2019 Louisiana Derby and Fair Grounds Oaks Preview

Saturday at Fair Grounds, the highest-stakes round of Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks preps begin.  The Louisiana spurs of the three-year-old trails draw to a close with the Fair Grounds Oaks and the Louisiana Derby: 100-point races for the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby, respectively.  Even the 40 points afforded the second-place finishers have... Read more »

2019 Rebel Stakes Preview

Oaklawn’s spur of the Derby trail continues this Saturday with the Rebel Stakes. Originally slated as a race with a $1,000,000 purse and Kentucky Derby points allotted 50-20-10-5 to its top four finishers, the number of horses pointed to the Rebel mushroomed after the San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita was cancelled.  In response, Oaklawn... Read more »

2019 Jeff Ruby Steaks and Bourbonette Oaks Preview

This week, Picks and Ponderings turns its eyes toward Florence, y’all.  Turfway’s card on Saturday features a pair of three-year-old points races, the $200,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) (previously the Spiral Stakes) for open company and the $100,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3) for fillies.  Both races offer 20-8-4-2 points to its top four finishers, good for the Kentucky Derby... Read more »
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2019 Fountain of Youth Preview and Saturday Gulfstream Stakes Selections

Saturday’s card at Gulfstream Park is headlined by the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes. Here at Picks and Ponderings, we have a full preview of the Fountain of Youth, a race which offers a purse of $400,000 as well as Road to the Kentucky Derby points (50-20-10-5) to its top four finishers. We also... Read more »

2019 Hal's Hope Stakes Preview

Racing may still be on hiatus in Chicago for another three weeks, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t following locals in big races.  This Saturday’s card at Gulfstream is anchored by the Hal’s Hope Stakes (G3), a race that marks the four-year-old debut of Illinois-bred rising star Sir Anthony. The son of Mineshaft, owned by... Read more »

2019 Risen Star and Rachel Alexandra Stakes Preview

If you’re on the road to the Kentucky Derby or the Kentucky Oaks, the ante has gone up.  The next round of three-year-old preps begins on Saturday at Fair Grounds, with the Risen Star Stakes (G2) and the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G2).  Both of those races offer 50-20-10-5 points, respectively, to their top four finishers... Read more »

2019 Sam F. Davis Stakes Day Preview

This weekend, the Derby trail visits Tampa Bay Downs — and so does Picks and Ponderings.  We visit in a sense of writing this preview of all four stakes races on Saturday’s card.  But, we also visit in a literal sense.  This half of P&P will be on the ground at Tampa Bay Downs, so make sure to follow... Read more »

2019 Holy Bull and Forward Gal Stakes Preview

This week, Picks and Ponderings stays in Hallandale Beach, and looks at a pair of three-year-old points races. Gulfstream has been a live spur of the Kentucky Derby trail in recent years, and the first of its prep series is this Saturday’s Holy Bull Stakes (G2).  The race offers a $350,000 purse, as well as... Read more »

Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf Preview, and Saturday Gulfstream Stakes Selections

For the two years since its inception, the Pegasus World Cup Invitational has been the world’s richest horse race, with a $12 million purse in 2017 and $16 million the year later.  Both times, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner has come back triumphant in South Florida: Arrogate won the inaugural running, and Gun Runner... Read more »

2019 Lecomte S. and Silverbulletday S. Preview

This week the Derby trail and the Oaks trails wind through New Orleans.  For the Oaks-bound, Saturday’s card features the $150,000 Silverbulletday stakes at a mile and seventy yards on dirt. One race later, Louisiana’s spur of the Derby trail begins with the Lecomte Stakes (G3), a $200,000 race over the same mile and seventy... Read more »