Thoroughbred horse racing in North America can at times feel as if it's just one long season (or grind!), but marquee events (e.g. Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands) and race meetings (e.g. Saratoga) help create a seasonal vibe not otherwise found when considering there is live Thoroughbred racing 364 days a year.Opening day at Santa Anita Park creates such a vibe. Known as "Boxing Day", "December 26", or "The Day After Christmas" outside the horse racing world, opening day at The Great Race Place is as much about renewal as the New Year that dawns several days later.Huge live crowds are typical, but the simulcast world pays attention as well. It's only been eight days since Hollywood Park went into hibernation, but Santa Anita opening means looking forward, not back. There is the promise that comes with emerging three-year-old stars on the Triple Crown and Kentucky Oaks trails as well as the establishing of a pecking order among the top regional horses in such glamor divisions as handicap male, older female, and turf milers. Plus plenty of good, old-fashioned West Coast speed on display in everything from maiden races to Grade 1 sprints.One of the things I like most about Southern California racing is the premium placed on quality handicapping information. Since joining Brisnet.com in July, I've become far more interested in West Coast racing because of the information available on a daily basis. Andy Harrington's National Turf Clocker Report, Bob Selvin's Fair Odds & Analysis, and Today's Racing Digest premium edition are three of the specialty products Brisnet.com and TwinSpires.com have available for this circuit, and the information is a valuable complement to our Ultimate Past Performances, Daily Selections full-card analysis, and other products.I love handicapping races because it's a challenge. I very rarely have bet someone else's pick blindly without doing at least a little research on whether "this horse is right for me", but I routinely read other people's analysis. Speaking of which, another great asset for betting Southern California is Tom Quigley's Twitter feed, which provides real-time information on the impressions entrants make in the paddock before each race.Whether you're chasing a six-figure score in the Pick 6, looking for a few winners here and there, or anything in between, there are lots of opportunities at Santa Anita Park--both wagering and in receiving information.As for the nine-race opening day card, my best bet is Mr. Bossy Pants in race six. Here is a look at my selections for all nine races.
Welcome to the TwinSpires Blog. Our contributors will be continually updating posts to offer commentary, insight, advice and expert opinions on horse racing and wagering. The goal is to help you win more and become a better all around horse player.
TwinSpires' horse racing author, handicapper, and podcast host, Derek Simon of Denver, Colo. offers his insightful, humorous and sometimes controversial take on the horse racing industry. He even publishes the ROI on the picks he gives out.
TwinSpires' harness racing expert, Frank Cotolo follows all of the big North American circuits throughout the year, providing the best value picks and latest news from the sulky.
The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
A television racing analyst for Churchill Downs, Jill has earned acclaim and a loyal audience throughout Thoroughbred racing.