Horses. Style. Living. / Saratoga Springs, NY / Los Angeles, CA

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#CiaratogaStyle: #SharedBelief’s Big ‘Cap @SantaAnitaPark

It was a perfect day for the 80th running of the $1M Santa Anita Handicap. America’s number one ranked horse, Shared Belief and Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith delivered yet another impressive ride, making this the four-year old’s 10th win out of 11 career starts.

Being that Shared Belief was the heavy favorite of the field it was almost virtually impossible not to cheer him on.  I decided to take one of my recent style blogs on how to “Dress for the Favorite” to heart and here is my #CiaratogaStyle for Big ‘Cap Day:

#CiaratogaStyle: #SharedBelief Big ‘Cap @SantaAnitaPark / Jumpsuit:, $24.90 – Shoes:, $39.99 ©MartinOrtega

Shared Belief’s Jockey Silk Color Scheme: Black, Grey & White with Blue

Jumpsuit, $24,90,

Shoes, $39.99,

This. Jumpsuit.  Yes, it’s one full piece, and just as comfortable as it looks. I loved the lightweight material of the jumpsuit that I found less than 48 hours before race day. The elastic band around the waist didn’t press into the skin either which was an added bonus. There was also elastic on the pant leg so you could adjust the length depends on your mood. I decided to keep the colorblocking theme from the jockey silks with the black on the bottom and white on top. The open back reminded me of the strip across the middle of the silks, and also provided a bit of sexiness too!  I broke out my brand new Grey JF Posey heels from These shoes are perfection, and I own three pairs…trust me, they are worth getting multiple pairs when the starting price is only $40! 

I took these photos the day before the Big ‘Cap with LA-Based photographer Martin Ortega. It was his first time at the races and we had the best time enjoying the day together. He captured this awesome shot of the horses breaking out of the gate on the top of the hill at Santa Anita. So cool!

#CiaratogaStyle: #SharedBelief Big ‘Cap @SantaAnitaPark ©MartinOrtega

#CiaratogaStyle: #SharedBelief Big ‘Cap @SantaAnitaPark ©MartinOrtega

#CiaratogaStyle: #SharedBelief Big ‘Cap @SantaAnitaPark (c)MartinOrtega

For race day, I switched the black hat-in-ator for a Christine A. Moore fascinator that had various shades of blue and silver, which played right off of the grey in those lovely shoes.

#CiaratogaStyle: #SharedBelief Big ‘Cap @SantaAnitaPark / Hat: Christine A. Moore,

Overall, my strategy of dressing for my favorite horse (or jockey) proved to be successful! Let’s keep our fingers crossed we will get Shared Belief to Saratoga this summer! / xo, ci /

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#CiaratogaStyle: Dressing for the Favorite – Shared Belief


Clearly, we know what horse (and jockey) I’ll be cheering for in Saturday’s $1 Million Dollar Santa Anita Handicap, also reffered to as “The Big ‘Cap.”  With only one career defeat, 4-year-old Shared Belief has had quite the impressive career, including winning his last start against reigning 2014 Horse of The Year, California Chrome in the San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita on February 7th. We will see if Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith can lead Shared Belief to yet another victory this Saturday as he faces a field of 12 as the heavy favorite with 3-5 on the morning line at a weight of 125 pounds. 

Mike Smith and Shared Belief entering the Winner’s Circle after winning February’s San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita Park. (Photo by Me.)

If you know me, or any horseplayer, you’ll quickly learn we all have our little supersitions or odds traditions that we all follow to ensure us a few extra ounces of good luck. One of those is around my styling choices for race day. I have this tradition where I to match either the silks of the jockey or the color of the post position for big stakes races. Last month Shared Belief went off from the “5” post for the San Antonio Invitational, which is the color green. I went with a green dress…and he won. For Saturday’s Big Cap, Shared Belief has drawn the 5th post again, but this time I’m focusing on the color palette from the jockey silks – which is fitting given the recent “black and blue dress” controversy.

