2014 Illinois Derby Day Preview

The most important race of the Hawthorne spring meet is upon us.  It’s Illinois Derby Day, with the feature set for race nine on a ten race card set for April 19th, the day before Easter Sunday.  In a twist to the stakes schedule this year, two Illinois-bred stakes from next week’s Illinois Champions Day... Read more »

Kid Cruz, Midnight Hawk Eyeing Illinois Derby

STICKNEY/CICERO — Hawthorne Race Course will kick off its brief two-week stakes season on April 19 with the Grade 3, $500,000 Illinois Derby, to be run at one and one-eighth miles on the dirt at Hawthorne for strictly three-year-olds. The race was excluded two years ago from the Kentucky Derby points qualification list but now... Read more »

2014 Derby Dozen 4

Okay, I’m going to spoil it here and now.  California Chrome is not my number one. In fact, he doesn’t crack the top five. There’s a new number one this go around, CONQUEST TITAN, who is one of three on my list pointing for the April 12 G1 Arkansas Derby.  I could be Mr. Cynical,... Read more »
Advertisement:

Handicapping Mail Bag (Transylvania, Santa Anita Derby, Polytrack)

Horse racing, by its nature, is a social game. You get together with your friends, you have some food or a beer, you might pool some money for a large pool, and you hope for the best.  In this new world with e-mails and social media, you could be at one track and discussing the... Read more »

2014 Sunland Derby Preview

The following piece is jointly submitted for Thorofan’s “Handicapper’s Corner”.  As someone who composes ballots for the Wireplayers Derby Dozen, I’m asked to look at the three-year-old races on a weekly basis, try to digest what happened, and make a sensible ballot.  Throughout this three-year-old season, the horses involved have been uninspiring in these eyes.... Read more »

2014 Derby Dozen 3

In the past two years, I’ve often found a horse that keyed the top spot in the ChicagoNow Derby Dozen (with the ballots submitted in copy for WirePlayers and now for the NTRA Media Poll) that stayed up at the top spot all through the Prep races.  Two years ago it was Take Charge Indy,... Read more »
Advertisement:

Racing Dudes Challenge 2

Two weeks ago, Racing Dudes offered on its Twitter feed a novel idea for weekends on its site.  They crafted a Sunday challenge with ten races from around the county, and using $2 faux win/place wagers to keep score, planned to put their picks out on public display, with take-on-all-comers policy of opponent selection. I... Read more »

Racing Dudes Challenge

A week ago, Racing Dudes offered on its Twitter feed a novel idea for weekends on its site.  They crafted a Sunday challenge with ten races from around the county, and using $2 faux win/place wagers to keep score, planned to put their picks out on public display, with take-on-all-comers policy of opponent selection. I... Read more »

2014 Derby Dozen 2

Once again, it’s time for another round of Derby Dozen.  With ten weeks to the event, and a number of February preps in the books, it’s time for a new list.  Emphasis this time on “new” as a half-dozen of them drop off and another half-dozen newcomers are on this list. The Author is pleased... Read more »
Advertisement:

2014 Derby Dozen 1

Lots of people make Kentucky Derby lists.  Some go ten deep, some twelve deep (here we do that), some do sixteen, some do twenty, and there’s one place that goes one hundred horses long. Okay, that’s fine.  Heck, even your grandmother might have a Derby list. Here at “Picks and Ponderings” we’ll be a bit... Read more »