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Giveaway Time: 16x20 Print of Your Choice


In celebration of absolutely nothing, one lucky follower of this blog will be winning a fab (and gigantic) 16” x 20” print of almost any of my photography. Decorate your dorm room, your bathroom, or wherever your heart desires pony.

Just like/reblog this post (up to two entries per person please) to enter. Giveaway closes Sunday September 21 at 8am EST with the winner notified via ask box. 


  • Open internationally to everybody
  • Like or reblog to enter, up to 2 entries total.
  • Must follow startinggate to win
  • Prize can be of any photo I’ve taken that I am able to blow up large enough to have printed at this size, which is most of them. Do a search on this blog or visit my portfolio website for a quick look at a sample gallery [EDIT: Images will likely be cropped a bit to fit the 16x20 size]

Thanks and good luck!

California Chrome Ticket Winners

Congratulations to Showjumper365 and Deep-shadow for winning the California Chrome souvenir win ticket giveaway!

I’ll be posting about my [interesting] Belmont Stakes experience soon as well as more photos, but I wanted to thank everyone for participating in this giveaway and following me so far. I will definitely host more giveaways/contests in the future!

Hi! It's super awesome for you to do this giveaway! I was just wondering if you only wanted us to reblog once, or if more reblogs meant more entries. Thanks again! :)

Asked by Anonymous

Just once will do, thank you for asking and good luck everybody! :)

California Chrome Giveaway

Because I’m super nice and you guys are all very awesome, I will give away 2 souvenir win tickets on California Chrome to two followers who like or reblog this post by midnight (EST) on Sunday.

If Chrome wins, I’ll give away a “Go Chrome or Go Home” tee to a third follower.

Thanks again for following, and may we see history tomorrow!

Edit: Open to everyone internationally!

Tiz the Season - A Giveaway


To be frank, I have disliked Christmas for many moons (I blame working in retail, American materialism, and being broke if not desolate for many of them), but the one Golden Ticket about the holidays for me is giving back to those who are less fortunate. I am always about giving back to worthwhile racing-related charities, so please consider these great organizations I’ve either worked with or contributed toward this year:

  • Transitions Thoroughbreds - Mindy Lovell is currently struggling to fundraise to feed her rescues for the long Canadian winter, and today I just stumbled across her story. I tossed a bit her way, but do help her out if you can; she’s on the frontlines of saving off-track Thoroughbreds from slaughter.
  • CANTER USA: If it was not for CANTER, many newly off-track Thoroughbreds would not be here with us today. They are ones largely responsible for Suffolk Downs’ fantastic no-tolerance policy on selling racehorses from that track for slaughter, and they work tirelessly to promote these horses to new homes.
  • Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue: Absolutely wonderful people who do great work retraining and rehoming racehorses, as well as serve as a forever home/museum for some of racing’s iconic athletes like Evening Attire and Stud Muffin.
  • New Vocations - They take in retired racehorses and retrain them before adopting them out to incredible forever homes as one of the country’s most remarkable and successful facilities. And hey, for the month of December, all adoption fees are 50% OFF!

In the spirit of the holidays, GHR will be giving away a beautiful Horses and Hope calendar (the purchase of which also benefits horses!) to those who reblog/like this post. I’ll stop all giveaway entries at midnight EST on Saturday December 7, U.S. only for now.

(Taking entries until August 6 at 11:59pm EST) In honor of Shackleford's run today at the Spa (he just HAD to run today instead of yesterday) in the Vanderbilt, I'm giving one lucky random person FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD a Shack Attack sticker! I know some people are nuts for the colt, maybe some more than others, but do leave a comment answering this question: which race of Shack’s is your favorite?

(Taking entries until August 6 at 11:59pm EST) In honor of Shackleford's run today at the Spa (he just HAD to run today instead of yesterday) in the Vanderbilt, I'm giving one lucky random person FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD a Shack Attack sticker! I know some people are nuts for the colt, maybe some more than others, but do leave a comment answering this question: which race of Shack’s is your favorite?

The Worship Union Rags Contest

As promised, there will be a giveaway of Belmont Park goodies! Feel like you were at the Belmont Stakes this past Saturday without the buttache and hangover!

To Enter:

Make a text or video post— anyone can just grab an image to post off of Google— about anything to do with horse racing tagged with #worshipunionrags. Winner is selected at random from the pool of timely, accepted entries received, so be as creative or obnoxious as you’d like as I will not be judging based on content. This way, I know a legit horse racing fan will win.


