Archive for October 2018

2018 Raven Run Stakes Preview

This Saturday’s featured race at Keeneland is the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes. The race has been run since 1999, and has always been a seven-furlong sprint for three-year-old fillies over the Keeneland main track. It earned Grade 3 status in 2002, and gained its current Grade 2 designation in 2006. As with so many... Read more »

A Grade 1 Double for Jockey Andrea Atzeni at Woodbine

Jockey Andrea Atzeni had ridden in the Canadian International thrice before, Jwith his previous best finish coming when he guided Seismos to a third-place finish in 2013.  Today, he did two placings better when guiding Desert Encounter home in the day’s flagship race, with a furious late rally that carried them past favoured Thundering Blue. Less than an... Read more »

2018 Canadian International Day Picks and Ponderings

Saturday’s card at Woodbine features the Grade 1 Canadian International, which drew a top-notch field of eleven, and should be a fantastic betting race.  It’s the headliner of four stakes races, all of which drew intriguing fields and should make for excellent betting races, no matter whether you like to play intra-race exotics or multi-race... Read more »

2018 Ontario Derby Preview

The Ontario Derby began its life as the Colonel R. S. MacLaughlin Handicap, and carried MacLaughlin’s name from its inauguration in 1972 until it took the Ontario Derby name in 2003.  It began as a nine and a half-furlong race for three-year-olds over the main track.  It was shortened to its current nine-furlong distance in... Read more »

2018 Nearctic Stakes Preview

The Nearctic Stakes takes its name from Nearctic, the 1958 Canadian Horse of the Year.  Owned by E. P. Taylor and trained by Pete McCann, this Ontario-bred ran in stakes company from age two through age four, winning 21 of his 47 career starts.  As good as he was on the racetrack, Nearctic stood out... Read more »

2018 E. P. Taylor Stakes Preview

In addition to the Canadian International, Saturday’s card at Woodbine features another Grade 1 event: the E. P. Taylor Stakes, a $500,000 event for filly and mare turf routers ages three and above. The race was first run in 1956 as the Nettie Handicap, but was renamed in 1981 after Edward Plunket Taylor.  He started... Read more »

2018 Canadian International Preview

The Canadian International began in 1938 as a 1 1/16 mile race on the dirt at Long Branch, called the Long Branch Championship.  Its name changed to the Canadian Championship the next year, and has carried some variation of that “Canadian” moniker ever since.  Over the years it has been run at distances as short... Read more »

A Visit to Hawthorne for Opening Weekend of the Fall Meet

Temple Zip was keen to get going before Friday's meet opener.
Hawthorne’s fall Thoroughbred meet opened on October 5.  Picks and Ponderings was there both Friday and Saturday of opening weekend.  In this photo gallery, come see some of the horses who made it so much fun! You have three more months to get up close to the horse racing action yourself.  The Hawthorne fall meet runs... Read more »

Hawthorne Maiden Notes: 10.6.18, Race 1

Hawthorne’s Saturday opener is a maiden special weight for two-year-old fillies bred in Illinois, going five and a half furlongs on the dirt.  The track was good on Friday, by my eyes closer to the muddy side of good than the fast side, and will likely have even more water in it if the rain... Read more »

2018 Shadwell Turf Mile Preview and Keeneland Weekend Stakes Selections

Opening weekend at Keeneland, with its stakes-laden Fall Stars cards, takes place this weekend. It offers a host of final Breeders’ Cup tune-ups — nine of the ten races are  Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In preps. Both of Friday’s stakes races have Breeders’ Cup berths on the line; the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2)... Read more »