Archive for August 2018

2018 Woodward Stakes Preview

We have reached Labor Day weekend: the traditional end of summer, and the closing weekend of racing action at the Spa. The Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward Stakes is the final older-horse Grade 1 of the Saratoga meet.  The race is named after William Woodward, Sr., a banker who developed Belair Stud into one of the... Read more »

Arlington Maiden Notes: 8.24.18, Race 4

Friday’s card at Arlington features a juvenile maiden special weight at a mile on the grass.  All seven of the runners have raced at least once before, with five of the seven having tried a mile on the grass before.  Only Sayin Grace and Patch’s Lugh have not yet gone two turns; both have only... Read more »

2018 Travers Stakes Preview and Travers Day Stakes Selections

This Saturday’s card at Saratoga is the biggest of the meet, and features the meet’s cornerstone race: the Grade 1 Travers Stakes.  This piece features full analysis of the Travers Stakes, as well as a selections grid for all of the stakes races Saturday at the Spa. Colloquially dubbed the Mid-Summer Derby, the Travers has... Read more »
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Arlington Maiden Notes: 8.17.18, Race 2

Today’s Arlington second is a maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies, at five and a half furlongs on the polytrack.  It’s a smaller field than most recent two-year-old maidens at Arlington, with just seven entered.  It also, unlike most of the juvenile races over the last month or more, contains only first-time starters. Even with... Read more »

2018 Pacific Classic Preview

Saturday will mark the 28th edition of the Pacific Classic, Del Mar’s marquee race for the handicap division. The race has always been contested at a mile and a quarter over the Del Mar main: polytrack from 2007 through 2014, and dirt otherwise.  The race offers a $1,000,000 purse, as well as a Win and... Read more »

Arlington Maiden Notes: 8.16.18, Race 6

Thursday’s sixth race at Arlington Park is a maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies, going a mile on the grass.  The race is a mix of horses who have tried a turf mile before, runners stretching out for the first time, and others who are debuting at this longer trip. As has been common in... Read more »
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Looking Back: 2018 Arlington Million Day

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL –The Arlington summer meet reached its crescendo with the International Festival of Racing on Saturday.  The card was anchored by a trio of Grade 1 turf races: the Arlington Million, the Beverly D. Stakes, and the Secretariat Stakes.  Supporting that was another pair of stakes for three-year-olds, the Grade 3 Pucker Up... Read more »

2018 Arlington Million Picks and Ponderings

After a week of early mornings and mounting excitement, the summer meet at Arlington Park reaches its crescendo this Saturday with the 36th running of the Arlington Million. Here at Picks and Ponderings, we have previews of all five stakes races Saturday at Arlington Park: Race 8: Bruce D. Memorial Stakes Race 9: Secretariat Stakes... Read more »

2018 Bruce D. Memorial Stakes Preview

The Bruce D. Memorial Stakes is the only one of Saturday’s five stakes carded for the polytrack, and the only ungraded stakes of the group.  Originally run as the Straight Line Stakes between 2012 and 2014, it was renamed in 2015 to honour R. Bruce Duchossois (1950-2014), son of Arlington Park chairman Richard Duchossois.  Bruce Duchossois... Read more »
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2018 Pucker Up Stakes Preview

This race is named after Pucker Up, the 1957 Champion Older Female Horse.  Owned by Dan and Ada Rice (who campaigned 1965 Kentucky Derby winner Lucky Debonair) and trained by Jimmy Conway, she went on a tear at age four.  At Arlington, she beat her own sex in the Arlington Matron.  Out at Washington Park,... Read more »