Archives for May 2022

Top Thoroughbred Owner Sarah Ramsey Passes

Sarah Ramsey, top thoroughbred breeder and owner, dies at 83“It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Sarah Kathern Ramsey,” Churchill Downs president Mike Anderson said Monday night. “Our hearts are with Ken and his entire family during this very difficult time. She lived a wonderful life, and we’ll miss her smiling face in the Churchill Downs winner’s circle.”

Ramsey had a major stroke in 2007, which affected her speech and paralyzed her right side. She used a wheelchair to attend the races.

The couple built their fortune through investments in radio and cellphones. They owned cellphone tower businesses in five states, including Kentucky, one of which they sold for $39 million in 1994 and used the money to buy their 1,200-acre farm.

Their best-known horse was Kitten’s Joy, who had nine wins in 14 career starts and earnings of $2 million. The couple used “Kitten” for many of their homebred horses, which was Sarah’s nickname given to her by Ken when they were dating in 1954…more on Thoroughbred Owner Sarah Ramsey and her passing at MSN

Breeders’ Cup Watch: A New Star in the Making in Homeless Songs

Homeless Songs lit up the Curragh on Sunday with a scintillating performance in the 1000 Guineas and is now just about the most exciting Flat horse in training. The way she travelled and quickened clear against a high quality field at the Curragh marks her out as potentially one of the best milers we have seen in years. She looks to possess the same star qualities as her father Frankel and I can’t wait to see what she can achieve over the course of the season.

She had shown a glimpse of her electric acceleration when beating Agartha in a Trial race over seven furlongs at Leopardstown at the beginning of April but her performance at the Curragh was truly out of the ordinary. All the more extraordinary when you take into account the poor form of her stable coming into the race. Since Homeless Songs won at Leopardstown on April 2nd Dermot Weld had trained just one winner – Ezine, a short head winner of a maiden race at Naas at odds of 4/6 favourite – from 69 runners in almost two months.

Weld is a past master at nurturing high-class talent and his patience with Homeless Songs certainly reaped due reward with her demolition job at the Curragh, but there is a real sense that she is only going to improve with racing. The veteran trainer turns 74 in a couple of months and this Moyglare Stud filly could well roll back the years to the halcyon days of Vintage Crop, Media Puzzle, Grey Swallow, Go And Go and Vinnie Roe.

The Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot is set to be the next assignment for Homeless Songs where she could meet last season’s Champion 2-y-o filly Inspiral and the English 1000 Guineas winner Cachet in an exciting clash. If she turns up in the same form she was in on Sunday they won’t see which way she went…

Watch Homeless Songs demolish the field, along with a post-race interview with trainer Dermot Weld.

Tracker Horses to Watch from Europe

track announcer with binocularsRacehorses to note, including a promising William Haggas filly

Dusky Prince
Fifth, Redcar, May 16

Returning after a 77-day pause, he didn’t have much room when needed and it was all too late by the time he got in the clear. He would have gone closer otherwise.

El Bello
Sixth, Wolverhampton, May 19

Was sent off favourite to complete a hat-trick, after a two-month breather, but he started slowly, was hampered more than once on the home bend and didn’t get a clear run inside the last furlong, doing well to miss out by only three lengths.

Fourth, Goodwood, May 20

Was up against it given the way things worked out and wasn’t disgraced in the circumstances. A lack of pace led him to be a little keen and he was too far back in a race in which the leaders weren’t coming back…

Industry Profile: Track Owner Belinda Stronach

Santa Anita eyes April 2 for horse racing fans’ returnBelinda Stronach leaves her mid-town Toronto home by 7 a.m. most days for an hour-long walk. She dresses in black athletic gear for her neighbourhood rambles, occasionally a ball cap, and eschews earbuds and podcasts, preferring to soak in the sounds of a city waking up.

Her route varies, day to day, and is plotted to avoid streets scheduled for garbage pick-up. Should she have time before heading in to work at The Stronach Group (TSG) offices in a spacious Victorian-era house near the Royal Ontario Museum, the family company’s chief executive will grab a cappuccino at a favourite Italian haunt. And if she comes across a historical plaque anywhere along the way, she will stop to read it, local history being an area of personal interest.

Stronach’s home is also in a heritage conservation district, while the house itself was built in 1878. For anyone counting, that’s five years after the inaugural running of the Preakness Stakes, a historic Maryland horse race in a historic sport, one that the 56-year-old Canadian owner of American racetracks is aiming to revitalize before horse racing becomes fodder for the plaques.

Stronach, mind you, is no nostalgist chasing the resurrection of the grand old days. Rather, TSG, branded as 1/ST in thoroughbred racing circles, is chasing new fans, not to mention a fresh generation of bettors, and the core pillars of her approach will be on display, for both racing fans and industry players, in north Baltimore for this weekend’s 147th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course…

More on Stronach, the future of horse racing and the connection to sports betting


Breeders’ Cup 2022 Watch: The White Wonder Filly

A Rare Kind of Filly Dazzles at the RacetrackSodashi won the Victoria Mile [last] Sunday with a closing rally and received an especially loud roar from the fans at Tokyo Racecourse. The cheers did not come exclusively from those who had bet her to win at 5-1. The filly has become a sensation in Japanese horse racing circles because of her color: pure white.

