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

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#CiaratogaStyle: Halloween-Inspired Racewear

Hey Fillies and Colts…

14 days until Breeders’ Cup and Halloween! Some people consider track fashion as a costume in of itself but hey…It is totally possible to bring out your inner ghouls and goblins while looking as classy as ever! Go get creative in your closet. Take a look at these styles and see if there’s a character or theme you may be able to recreate at the track!


Disney Princess Jasmine

IMG_1444.JPGIt’s time to show Disney Princess Jasmine a “Whole New World” in the land of horse racing fashion! If Jasmine was not a fictional character, there is no doubt in our minds that she would wear this ensemble gracefully at Breeders’ Cup. Turquoise is such a stunning color on any complexion and the detail on this a-line tube top dress is exquisite. Gold accents are carried through in each of the accessory items, like the Fornash horse-bit bracelet, so chic! Princess Jasmine – Buy the look!


Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City


Carrie Bradshaw is known for her love of fashion. Her incredible wardrobe consists of lots of designer names, tulle and expensive heels – so naturally all of those things would be gladly accepted at the races. Breeders’ Cup is the perfect experience to bring out your inner Carrie by wearing an ultra feminine tulle skirt. The way that it is styled brings the right balance between costume and sophistication. I love the blush pinks that can transition from day to night from the delicate fascinator to the dainty accents in the clutch. Timeless and fun, this ensemble is bound to be a hit! Carrie Bradshaw – Buy the look!


Clark Kent of Superman
IMG_1443.JPGSuperman’s everyday disguised personality of Clark Kent is the perfect formal look for the races, especially on Halloween! Both Clark Kent and Superman are both all about the business, and this look is able to display that perfectly with room for quality accessories like the trilby hat and wayfarer glasses. Adding the Superman T-Shirt underneath the dress shirt and blazer provides more of a casual style to the suit, which can also transition the look from day to night, and with all the events that are taking place during Breeders’ Cup weekend, you’ll need to look and feel powerful. Clark Kent – Buy the look!


The Joker of Batman

The Joker, the nemesis of Batman, is probably one of most iconic fictional characters of all time, and a costume that we have seen worn (and performed) in by greats such as Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger. Where one would think this look would be a challenge to create for a race day outfit, it is actually quite simple. Not to mention, purple is the signature color of Breeders’ Cup; the contrast of the purple and green mock the silks of California Chrome! To modernize this outfit work for 2014, adding the details of the polka dot bow tie, horse cufflinks and Oxford shoes really make the style stand out. The Joker – Buy the look!

I am so excited to recreate that Carrie look for BC Filly Friday! Stay tuned…

To see more costume ideas created by my colleague and pal, Victoria Garafolo, check out the post on America’s Best Racing’s site.

/ xo, ci /




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#CiaratogaLiving: Desk Success

The Breeders’ Cup countdown is on! Which means all of us horseplayers will be on our grind the next 2.5 weeks. It’s exciting, it’s tiring…but we need to be on top our game! Working from home has its perks but can also be a challenge to keep yourself focused and organized when tasks get hectic during a short period of time.

To get me started moving in the right direction, I revamped my home office space to create a desk that will foster the success I need leading up to the Breeders’ Cup Week. Let’s take a quick tour:

Ciaratoga Living: Desk Success

Desk Success (from l to r) :

  • Wine Opener: Alright. I know you’re thinking, “Really, Ciara…?,” But I did say that I was creating a desk that would foster the type of success that I need. So, if I get my work done in a timely manner why not reward myself with a glass of wine or beer? What if I have to pull a late night working and have to miss happy hour in Hollywood? I’m prepared.

I use mason jars for everything. They make the best pen and office supply holder. My college bestie (who is also a mason jar hoarder) gifted me these awesome slotted discs to go inside the mason jar to make a vase for flower displays. The square slots also fit pens and other accessories perfectly. Genius. Go to pinterest, now!

  • Actual Books: Sometimes its good idea to step away from Wikipedia. A novel idea, especially if the reading material is great. My reading supply is a good mixture of reference books for my profession, inspirational reading and some fun humor books just to keep things interesting. Taking a break for a half hour to go outside and read can give you a new energy. Or make you sleepy, which I’m guilty of. So when that happens I resort to my next item for success:
  • Candy Stash: Oh come on, we all have one. And, if you don’t, odds are you’re walking down the hall to “Sally’s” office and grabbing a handful of her halloween fun sized candies while she’s in a meeting. Since I no longer have that luxury, I have to bring my own. My most recent
    guilty pleasure has been on the rather healthier side, Roasted Coconut Chips (with a touch a salt and sugar) from my beloved Trader Joe‘s…nom.
  • Horse

  • Monogrammed Laptop Decal: Some people love to cover their laptop with stickers and such… which I didn’t think was my thing, until I saw these monogrammed decals. They were super inexpensive and came in a pack of two. I got the second decal in a different font and pattern which I will find a use for some day.
  • Business & Note Cards. These two should be on every desk. In the next few weeks I’m bound to pass out a ton of business cards. Though I’m sure I’ll keep in touch with most of my contacts electronically, who is ever disappointed to receive hand-written note?

giddy up. / xo, ci /


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#CiaratogaPicks: Speakeasy Stakes / Santa Anita

So … Today has been awesome. I was invited to be a guest handicapper for Santa Anita’s Paddock Seminar with host Tom Quiqley. I shared my little CiaratogaPicks with the world! Well…not the world..but anyone that actually tuned to SA simulcast off of


I tried not to make an complete fool of myself and fared decent. I had no idea that it was broadcasted on the big screen in the infield…so let’s keep our fingers crossed I at least produced some winners!
If you know me…you know this is like my dream come true … Even my jockey crush Mike Smith passed along a compliment!

