarters was between $10-$40 – and some of those products were still being sold online for full price. I scored some other great things, but as soon as I saw this dress I knew that I had to own it and rock it for a race day.

I love neutral and creme colors. I don't care what time of year it is, its always appropriate and you can't go wrong. I think Olivia Pope would completely agree with me, and I was definitely channelling her with this style. The dress is super light given the lining, and keeps you feeling comfortable all day. The cut outs are *just* enough to provide that sexy yet classy touch, and I love that is in the front and back – make sure you're wearing the right undergarments of be ready to pin yourself somewhere if your extra chesty… I could see that being a potential issue that one may want to avoid given the placement of the slits.

The only thing I wish I had with this outfit was the right hat…but that gives me a reason to A) wear this dress again and B) go shopping for a new hat.

/ xo, ci /

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#CiaratogaStyle: Incorporating 2015 Color of The Year at the Races

New Year, New Color!

The regally red shade of “Marsala” has been named Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015. Pantone, which originated as a printing company in the 1950s, gained its popularity for creating color guide swatches with varying color tones which have been instrumental in the manufacturing, paint, interior design & fashion world ever since.

Marsala is a type of wine named after the region it is produced in Sicily, Italy. The intoxicating hue is an elegant addition to your wardrobe for the races. Here are a few ways to incorporate this deep and stylish color that are both formal and fun!

Pantone Color of the Year- Women Fashion

Pantone Color of the Year- Women Fashion

The Marsala Miss:

For under $25, this long-sleeved jersey dress from H&M is perfect item to start off your 2015 Marsala collection. I love how flattering the shape of the dress is with it’s simple yet comfy material that can easily be dressed up by adding jewelry for some sparkle. You’ll be sure to make a huge statement at the races wearing this color blocked Fedora Hat from Forever 21, especially if you pair the hat with these amazing sling back heels from Steve Madden. Looking for something a bit more casual? I adore this cut out tunic top from because of it’s versatility. It will look great with a pair of dress pants, pencil skirt or a pair of jeans & boots. You can carry around racetrack essentials that you may need in this Pantone Color of the Year tote bag by CafeLab, who has an entire line of Marsala inspired products to choose from.

Like any of these items? Here’s where to find them!

Long-sleeved Jersey Dress, $24.95,; Color Blocked Fedora Hat, $14.90;; Roxanna Sling Back Colorblock Heel, $129.95,; Nadia Sexy Cut Out Top, $39.95,; Marsala Year Color Tote Bag by CafeLab, $22.00,

Pantone Color of the Year- Men Fashion

Pantone Color of the Year- Men Fashion


The Marsala Man:

Look and feel like a winner in this Marsala colored blazer from Forever21 Men. It’s velvety material provides an expensive appearance for the affordable price of $55. What a steal! Keep time in with this sleek watch that carries the burgundy pantone hue which can be styled for a formal look along with the striped silk tie from Banana Republic. I love the collar on this Tommy Hilfiger sweater and would be perfect for a day of winter racing with a pair of jeans and Marsala colored boat shoes by Sperry’s!

Like any of these items? Here’s where to find them!

Velveteen Blazer, $54.90,; Vestal Men’s Roosevelt Watch, $159.96,; Tommy Hilfiger Portland Shawl Collar Sweater, $44.99,; Mens Striped Silk Tie, $59.50,; Bahama Varsity 2-eye Boat Shoe, $60,

You can also view this blog post on America’s Best Racing’s website – / xo, ci /


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