White thoroughbred horses are exceedingly rare: As few as one in 100,000 are considered pure white. To qualify, the horse’s entire coat must be white and cannot have any other colors. Sodashi meets that definition.

Other light-colored horses that you might see at the track are registered as gray (a mixture of black and white hairs) or roan (red or brown and white). Some of these may become whiter as they grow older but still don’t qualify as the rare white horse.

Plenty of gray and roan horses have fared well over the years, including Kentucky Derby winners like Spectacular Bid in 1979, Winning Colors in 1988 and Silver Charm in 1997. But the handful of white horses hadn’t really distinguished themselves until Sodashi came along.

Sodashi is the first white horse in Japan to win a Group One race and, with white horses in other nations just as rare, would have to be considered the best ever of her color.

Recent research has shown that white horses are the product of spontaneous gene mutations. Some of those mutations are dominant, so horses can potentially pass on the white color no matter whom they are mated with…

Watch Sodashi overcome a little bit of traffic issues to finish powerfully and win going away.

Nilsen’s Preakness Stakes Analysis for Saturday, May 20th

Rich Nilsen handicapperby Rich Nilsen, founder of

Pimlico, PREAKNESS STAKES 147, race 13, post time 6:48 ET

Expected Pace: Should be an honest pace with Early Voting leading the way but getting tested mid-race by both Armagnac and prohibitive favorite Epicenter.  That could set it up for a stalker with a strong late kick.

Top Selection: # 4 SECRET OATH (9/2) – After crushing rivals of her own sex this winter/spring, the D.Wayne Lukas star gave one of her most impressive efforts in defeat at Oaklawn Park.  Simply put, it was a brutal trip and an even worse ride in the Arkansas Derby.  Off that sneaky good third place showing, Secret Oath received a new rider in red hot Luis Saez, one of the best in the nation.  With this same logic, I loved her in the Kentucky Oaks as she was a best bet spot play for me.  She rewarded that confidence with another powerful win over her peers, taking the Friday feature in dominating fashion over a very good filly from the Todd Pletcher barn named Nest.  Lukas, who has won six Preakness Stakes in his historic career, knows that he has a horse capable of adding to that resume.  I look for slight regression from the favorite Epicenter off a very taxing race, and another solid run for this remarkable filly.

2nd Selection: # 5 Early Voting (7/2) – has been pointed to this race since a solid second in the Wood Memorial, and trainer Chad Brown has won this race before, so he knows what it takes to land in the winner’s circle for the 2nd jewel of the Triple Crown.  The expected pacesetter has one of the best gate riders in the country, Jose Ortiz back aboard.

3rd Selection: # 8 Epicenter (6/5) – will get hammered in the betting off a great effort, a ‘winning’ performance, in the Run for the Roses.  Joel Rosario will have to avoid a mid-race duel with Early Voting approaching the far turn.  I can see the big favorite possibly regressing off that tough effort just two weeks ago.

4th Selection: # 2 Creative Minister (10/1) – a viable longshot from the always dangerous barn of trainer Kenny McPeek, who won this race with the filly Swiss Skydiver just two years ago.  The grandson of Tapit overcame an unlucky trip to win going away last time out at Churchill and he is clearly improving in leaps and bounds with every start. He will be finishing down the lane.


Play # 4 SECRET OATH to WIN.

Exacta partwheel # 4 over # 2, 5, 8.

$30 cost for $10 increments.   Reverse for half ($15 cost).

Trifecta partwheel 4 with 2, 5, 8 with ALL

$21 cost for $1 increments.

Trifecta partwheel # 2, 5, 8 with 4 with ALL

$21 cost for $1 increments.

Trifecta partwheel 4 with ALL with 2, 5, 8.

$21 cost for $1 increments.

Trifecta Box 2-4-5-8 ($12 wager for $.50 increments).

Remember to always wager within your comfort zone and best of luck in this year’s Preakness Stakes!

Looking for Full-card selections with wagers?

Check out The Wizard – America’s #1 Handicapper since 1986.  Sold on track at Saratoga and all New York horse racing venues for over 30 years.

He is online with Saturday’s full-card coverage of Pimlico and the 147th Preakness Stakes.

Nilsen’s Spot Plays with Black-Eyed Susan Analysis

After a successful KY Derby and Oaks weekend, Rich Nilsen  is online with Spot Plays and wagering strategies for four select best bets on Friday at Pimlico, including the featured Black-Eyed Susan.  Picking your spots is vital to beating the races, and in this new sheet Nilsen picks the best spot plays on the big card at Pimlico.

Nilsen also includes his Pace Chart for the entire 14-race card at Pimlico, so you can see how each race is forecasted to set up – another vital component of winning handicapping!

Download this affordable, expert analysis today – only $10.77.  PDF format to any device.