Needless to say, the turf is firm today…so let’s giddy up and make some cash. There is one featured stakes race on the card today, the Speakeasy for 2yr olds. I love young races cause you get to really see over time how the horses mature but can also be unpredictable.

Here are some ways I would bet the Speakeasy:


Good Luck / xo, ci /

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#CiaratogaPicks: QE II Challenge Cup for $20

Tomorrow marks the 30th running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. The Grade 1 race for 3-year-old fillies is named in honor of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, who presented a trophy at Keeneland Race Course for the inaugural running on Oct. 11, 1984 during a visit to the United States.

The $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is one of final prep races for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf and will be run at 1 ⅛ miles on the grass.

Let’s take a look at this talented 9-horse field and see if we can find a winning ticket …on budget!

Crown Queen is one of the best in the field, which is understandable because any horse that is related to Royal Delta boasts a pedigree filled with class. Given that this field does not have a huge amount competition in terms of speed, I could easily see her being able to extend her three-race winning streak. Crown Queen, a half-sister (same dam [mother], different sire [father]) to the aforementioned Royal Delta, is maturing well on the turf, and I think trainer Bill Mott will have her ready. With a nice break and John Velazquez aboard, I expect to see a great performance.

Personal Diary is coming off a victory in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks on Aug. 16 when she defeated Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup challenger Sea Queen. Running at this distance, the City Zip filly is 4-for-4 in the money, so I would recommend adding her to your exotic bets as a good idea. Personal Diary will break from post position 5 with Corey Nakatani riding.

I would most like to see Sistas Stroll make it across the finish line first. Lightly raced, she has made a name for herself by winning 3 of 4 career starts. I like that she’s currently at 12-1 odds because pairing her the right way in your bets could produce a nice profit. You can even just bet her alone, which I’m very likely to do in this case.

Here’s how I would bet the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes on a $20 budget using:

#8 Crown Queen, #5 Personal Diary, #1 Sistas Stroll

Bet A: $5 trifecta part wheel – 5,8 with 1,5,8 with 1,5,8 = $20

Bet B: $10 win/show on Sistas Stroll = $20

Bet C: $3 exacta box – 1,5,8 = $18


Giddy up and good luck! /xo, ci/

- To view this article on America’s Best Racing, click here

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#CiaratogaStyle: Pick 4 / Fall Beauty Items


Well. If that doesn’t explain what a Pick4 is in the land of Ciaratoga, I’m not sure what will. In fact, those two meanings of a Pick 4 go hand in hand in for this little filly: Success in definition No. 1 leads to the success of affording definition No. 2. So, here we have it: a #CiaratogaStyle “Pick 4″ – four items that are currently taking control over my life – in exact order of finish:

1. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum in Walnut, $43,
really never thought that I would become one of those people who pay a silly amount of money for a “tinted lotion” but… I’m one of those people now. I got my makeup done for my college bestie’s wedding last month in Vermont and this was the product that the Makeup Artist put on my face. She told me I would love it, but really, although? Aren’t they supposed to say that to suck you in? For $40, it had to be fantastic, and it is. It’s super light and provides the right amount of coverage without looking unnatural. The lotion has SPF 20 too. I can’t get enough of it – Laura Mercier….#truth.

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel in Expresso, $26,
Yup. This is another one of those, “why the hell would I ever need this” item.
But whatever, I think that brow glow could appeal to someone for a few reasons: A) If you have bangs or your hair is in your face a lot…chances are your brows will be moved out of shape. B) It’s tinted like it acts like a brow pencil and has a better even finish for filling out your brows. If you don’t need to extra color, it also comes in clear. C) It’s not clumpy. For me this was a luxury item that I kept seeing around and just never made the commitment, but I’m glad I finally did. If its not this product, find one that works for you!

3. Revlon Photoready 3D Mascara in Blackest Black, $9,
Photo-ready pretty much explains it. This is …the best makeup item I own. I’ve never had more people ask if my lashes were fake or not after wearing this mascara. The brush is like none I’ve other used before. I don’t know it looks like a caterpillar or something – maybe that’s its “3D quality, who knows. It makes your lashes look super long and full. Depending on where you get it, its under $9. If you’re anything like me, you’ll wait until you CVS has their “BOGO %50 off” deal and snag two for under $15.

4. Nars Lip Gloss in Angelika, $26,
Every girl has a lip gloss, stick, or balm that they just can’t live without. NARS is the brand for me. I’m surprised I don’t have 12 different shades by now. This color, though not technically associated with Fall colors… will actually pop against those autmun colors (as seen in the photo) and just is a great gloss to have in your purse. I have learned how to stretch the NARS lip products for a long time. Its all about how you layer the gloss. Sometimes to play with the color I will put a darker layer on my lip with a pencil then use this hot pink with sparkles on top and creates a perfect berry color.

Here’s a little Instagram selfie of some of the products! Stay tuned for more of these…
/ xo, ci /


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