2015 New York Stakes Preview

This weekend, Belmont Park has its biggest racing weekend of the year.  Though most of the marquee races take place on Saturday with the Belmont Stakes, Friday’s card also has a five-pack of stakes races.  Both halves of the Picks and Ponderings team have looked at all the stakes and provide a selection grid.  Picks... Read more »

2015 Aristides and Opening Verse Stakes Preview

This weekend, Picks and Ponderings turns its eyes to a pair of graded stakes winning Illinois-breds who return to the track for the first time in 2015: six-year-old Midwest Thoroughbreds homebreds Work All Week and The Pizza Man.  However, this time around, they do not return in their home state, but in Kentucky at Churchill... Read more »

2015 Gamely Stakes Preview

A long weekend is upon us for Memorial Day, and with it comes stakes bookends here at Picks and Ponderings.  For Saturday, Paul Mazur looks north to Saturday’s Nassau Stakes (GII – CAN) at Woodbine.  For Monday, I turn my eyes south and west to the only Grade I race in North America this weekend:... Read more »
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2015 Nassau Stakes Preview

On a weekend with only a sprinkling of graded stakes (even though it is the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend) as opposed to the vast variety for Kentucky Derby Week and Preakness Week, Picks & Ponderings goes with a singleton race from each of its authors.   Nicolle Neulist heads west for the Grade One Gamely Stakes... Read more »

2015 Dixie Stakes Preview and Preakness Undercard Selections

Saturday’s Preakness undercard is laden with stakes, but none of them (up to and including the feature) drew as contentious a field as the Grade II, $300,000 Dixie Stakes.  The race drew an overflow field of fourteen middle-distance grass runners, plus two on the also-eligible list. This year marks the 114th running of the Dixie... Read more »

2015 Preakness Point/Counterpoint

Picks and Ponderings turned its attention to Pimlico Race Course for Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Day card, and keeps its eyes turned eastward for Preakness Day. Will AMERICAN PHAROAH continue his sojourn toward Triple Crown glory?  Will his stablemate DORTMUND turn the tables?  Will someone else spoil Bob Baffert’s party altogether?  To answer that question here,... Read more »
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Work All Week named 2014 Illinois Horse of the Year

Midwest Thoroughbreds’ homebred WORK ALL WEEK was crowned the 2014 Illinois Horse of the Year at a May 9 dinner and ceremony at Arlington International Racecourse.  The ceremony was presented by the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation (ITBOF). The 2013 Illinois Horse of the Year won four open dirt stakes throughout his 2014 campaign,... Read more »

2015 Black-Eyed Susan Day Stakes Preview

There are three things that serve as the definition of a black-eyed susan.  First, it is a flower that serves as the state flower of Maryland.  And the winner of the Preakness Stakes on the third Saturday in May will be draped in a bouquet of yellow and brown flowers (spoiler alert: it’s really chrysanthemums... Read more »

2015 Vanity Stakes Preview

This weekend, horse racing catches its collective breath in the weekend between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.  Just two Grade I races are run nationwide, and this piece looks westward.  The eastern distaff contingent had its Grade I affair on the Oaks undercard, with Molly Morgan taking the La Troienne.  The older fillies and... Read more »
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2015 Man O' War Stakes Preview

For years, the second week of May in horse-racing was a good week to hit the snooze button.  A typically sleepy week in racing often featured events not of high-level grading in the past.  But in the present, it sees two Grade One events, one on each coast.  Each is the focus of their own... Read more »