Here’s my #CiaratogaStyle guide for Dressing for the Favorite:

Giddy up and Jump On It: 

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Ladies Look No. 1

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Ladies Look No. 1

I love *everything* about this look, and there’s about a 78 percent chance that I will be in something quite similar to the ensemble on Saturday. This gorgeous blue Trina Turk jumpsuit now owns my life. I love the scoop neck and length of the pant leg, not to mention the fact that it has pockets.  I carried the colors of black and white into the accessory choices. The striped heels and hat went great with the two-toned oversized bag that will easily fit your racing program (and a pair of flats). Also, how cute is that sterling silver horse pendant? #Winning.

Jumpsuit: Trina Turk Kaitlin Sleeveless Layered Crepe Jumpsuit, $132,

Shoes: Black Stripe Trim Ankle Heels, $38,

Necklace: Sterling Silver 1/10ct. T.W. Diamond Horse Pendant, $40,

Bag: Vivienne Uptown Tote, $35,

Hat: Merona Floppy Hat, $15,

It’s Black and Blue:

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Ladies Look No. 2

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Ladies Look No. 2

The Dress, if you will. I’d gladly do one or three extra #CioncéWorkoutPlan sessions to make this dress work because it is a show stopper…on a budget! I love the placement of black in the middle for the color-block, it not only accentuates the right places, it provides a slimming effect. If you have ever never worn a pair of Jessica Simpson heels, you’ll know that they are the most comfortable and I adore the strap around the ankle. Since the dress stands out so much I kept the accessories simple with a pair of stud earrings, necklace and purse in the color black.

Dress: Rotita Work Lady Essential Color Contrast Tank Dress, $21,

Shoe: Jessica Simpson Venita Suede Pump, $89,

Necklace: Style&Co Silver Tone Black Cabochon Bib Necklace, $34,

Earrings: Bling Jewerly Genuine Onyx Studs, $13,

Bag: Black Sparkle To Die For Purse, $48,

Fascinator: Kaliko Bow Fascinator, $60,, $60

The Believer:

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Gents Look No. 1

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Gents Look No. 1

A super easy look that likely can be created from most gentleman’s closet. Grab your favorite blue sweater and black dress slacks and you’re half way there! Want to dress it up more? Add a blazer. For me, what makes this ensemble are the fun accessories. You’ll be cheering as Shared Belief as he breaks out the gate and jumping up and down once he (hopefully) enters the Winners’ Circle in these Gallant & Beau socks and sneakers by Sperry’s. Do I even need to comment on the racehorse cufflinks? Just do me a favor a purchase them!

Sweater: Mens Colored Structured Sweater, $49.90,

Pants: Black Trousers, $59.90,

Socks: “Picadilly” Socks, $19.90,

Cufflinks: Riding Horse Cufflinks, $8.70,

Sunglasses: Wayfarer Sunglasses, $6.90,

Shoes: Cloud Python Slip-on sneaker, $90,

Color-Block Betting Boy:

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Gents Look No. 2

Dressing for the Favorite: Shared Belief, Gents Look No. 2

There are a number of things I enjoy about this look. In keeping with the color-block theme I decided to go with a grey and black two-toned blazer. I would pair this with a crisp white dress shirt and add the plaid bowtie that has hints of blue if you feel inclined. It’s going to be a warm day on Saturday, so throw on some nice shorts and grab your fedora and head on out to The Chandelier Room… I’ll see you there!

Blazer: David Mayer Two-Tone Blazer, $228,

Shorts: Garmet Dyed Bermuda Shorts, $85,

Hat: Two-Tone Hat, $25.90,

Tie: Madras Plaid Bow tie, $6.90,

Belt: Faux Leather Plaque Buckle Belt, $7.90,

Shoe: Cloud Python Slip-on sneaker, $90,


Stay tuned for some #CiaratogaPicks for Saturday’s Big Cap. In the meantime, click here for the entries!


