#TheWhitneyfor$20

Saratoga Race Course will host the showdown between Palace Malice and Will Take Charge during Saturday’s 87th running of the Whitney, a Grade 1 race with a $1.5-million purse.

Palace Malice and Will Take Charge met on the track several times last year in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes as well as the Jim Dandy Stakes, the Travers Stakes and the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Palace Malice has a couple of head-to-head wins (Belmont and Travers), while Will Take Charge won the Jim Dandy and finished ahead of Palace Malice while second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Let’s take a quick look at both:

Palace Malice, currently ranked America’s No. 1 Thoroughbred on the most recent NTRA Thoroughbred Media Poll, is the standout favorite for the Whitney at even-money on the morning line. He’s won all four of his starts in 2014, including the Metropolitan Handicap on June 7 at Belmont Park. He proved he can handle the Saratoga main track when winning the 2013 Jim Dandy. Will this be Palace Malice’s fifth consecutive win?

Will Take Charge, the 2013 Eclipse Award winner as champion 3-year-old male, is the second favorite at 4-to-1 odds. He’s trained well since his last start at Churchill Downs, where he finished second in the Stephen Foster Handicap. Will Take Charge also has a history of success at Saratoga with the Travers win and, out of all the horses on the field, I believe he’s the one to give Palace Malice the biggest challenge.

There are a few other horses to keep an eye on in this race. Moreno (10-to-1) has a lot of speed and is no stranger to Saratoga, having finished second by a nose to Will Take Charge in the 2013 Travers. Depending on how the horses break, I could see Moreno either setting the pace or challenging the favorites right at the finish. Departing looks like he is regaining his best form, coming in third last time out in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs. He has the talent to finish in the money, and at 6-to-1 odds there is no reason not to add him for a trifecta bet. Itsmyluckyday (12-to-1) has won three consecutive stakes races, most recently taking the Salvator Mile Stakes on July 6 at Monmouth Park. He will make his Saratoga debut on Saturday, and I’m curious as to how he will respond against this field of horses.
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Here are a few ways that I would play the Whitney Handicap on a $20 Budget using: #5 Palace Malice, #1 Will Take Charge, #3 Moreno, #6 Departing, #4 Itsmyluckyday

Scenario A: $0.50 trifecta part wheel: 1,3,4,5 with 1,3,5,6 with 3,4,6 = $12.50

Scenario B: $2 exacta part wheel: 1,3,5 with 1,3,5,6 = $18

Scenario C: $5 exacta part wheel: 1,5 with 1,5,6 = $20

This would also be a great race to play a $0.10 superfecta box using all five of the horses = $12

*The winner of the Whitney Handicap, a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifying race, which will be televised on NBC with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. ET, will automatically earn a spot in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic.*

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

#CropTopLunch

For several weeks I have been anticipating meeting the fabulous up and coming photographer Holly Jo of HollyJoPhoto, who reached out to me because she was heading to Hollywood for a month from New York.

Prior to yesterday, we forever chatted online about collaborating for a Vintage horse-racing themed photo shoot and also since Holly has never been to a California racetrack, this will be a great opportunity for me to show her!

We decided to set up a “ladies lunch” to plan for this photo shoot. Since I’m still a LA newbie with little “girl time”… I was super excited to spend the afternoon with such a pretty lady. SO i went straight to my closet to find the right attire. I wanted my lunch outfit to not only reflect the beautiful, feminine nature of Miss Holly Jo, but also capture a bit of “Hollywood style” at the same time.

What I wore for #CropTopLunch:

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Blue & White Polka Dot Crop Top, $17.50, Forever21.com; White Skirt: Love 21 Collection, Forever21.com $17.50; White necklace & earring set: Charming Charlie’s: Pumps, Jessica Simpson, DSW.com, $49.50
Handbag: DSW.com, $22.00

Let me just say. Though I have worn crop tops before, I have never worn one in actual “public,” like…not at the beach or in the privacy of my own home. I toyed around with this styling choice for a few minutes and then I realized…I’m in LA… It’s 90 degrees… and I do what I want! Also, my San Diego blogger girlfriend Tanya of labellatanchi.com has inspired me with her blog posts about making the crop top work in several ways! Because of her I managed to make the style look tasteful by pairing it with a Forever21 Skirt. I love slit on the back of this skirt, don’t you? Coordinating it with cognac-colored Jessica Simpson Pumps & Oversized bag seemed like a easy choice.

