Vance Hanson

Vance Hanson has been a contributing writer and editor for, and since 2008. Prior to joining the Churchill Downs Inc. family, he served as a publicity assistant at Canterbury Park and as a handicapper/writer for Daily Racing Form.

Hanson: Spot Plays for 2024 Risen Star Day

Fri Feb 16 2024Vance Hanson

Uncertainty regarding surfaces and conditions earlier in the program lead me to concentrate ahead of time on the latter portion of a terrific 14-race Risen Star Day card.
Dornoch looking to keep Kentucky Derby in the family

Tue Feb 06 2024Vance Hanson

If successful in the Kentucky Derby, not only would Dornoch long be recognized as the winner of an historic edition, but he would also become the first sibling of a Derby winner to also win the race.
Handicapping the first Pick 3 on Pegasus World Cup Day

Fri Jan 26 2024Vance Hanson

A blockbuster Pegasus World Cup Day card at Gulfstream Park kicks off rather early (11 a.m. ET) on Saturday, owing to 13 races and a still-early sunset at this time of the year.
Horses to watch in Pegasus World Cup and World Cup Turf

Wed Jan 24 2024Vance Hanson

On the surface, both the $3 million Pegasus World Cup (G1) and $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Saturday appear to be good betting races.
Fair Grounds: Turf single in Lecomte Day Pick 3

Fri Jan 19 2024Vance Hanson

As is customary on Fair Grounds' big days, a plethora of stakes is balanced by maidens devoted to three-year-olds and some turf allowances. Those are the kind of races offered in the middle of a 13-race card, where I'll be focusing on a Pick 3 play that begins with Race 5.
Mitole finishes fast to become top first-crop sire of 2023

Mon Jan 08 2024Vance Hanson

In his racing days, sprint champion Mitole was known for his blazing speed. However, it was a late burst by his offspring in the final weeks of the season that propelled Mitole to the top of the first-crop sire list for 2023.
Best of Hanson: 2023 Anthology

Sat Dec 30 2023Vance Hanson

In a break from recent years, the historically themed pieces I wrote during 2023 were all published at Therefore, it makes sense that my ninth annual anthology would be available on the TwinSpires Edge, too.
Remembering the champions we lost in 2023

Mon Dec 18 2023Vance Hanson

Through Dec. 18, nine former Eclipse Award-winning Thoroughbreds are known to have died in 2023.
Late Bloomer, Bowl Game underrated stars of the Super 70s

Wed Dec 13 2023Vance Hanson

For a racing fan in 1970s America, it was an era of indulgence and pure gluttony. Roughly two dozen Hall of Fame inductees made their mark on the flat during those 10 illustrious seasons, and that doesn’t even begin to count many other talents whose exploits have receded more rapidly from the collective memory.
Look to Japan for price plays in Hong Kong International Races

Fri Dec 08 2023Vance Hanson

With the exception of the Hong Kong Vase (G1), the home team for Sunday's Hong Kong International races sure seems locked and loaded. Romantic Warrior, Golden Sixty, and Lucky Sweynesse all figure to be favored in the other three events, and might very well come through at short prices.
Pick 3 ending with the Clark Stakes begins with a single

Fri Nov 24 2023Vance Hanson

Friday's 12-race card at Churchill Downs can hardly be labeled leftovers, not with a pair of graded stakes highlighting the program.
Handicapping a Thanksgiving Day Pick 3 at Churchill Downs

Wed Nov 22 2023Vance Hanson

Churchill Downs will offer a large feast of races on Thursday and throughout Thanksgiving weekend as the 2023 fall meet wraps up.
The Churchill Downs match still in doubt after a century

Wed Nov 15 2023Vance Hanson

Match racing in the United States has a spotty history, but one of the few that (mostly) lived up to the hype occurred 100 years ago this week at Churchill Downs.