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Planning A Perfect #SantaAnita Itinerary

Are you planning a trip out to Santa Anita Park to catch some of the best racing this spring, but are not sure what to do with your down time?

Below are six spots to check out while you’re not at the races around Los Angeles. Each of these suggestions are within 20 miles of the track and can be enjoyed on almost any budget. All locations have been Ciara-tested and approved!

Take a Hike!

Eaton Canyon Natural Area – $


Grabbing the moon during the moonlight hike at Eaton Canyon 

Ever wonder what it’s like to explore those majestic mountains in the background at Santa Anita Park? Start your race weekend off with a nature hike through one of the local parks on the base of the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains.

Eaton Canyon Natural Area Pasadena is less than five miles from the track and opens as early as 9 a.m. A morning nature walk may be just what you need while you reflect on the racing card for the day. Make sure to check Eaton Canyon’s website to see when they are hosting moonlight walks. I’ve gone on one before, and it was memorable – and free!

Channel your Inner Jockey:

Horseback Riding at Griffith Park: $ – $$

Ciara Horse

A little selfie time with Midnight before our trail ride! (this took some skill.)

I recently cured my jealousy of watching exercise riders work horses at Clockers’ Corner in the mornings by going for a ride myself! Griffith Park, located about 20 miles west of Santa Anita in the neighborhood of Los Feliz, is a must-see destination in Los Angeles. I was aboard Midnight — no relation to Midnight Lute — and he was an absolute joy to ride. With thousands of acres and numerous trails, it’s the perfect spot to take a morning ride and channel your inner jockey. A one-hour guided tour will run you about $30, and the first ride starts as early as 8 a.m. Depending on the weekend you choose to visit Santa Anita, Griffith Park also offers a sunset ride to a nearby Mexican restaurant for $75 a couple. What a fun way to end your day at “The Great Race Place!”

Go to another Sporting Venue!

The Rose Bowl Stadium $-$$

Rose Bowl Wiki

Photo by WikiMedia Commons

Home of the UCLA football team and the annual Rose Bowl post-season football game, the stadium is a historic sporting venue only miles away from Santa Anita. Sports junkies can head over to take a tour of the stadium that has hosted countless memorable sporting events, from the Olympic Games to the Super Bowl to the World Cup. If thrifting is more your style, catch the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market on the second Sunday of each month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time. It’s definitely worth stopping by before your day at the track!

Go to a Museum!

Huntington Library – $$

Huntington Library Wiki

Photo by WikiMedia Commons

There is no shortage of cultural destinations in the greater Los Angeles area, and the Huntington Library is one of the most cherished. From the library’s extensive art and transcript collections to its botanical gardens, there is beauty at every turn. Plan to dine for breakfast or an early lunch at the cafe and enjoy the grounds before Santa Anita’s first post time! Visit the Huntington Library’s website to make reservations in advance.


You didn’t think I would leave out food, did you? There are there are so many great spots to eat around the track, but here are two of my favorites:

The Derby – $$- $$$


I love a good heavy pour!

I’m pretty positive that I’m not alone in saying that The Derby needs to be on your dining list when visiting Santa Anita Park. For more than seven decades, The Derby restaurant has been the dinner spot for well-known horse racing professionals and celebrities. The main entrance is filled with glass cases of racing memorabilia gathered over the years from Santa Anita, and the dark wood and fireplaces make you feel very cozy in this old-school style steakhouse. Grab a cocktail after the races and listen to live music around the bar area or order one of their famous steaks that are named after celebs such as jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens!

The Blind Donkey –  $- $$

Blind DonkeyPhoto courtesy The Blind Donkey

What horseplayer doesn’t enjoy good bourbon? If you’re in the mood for some fun into the night, this whiskey bar is one of Pasadena’s gems that’s only a short Uber ride away from Santa Anita. Come here and sample a flight of whiskey or try one of the amazing signature cocktails. The crowd is always lively and you’re right in the center of all the action of Old Town Pasadena. Also, rumor has it The Blind Donkey’s specialty fries are out of this world!


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


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