  • Participants must be following the blog. Not a hard rule and yes I will check.
  • One post per person. 
  • Posts are subject to approval at my own discretion aka if you write UNION RAGZZZZ IS DA BESSSST!!!#FSDFS! in the headline and that’s about it, I reserve the right to deny entry because of horrible linguistics and filling the Internet with more stupid and lazy. It must be original and thought-out, but don’t feel like you have to write me a book or anything. A short paragraph or 30 seconds of video will suffice.
  • Message me via ask box or email me at dawnawood AT gmail dot com with your Tumblr name. I will check your blog and message you back to confirm entry.
  • International participants welcome!
  • Confirmation messages are due by Saturday, June 16 at 11:59pm EST (GMT-6)

One (1) winner will receive a prize pack that includes:

  • Official 2012 Belmont Stakes hat in red ($25 value)
  • Official I’ll Have Another jockey colors pin ($10 value)
  • "We Want Another" Daily Racing Form button, an exclusive giveaway item on the premises on Belmont Day
  • Souvenir ticket(s) from the Belmont Stakes card (I have several to choose from: $10 place on Dullahan, $3 show on Street Life, $2 show on Escape Artist, $2 show on Brilliant Speed, $2 show on Pacific Ocean, $2 show on Sensor, $2 show on State Flag, $2 show on Diamond District)
  • My Nutter Butter wrapper, if you want it. I didn’t even lick it. I’m Internet famous (priceless aesthetic value)

Happy Monday All!

Yeah I know right, it’s a Monday…

A quick hello to the 4 or so brand-new followers! HAY!

I’m pushing steadily toward achieving my goal of having all my school crap settled within the next week or two should all go well, but since I have a super-mega scholarship to work on among other things, don’t be too too surprised if I’m not as sharp with updating. Of course, knowing my obsessive need to update and be in-the-know at all times, I will probably still be posting feverishly… but in case I don’t, ya’ll know why.

And with round 9 of 12 coming up this Saturday (the Spiral Stakes), I’m happy to report the very last item has been ordered for each of the three prizes. It was the first prize I hoped to distribute, and I think it’s pretty perfect considering this is Tumblr:

Fox Hill Farm is the owner of champions such as Havre de Grace, Eight Belles, Rockport Harbor, and Old Fashioned to name just a few. All three winners will snag one of these puppies, so be sure to stay on your toes in these final weeks of handicapping! Really smart picks could mean the difference between finishing last and first— no really!

Have a wonderful week everyone. Once things calm down I hope to do another interview with a new horse racing industry person and then next month starts the “Derby Dozen” profiles!

High hoof!


Secret Circle Needs to Be Caught in Rebel Stakes

***DERBY HANDICAP CONTEST Week 8 of 12! - Email or message me your trifecta pick to earn points towards winning the Derby Handicap Contest. You have until 1 hour before post time to send/edit picks. See details in the Contest tab!*

The road to the Arkansas Derby (I) and the Kentucky Derby (I) has been a trail of awesome contenders in recent years, and this year’s edition looks to keep that trend going. Saturday’s Rebel Stakes (II) welcomes fresh faces as well as usual Oaklawn haunts and improvers. Back on track and ready for another big win is Bob Baffert’s speedster Secret Circle as well as several Southwest divisional top runners who hope to topple him. Last year’s Rebel was won by the speedy The Factor, also Baffert-trained, so can this be a repeat win?

I’m not too heavy on my analysis here… thanks Oaklawn for posting the entries a day later than expected…

$500,000 Rebel Stakes (II) - 3-Year-Olds. 1 1/16 miles on dirt at Oaklawn Park. Post Time: Saturday, March 17 at 5:48pm CST.

[Post Position, Horse - Jockey, Impost, Trainer - Summary, Opinion in italics]

1) Unbridled’s Note - Channing Hill, 115 lbs, Steve Asmussen - The Unbridled’s Song colt bounced from a first-time-out maiden break to the Southwest Stakes (II) probably a bit too fast, placing 9th in the quieter division won by Castaway. He’s been breezing pretty steadily leading up to the race, but with the rail spot I think he’s going to get pinched out of contention quicker than usual.

2) Scatman - Luis Quinonez, 117 lbs, Michael Lauer - This Scat Daddy colt captured my attention, particularly seeing as how well Scat Daddy progeny are doing so far this year. He ran a good second behind Secret Circle in the Southwest Stakes (II) in his first stakes appearance. This guy’s got some bulldog tenacity, and I expect him to improve nicely here. Must watch list for me, but he might need another race to give him time to stretch out to the distance.