I loved this look! Oddly enough, I didn’t feel uncomfortable with a bit of my tummy out during our lunch & afternoon exploring Hollywood…and neither did anyone else around me. No one said anything about it, instead people complimented Holly and I on our fashion choices all day, bonus.

We met for lunch at Republique in West Hollywood. Oh. my. This place is amazing. It’s a cafeteria style set up that: A) Serves breakfast all day…which automatically makes this place amazing, and B) The interior is classic, you feel like you are being transported to another time and place. I had the “BLT Toast” which was an open faced BLT sandwich with Fried Egg, Bacon and Arugula on a large piece of homemade toast. I also had the best Café Mocha made with their fresh cooca. Republique is now a staple in my LA dining experience.

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We found some amazing Vintage furniture and clothing stores that had tons of amazing gear to use for a 50’s-60’s inspired track photo shoot. Men’s Bow ties, Ladies hats & dresses. I was searching for vintage Lilly Pulitzer, but instead fell in love with this totally impractical pink suitcase:

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Of course what would an ladies lunch afternoon be without a least one selfie:

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Can’t wait for our photo shoot, Holly! Stay tuned.

#HappyHourAppy 7.23.14

If you didn’t already know, the best time of day falls between 3 and 7 p.m.

In Los Angeles, and many other places… some refer to this time of day as rush hour. I however in my land there is no traffic because I’m typically hanging out somewhere very close to a cocktail or appetizer because it’s HAPPY HOUR.

Instead of the 2-for-1 special tonight at the local bar, I decided to brush up on my those kitchen skills of mine. I love getting “creative” – and after skipping lunch and 1 can of lager I felt inspired. Well not that inspired — I didn’t make all of the ingredients. But I’ll show you how I made it mine!

Here we have it:

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Truffle, Mushroom & Mozzarella Flatbread Pizza with Fresh Avocado, Seasonings & Lager.

Cost: $6

Ingredients:
– 1/2 serving of Traders Joe’s Frozen Truffle Mushroom & Mozzarella Flat Bred Pizza
– 1/2 Avocado
– 1 pint glass (Chilled, Freezer)
– 2-4 cans bottles of Lager (Chilled, Fridge – your choice on the brew)

Prep time: 5 minutes.

Instructions:
– Preheat oven to $425 (sorry ..425 degrees…I been drankin’)
– Remove box of flatbread & pint glass from freezer
– Remove flatbread out of package and let sit.
– While flatbread sits & slightly thaws, crack open 1 bottle of Lager and pour into chilled pint glass
– Slice flatbread into slices (optional if you choose to just stuff face)
– Cut Avocado in half and then into slices. Add onto flatbread. Sprinkle seasonings.
– Put in oven for 7-9minutes
– Finish one lager while in the oven, then refill before you remove flatbread from oven.
– Plate. Serve.

Pure Joy. #CiaratogaLiving #CiaratogaMeal

#CCAoaksfor$20

Sunday’s $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course has a field of six impressive 3-year-old fillies vying for a Grade 1 victory. Read on for my analysis and how to bet the race for under $20.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, who won last year’s CCA Oaks with Princess of Sylmar, and ridden by Javier Castellano Stopchargingmaria is the most seasoned of the field and the stand-out favorite for this race. This will be her first race since winning the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico in May.

Unbridled Forever is the second choice on the morning line at 9-5 odds. She was third in both the Acorn Stakes at Belmont and Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, but given this field I think that this very well could be her race to win.

Taketheodds is one filly that should not be overlooked. Though this is the first stakes race in her career, she is coming off two consecutive wins at Churchill Downs and is steadily improving. At 8-1 odds, she also will provide a decent payout.

Here are a few ways I would bet the CCA Oaks on a $20 Budget using Stopchargingmaria (1), Unbridled Forever (2) and Taketheodds (6). Good Luck!

Ciaratoga’s Picks:

Option A: $5 exacta- 1,6 with 1,2,6 = $20

Option B: $3 trifecta box – 1,2,6 = $18

Option C: $10 win-place on 6 = $20

Giddy Up and Good luck…. xo, Ci.

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Coming soon…

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I can’t believe its been over half a year since I moved to LA to embark on this amazing journey of following my dreams and learning about the horseracing industry & a little bit about myself too,

I’ve been remiss in writing on the blog, but its summer and its time to celebrate– with some revamping of the site, new blogs & themes to reflect not only my beloved Saratoga but also all that I’m learning about Los Angeles!

Stay tuned :) xo, Ci.