Archive for February 2018

2018 Fountain of Youth Stakes and Davona Dale Stakes Preview

This weekend, the national spotlight shines once more on the Sunshine State.  Saturday’s stakes-laden card at Gulfstream Park features a pair of sophomore points races: the Fountain of Youth (G2) for the Derby-bound, and the Davona Dale (G2) for fillies.  The Fountain of Youth is the only Derby prep this weekend, and it drew a... Read more »

2018 UAE Oaks Preview

Most of the Kentucky Oaks points races happen in North America, but this Thursday, one filly in Dubai may punch her ticket to the Oaks. The card at Meydan features the Group 3 United Arab Emirates Oaks.  In addition to being the only Oaks points race outside of the United States or Canada, it also... Read more »

Voting for 2017's Illinois Champions

Picks & Ponderings is proud to announce that it is voting once again for equine champions in Illinois. Both Paul Mazur and Nicolle Neulist are casting ballots — as always, we each do so independently. Votes are made for Illinois Horse of the Year, as well as in a number of categories organized by age, sex,... Read more »
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2018 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes Preview

Picks and Ponderings has kept a close eye trained on the three-year-old points races, but there are none this week.  Far be it from us to go on hiatus, though: especially since we’re hitting the road this weekend!  We’re off to Florence, Kentucky, making our maiden voyage to Turfway Park, so follow along with @picksponderings for... Read more »

2018 Southwest Stakes Preview

We’ve already visited the Big Easy and the City by the Bay this weekend — but with Presidents’ Day on Monday, the Derby trail winds to Oaklawn Park for the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes, the second of four preps during this winter’s Hot Springs meet.  Though the Kentucky Derby points haul isn’t huge — it’s the final... Read more »

2018 El Camino Real Derby Preview

With synthetic tracks going out of fashion in the United States over the last few years, options for amassing Kentucky Derby points over anything but dirt have become few and far between.  One of those rare remaining opportunities comes this Saturday over the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields, in the El Camino Real Derby. In addition... Read more »
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2018 Risen Star Stakes and Rachel Alexandra Stakes Preview

This Saturday, things get serious at Fair Grounds.  Since the inauguration of the points system in 2013, 50 points has been far more than enough to get a horse into either the Kentucky Derby or the Kentucky Oaks.  And, Saturday’s card in New Orleans features the first pair of 50-20-10-5 point preps: the $400,000 Risen... Read more »

2018 Martha Washington Stakes Preview

Saturday’s card at Oaklawn features the second stakes of the season for three-year-old fillies: the $125,000 Martha Washington Stakes.  Opening day featured the six-furlong Dixie Belle, but the Martha Washington’s one-mile distance begins to bring out those fillies who may be able to stretch out for later preps, or even the nine-furlong Oaks itself. In... Read more »

2018 Sam F. Davis Stakes and Suncoast Stakes Preview

For the first time in a couple years, Picks and Ponderings won’t be at the Sam F. Davis Stakes — our foray south will instead happen a little later this winter, for the Tampa Bay Derby.  However, being in Chicago won’t stop us from previewing Saturday’s pair of sophomore dirt stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, the Sam F.... Read more »
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2018 Las Virgenes Stakes Preview

In a week of three-year-old preps that already took us to Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita on Saturday, we return to Santa Anita on Sunday for the day’s lone sophomore points race, the Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes.  The dirt mile drew a field of six fillies to contend for their share of a $200,000... Read more »