2018 Diana Stakes and Sanford Stakes Preview

Summer is here: the Spa is opening. Picks and Ponderings turns it attention this week to the pair of graded stakes on Saturday at the Spa.  One, the Grade 3 Sanford, drew a field of eight juvenile colts to go six furlongs on the dirt.  The other, the first Grade 1 of the meet, is the... Read more »

2018 Indiana Derby and Indiana Oaks Preview

This Saturday is Indiana Grand’s biggest day of Thoroughbred racing.  The day’s card features a pair of competitive Grade 3 stakes for the three-year-old set.  Nine horses have entered to vie for a $500,000 purse in the Indiana Derby; eight fillies will contend for a $200,000 purse in the Indiana Oaks.  The fields feature the combinations that make the... Read more »

Indiana Derby Day Locals

The Indiana Derby (G3) is coming up at Indiana Grand this Saturday.  With six stakes races on the card, it’s the year’s biggest race day in Shelbyville. We have a full preview of the day’s pair of graded races, as well as selections in all six stakes, in a separate piece.  But, before we get... Read more »
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Looking Back at the 2018 Ride to the Million

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS — Though rain has beset so much of the summer at Arlington, the weather finally cooperated for Ride to the Million Day, a card that featured five turf races, including local preps for all three Grade 1 events that make up the International Festival of Racing on August 11.  The weather was... Read more »

Previewing the 2018 Ride to the Million: Hatoof Stakes Preview

The Hatoof Stakes began its life in 2002 as an early-fall overnight stakes race, but the next year it was moved to the month of August, serving as a local prep for the Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes.  In 2015 the Pucker Up moved to Million Day — and the Hatoof was not run.  Off... Read more »

Previewing the 2018 Ride to the Million: American Derby Preview

Run for the 104th time this year, and boasting a purse of $100,000, the American Derby began at the old Washington Park, was run once at Hawthorne, resurfaced at the second Washington Park, but has been based at Arlington since 1958.  Its very first edition, run in 1884, was won by a horse who lends her... Read more »

Previewing the 2018 Ride to the Million: Stars and Stripes Stakes Preview

This year marks the 87th running of the Stars and Stripes Stakes.   From 2012 through last year it was the local prep for the American St. Leger on Million Day, and produced one winner of the American St. Leger during that time: Illinois-bred superstar The Pizza Man.  Though as of this year, it no longer... Read more »

Previewing the 2018 Ride to the Million: Modesty Handicap Preview

The Modesty Handicap will be run for the 62nd time this year, and offers a purse of $100,000.  It began at Washington Park in 1942, and has been run at Arlington almost steadily since 1962, though did move to Hawthorne in 1985.  The race takes its name from Modesty — a filly who beat males... Read more »

Previewing the 2018 Ride to the Million: Arlington Handicap Preview

The Arlington Million is coming up August 11, meaning time for the local prep races has drawn nigh. Saturday’s ten-race card at Arlington Park features nine races on the grass, including five stakes races.  Four of the stakes races are graded: the Arlington Handicap (G3), the Modesty Handicap (G3), the American Derby (G3), and the... Read more »

2018 Queen's Plate and Highlander Stakes Preview

With stakes action quiet for a week at Arlington — it picks back up on July 7 for Ride to the Million Day — Picks and Ponderings will be turning our eyes north of the border for one of Woodbine’s flagship days. The Queen’s Plate is the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, and with... Read more »