Archive for June 2018

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 »

An eventful weekend for Illinois-bred horses

Between exactas at Canterbury, the resurgence of stakes action at Fairmount Park, and individual horses turning heads, the last few days have been eventful ones in Illinois racing.  Let Picks and Ponderings make sure you’re on top of all the action, with a romp through the latest news on the Illinois-bred Thoroughbred scene. Illinois-bred exactas at... Read more »

With a Track Record Performance, Hotshot Anna Lives Up to Her Name in the Chicago Handicap

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS — The rail was the place to be at Arlington today.  No one told Hotshot Anna that before the Chicago Handicap — but, no one needed to. Despite pressing torrid fractions and racing two wide until the stretch drive, Hotshot Anna had more than enough to blast clear to a five and three-quarters... Read more »
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2018 Chicago Handicap Preview

After a year’s diversion to Churchill Downs, the Chicago Handicap is back where it belongs this year: Arlington Park. This year marks the 29th running of the race.  Last year’s edition was at Churchill Downs, though it was run at Arlington for all its editions before that. Though the surfaces differ, the Chicago Handicap does... Read more »

Royal Ascot: 2018 Gold Cup Preview

The Gold Cup is one of the world’s premier events for true stayers, going two and a half miles over the grass.  First run in 1807, the race is the oldest of the Royal Ascot meet.  It has been run at Ascot through the vast majority of its history, though it moved to Newmarket during... Read more »

Chief Oakie Dokie, Strollin the Bayou Sweep Stakes for Jockey Carlos Marquez

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — Saturday was Jockey Appreciation Day at Arlington Park: signs with each of the riders’ names adorned the fence around the paddock, the television feed featured special interviews and features with the local riding colony, and the track hosted a 5K to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund after the races. After the pair... Read more »
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2018 Springfield Stakes and Purple Violet Stakes Preview

We hope you’ve caught your breath after a whirlwind Triple Crown season, because the stakes calendar at Arlington continues this week. Saturday afternoon three-year-olds from the Land of Lincoln take the spotlight.  The card features a pair of main-track miles, the Purple Violet Stakes for fillies and the Springfield Stakes unrestricted by sex.  Both races offer... Read more »

CHRISTIAN C, DREAMOFJEAN E. Prove Themselves in Stakes Company

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — Though rain washed Saturday’s pair of Illinois-bred stakes races off the grass, the races held together well and still featured some of Illinois’s most talented two-turn horses.  All six entrants remained to contest the Black Tie Affair Handicap, in which favoured Christian C stalked and pounced his way to victory.  Two... Read more »

2018 Black Tie Affair Handicap and Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap Preview

With a Triple Crown on the line and supporting action that actually deserves being compared to a mid-year Breeders’ Cup, Picks and Ponderings has spend much of this week looking at Belmont Park.  (Friday here; Saturday here).  But, at our heart, we are a Chicago website.  And, we would be remiss if we did not look... Read more »
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2018 Belmont Stakes Preview and Saturday Stakes Selections

For the first time since American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015, there’s a Triple Crown on the line.  Once again, that Triple Crown prospect hails from the barn of Bob Baffert, drawing comparisons to American Pharoah.  He comes into the Belmont undefeated, inspiring Seattle Slew references from his most steadfast boosters and Smarty... Read more »