3) Cyber Secret - Robby Albarado, 117 lbs, Lynn Whiting - A closer that did not show up in the Southwest Stakes (II) against Secret Circle, the Broken Vow colt was a bit of a disappointment. He upgrades jockeys to Robby Albarado coupled with a bullet 5-furlong work in :59 2/5. He either wants to win or he doesn’t looking at his record, so it’s really hard to say where he’ll go without mind reading abilities. The jockey switch *ought* to help.

4) Optimizer - Jon Court, 115 lbs, D. Wayne Lukas - A good two-year-old turned sour three-year-old, the English Channel colt failed to impress running a bumpy 9th in the Risen Star (II) and an uninvolved 6th in the Smarty Jones before that. For god’s sake, Lukas, what are you doing?

5) Jake Mo - M. Clifton Berry, 117 lbs, Allen Milligan - The Giacomo colt appeared to be in full bounce-back mode with a strong 2nd place finish to Castaway last out in the Southwest. He retains that same jockey and went a slick 1:00 3/5 in his most recent 5-furlonger. Is he ready to keep on improving as a three-year-old? He makes a decent case to land on the board again.

6) Sabercat - Corey Nakatani, 119 lbs, Steve Asmussen - The big Delta Downs Jackpot (III) winner has returned for his three-year-old debut, and boy am I excited. He threw in a quiet 4-furlong breeze in :50 4/5 upon arriving at Oaklawn a few days ago. Because of his earnings and this being his first time back in months, I am not expecting a win out of Sabercat here. Asmussen’s going to want to just tune him up for the Derby here, I’m thinking.

7) Secret Circle - Rafael Bejarano, 122 lbs, Bob Baffert - The high-weight and likely favorite here can be contributed to the Eddington colt’s recent Southwest Stakes (II) divisional win paired with the rabid success of Baffert trainees causing chaos every weekend. Logged a nice 6-furlong work at Santa Anita and despite shipping, he’ll probably fare okay. Never finishing off the board, expect more chaos from the speedy Secret Circle despite a loaded field and an extra sixteenth. He’s going to need every ounce judging by last time.

8) Atigun - Terry Thompson, 117 lbs, Ken McPeek - Another promising Istan colt (sire of Mr. Bowling), he laid it all on the line in a large January allowance-op claimer against other colts in this field, winning in dramatic closing fashion at the distance at Oaklawn. A sharp 1:00 breeze over 5 furlongs recently shows Atigun’s ready to move up the ranks. Should the conditions favor closers, Atigun’s worth a good long look.

9) Reckless Jerry - Joe Rocco Jr, 115 lbs, Kenny Smith - The Smarty Jones runner-up returns to fight another day after a decent 3rd in Castaway’s Southwest win. He’s never been off the board in all 7 starts, winning twice, and is breezing very well. He gets a jockey change, however, and was slow to gain ground on the field last out so it’s hard to give him reasonable cause to win here.

10) Ring It Up - Lindey Wade, 115 lbs, Chris Richard - Just one win in 8 starts makes this Toccet colt a tough gamble. He didn’t have much left at the finish while 4th in Castaway’s Southwest win. Meh. I’ll pass.

11) Pee H Dee - Israel Ocampo, 117 lbs, Chris Richard - I’m going out on a limb here to say this Tale of the Cat baby is Chris Richard’s better entry. He was a modest 4th in Castaway’s Southwest victory and before that a gutsy allowance winner. He’s been working pretty well, too, with a very sharp 4 furlongs in :47 3/5. Maybe he has hope with that nice work, but nonetheless this is still a pretty steep challenge for him to master. Longshot, but not a terrible longshot.

12) Najjaar - Calvin Borel, 117 lbs, Daniel Peitz - Look, a baby Jazil! He broke his maiden at Oaklawn back in January, but has been a very game runner every step on the way to that moment. He’s looking to make it three wins in a row while being undefeated as a three-year-old here with a first-time step up to stakes competition. A ballsy proposition to suggest Najjaar can make the cut, but that’s what this horse has. He can already nail the distance and do well despite flawed trips, so this closer ought to be one to watch.

13) Adirondack King - Stewart Elliott, 117 lbs, John Servis - The trainer of Smarty Jones thinks he’s potentially got a Derby horse lurking in this Lawyer Ron colt, who ran a pretty good third in the Southwest Stakes (II) division won by Secret Circle. In that race, he ran a pretty wide trip— 6 positions out into the stretch— so there’s evidence he could improve a good deal here. Works are as consistent as ever. I like this horse a good deal and I think he could do pretty well here should the Lawyer Ron curse of late skip over him.

Predicted Trifecta: 1) Atigun 2) Secret Circle 3) Jake Mo (Yup, taking a chance here… I’m on the bench that says Secret Circle was all out and is a miler at heart)

Value Pick(s): Atigun, Adirondack King

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Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.

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