Miss Marissa
Miss Marissa proved best in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Fingers crossed, our group of handicappers will arrive Saturday morning off a big night of picking winners on Breeders’ Cup Friday.

If so, that’ll give them some added ammunition to attack Saturday’s monster card. Some questions that we’ll ponder on Saturday’s Off to the Races:

  • Thankful for the blue-collar horse
    Bemoan racing’s lack of high-end, sticking-around stars? No, thanks. Be thankful, instead, for the blue-collar horses that are the spine of the industry.

  • Can Maryland-bred Knicks Go – sorry, we have to ask – get the 1 1/4 miles?
  • In the two sprints, can any runner take the measure of Gamine? Or Jackie’s Warrior?
  • How about the other Midlantic-breds? Can PA-bred Caravel rediscover her summer form? Will NJ-bred Horologist have a bouceback effort? Can Maryland-bred Aloha West take the next big step?
  • Can the American turfers contend with the Euros?

Our panel will atempt to answer all these questions (and more) Saturday at 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Our panel is:

  • Chuck Simon. Podcaster Chuck Simon previously worked as a trainer, and he conditioned 2005 Breeders’ Cup Sprint entrant Battle Won, who didn’t win but did help duel post-time favorite Lost in the Fog to defeat. Chuck’s podcast, Going in Circles, can be found here: Going in Circles – Horse Racing podcast hosted by Charles Simon (
  • Nick Hahn. A familiar voice to our listeners, Nick Hahn is the Virginia correspondent for The Racing Biz and author of the eponymous Nick’s Picks tipsheet, the original and best Colonial Downs tipsheet. And, yes, Nick had I’ll Have Another in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
  • Derby Bill Watson. Man, myth, and legend Derby Bill Watson is an Off to the Races  regular and the former on-air handicapper for Colonial Downs. 

Frank Vespe will host.