2022 Kentucky Derby/Oaks Package Recap

Here a recap of the results from Rich Nilsen’s 2022 Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby Day Analysis.  With tipsters and shysters charging $50, 75 or more for Kentucky Derby picks, Rich produces only a handful of sheets per year and offers it up at an affordable price for race fans (under $15.)  It was a great day for players who downloaded Rich’s analysis.

Friday, May 6, 2022 (bonus Oaks pick)

Top selection SECRET OATH wins the Kentucky Oaks at odds of 4-1, paying $10.80 to win.  Keys $39.40 exacta over 2nd choice Nest, and hits $616.80 Trifecta for a $1 payout.  All given out on the sheet, the only play for Friday, Oaks Day.

Saturday, May 7th – Kentucky Derby 148 Card

1st race: $11.00 Winner (2nd choice) with $94.10 Trifecta recommended.

No play/selection race 2

3rd race: $8.00 Winner (Top choice)

No play/selection race 4

5th race: $4.20 Winner (Top choice)

6th race: Missed $75 winner

7th race: $3.40 Winner (Top choice)

8th race: $9.60 Winner (5th choice)

9th race: Missed $13 winner

10th race: $4.00 Winner (Top choice)

11th race: $170.80 Exacta recommended with $16.20 winner (4th choice) over top choice 9-1 shot Mira Mission who lost by a long neck.

12th race: Missed 80-1 KY Derby winner Rich Strike (why don’t I bet names!?!).  Top choice Mo Donegal ran 5th.

No plays/selections races 13 and 14.   Skeptical? Check out AGOS founder Rich Nilsen’s Analysis_KYDerby_2022

Actual winning tickets from horseplayers who used Nilsen’s sheet:

$10.80 winner Secret Oath


$170 exacta 5 times!


The Wizard – America’s Handicapper since 1986 – is now online for Preakness Day.  Wizard’s full package for Saturday at Pimlico available here

Wizard Full-card & Betting Strategies – Preakness 2022

The one and only Wizard is here for the 14-race Preakness Stakes card at Pimlico – May 21.  The Wizard has extensive trip notes, track biases & horses to bet back from recent weeks, including horses who ran over Ky Oaks and Derby weekend.

In his Full-card Analysis with Betting Strategies, you receive:

Expert Selections for ALL races, including a value play in the feature race!

Comprehensive information and analysis on every horse selected on the card.

4 Crystal Ball Best Bets for Saturday, Preakness Day including in the big race.

Wagering Strategies for ALL races

Exactas, Trifectas, Pick 3s, Pick 4s and more!

Only $45 for the Full-card analysis with wagering strategies from America’s top public handicapper.  Every issue is a handicapping lesson!  Get the Wizard for Preakness Day:


Industry Profile: Jockey Chel-c Baily and What You Didn’t Know

Jockey Chel-c BailyMMA fighter turned jockey, Chel-c Bailey won her first riding triple at the 2021-22 Oaklawn meeting.

Before her success as a jockey, Bailey made strides as a strawweight in MMA. Though short-lived, she was undefeated in her professional MMA career…

Her first winner was in 2020. She has seen 21 victories in her jockey career, and 13 of them have come from Oaklawn.

This year’s riding triple alone granted her 10 victories at the Oaklawn meet, which started in December and continues into May [2022]. According to Bailey, the success comes as a shock because of her unsuccessful races at previous track meets.

“You know what blows my mind was that I could not win a race at Delaware or in Maryland, and then I come here to Oaklawn Park and it should be the other way around… more on Jockey Chel-c Baily, the former MMA fighter turned horse rider!

Preakness Day Do’s and Don’ts

…the middle jewel of the Triple Crown is back at Pimlico Race Course in full swing this year, celebrating its 147th anniversary with a jam-packed Black Eyed Susan Day and InfieldFest lineups, plenty of colorful hats in the grandstand, and, of course, all of the trusty thoroughbreds that will participate in the race itself.

“Preakness is synonymous with Maryland,” says Jimmy Vargas, CEO of 1/ST Experience, the owner and operator of the event. “Baltimore is the home of Preakness, and we are honored to continue the tradition each year, putting Baltimore—its people, history, traditions, and thoroughbred industry—front and center on a national stage.”


Buy tickets early: Prices rise as we approach race day, so take advantage of package deals like the famed all-you-can-drink MUG Club. Ticket prices for MUG club, which include access to party areas and a souvenir mug to use at all filling stations, will increase on May 15. For an even more VIP experience, check out the MUG and Vine Club that goes one step beyond with private viewing areas, lounge areas, and restrooms. Try to arrive early to avoid long lines.

Prepare for the weather: Nothing rains on your parade more than, well, rain. If it has rained recently or throughout the day, the infield can turn into a huge mud pit that tracks up to mid-calf. Be prepared to swap out your cutest kicks for a pair of rain boots, cover your race regalia with a poncho or rain jacket, and protect your makeup by using a waterproof mascara.

More on the Preakness Day from Baltimore Magazine