Archive for June 2014

My Option Finds Her Best Stride In Chicago Handicap

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — On a hot, humid day at Arlington, older fillies and mares took the stage in the 26th running of the Chicago Handicap at seven furlongs over the polytrack.  The field featured three familiar faces from last year’s running: winner Cozze Up Lady, second-place Queen’s Award, and Flower Spell, who finished fifth last... Read more »

2014 Santa Anita Gold Cup Day Picks and Ponderings

The second leg of this weekend’s Picks and Ponderings road trip takes us all the way out west to Santa Anita.  On Saturday, they run four graded stakes races that were previously part of the Hollywood Park calendar, but moved over to Santa Anita Park in light of Hollywood’s December 2013 closure.  One of the... Read more »

2014 Iowa Festival Picks and Ponderings

Sometimes (as seen from Belmont Stakes weekend) at “Picks & Ponderings”, we take a road trip to a bigger day of racing that’s beyond Chicago.  Both Nicolle and I take separate road trips this weekend.  While she’s heading to the West Coast to Santa Anita, I’m heading to Iowa. Yes, Iowa. “Picks & Ponderings” is... Read more »
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2014 Chicago Handicap Preview

Our feature race this week is Saturday’s Chicago Handicap on the polytrack, carded as the feature for the June 28th program. Sometimes it’s called the Chicago Sprint (because of its distance) or shortened to the “Chi Cap” (shortening both the city and condition).  It’s a late-June/early-July fixture of the Arlington stakes calendar. It carries a... Read more »

June 22, 2014: Full-Card Arlington Picks and Analysis

Today is not a stakes day at Arlington, but there is still a full card of nine races happening at Arlington today.  Picks and Ponderings is on site for the Sunday card; join us all afternoon for live paddock picks and results on Twitter at @picksponderings. Due to the rainstorms last night the races have... Read more »

The Pizza Man, Kepi Post Ilinois-bred Stakes Triumphs

It was a tale of two stakes that balanced similarities and differences on a mid-June afternoon at Arlington International, with older Illinois-breds taking the stage in split-by-gender divisions that were, at the start of the day, planned for the grass course.  What was similar was how both winners were that used pressing rallies and both... Read more »
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June 21, 2014: Full-Card Arlington Picks and Analysis

The stakes season at Arlington Park picks up this week and shifts to the turf with two state-bred stakes on the turf, the Black Tie Affair Handicap and the Lincoln Heritage Handicap.  The former features the return of The Pizza Man for the first time since winning the Carey Memorial Handicap at Hawthorne last fall;... Read more »

2014 Lincoln Heritage/Black Tie Affair Preview

Once again, the Illinois-breds take center stage in a series of six stakes that were packaged together in the past as the Prairie State Festival. Most of the races have been spread out over the month of June at Arlington International. Unlike in past weeks, we get two stakes races featured this week.  The two... Read more »

Fire Tricks Wins Isaac Murphy Handicap After Frabster Disqualified

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — Older Illinois-bred fillies and mares were in the spotlight in today’s featured race, the 35th running of the Isaac Murphy Handicap.  The race, a $100,000 stakes race for state-bred fillies and mares ages three and up, was run at six furlongs over the Arlington polytrack.  The race had a field of ten,... Read more »
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2014 Isaac Murphy Handicap Preview

Once again, the Illinois-breds take center stage in a series of six stakes that were packaged together in the past as the Prairie State Festival. Most of the races will be spread out over the month of June at Arlington International. This week’s feature honors Isaac Murphy (see photo), a Hall of Fame jockey who... Read more »