Archive for November 2018

2018 Cigar Mile Preview and Stakes Selections

Being based in Chicago, we were obviously going to preview Saturday’s Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante at Hawthorne. But, with huge racing going on elsewhere, we couldn’t stop there.  For the first time ever, we did a Twitter poll, asking readers what else to look at.  There was plenty of support for both options, Cigar Mile... Read more »

2018 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast: Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and Golden Rod Stakes

Saturday is the second-to-last day of the fall meet at Churchill Downs.  The card features all two-year-old racing, all day long, and will be anchored by a pair of Grade 2 dirt routes, the Kentucky Jockey Club and the Golden Rod.  They are both points races for next season’s three-year-old features in Louisville: the Kentucky... Read more »

Hawthorne Carryover Pick 5 Preview - November 23, 2018

Only one favourite won during the Pick 5 sequence at Hawthorne on Saturday — and even before Aurea Aura surprised as the second-longest shot on the board in the final race of the sequence, every single horse in the field was going to pay on just four out of five. That’s great news for anyone spending... Read more »
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2018 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast: Clark Handicap and Mrs. Revere Stakes

The holiday weekend continues on Friday, and right here we continue our look at the graded stakes action in Louisville.  Churchill Downs’s traditional day-after-Thanksgiving feature, the Clark, gives older handicap horses one more chance for a Grade 1, and often features some three-year-olds getting used to facing older company.  This year, the field of eight horses fighting... Read more »

2018 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast: Cardinal Handicap and Falls City Handicap

Between the holiday and the fact that racing has had a few weeks to recuperate from the Breeders’ Cup, this weekend is the perfect weekend for serious winter stakes racing to get underway.  Friday’s Clark Handicap (G1) is the first top-level race in the United States since the Breeders’ Cup.  Here at Picks and Ponderings this... Read more »

2018 River City Handicap Preview

As November goes on and snowstorms blow across the country, we draw near the end of the turf racing season.  However, this weekend Churchill hopes to get a little more in with the Grade 3 River City Handicap, a mile and an eighth on the grass for horses aged three and above. The River City... Read more »
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2018 Commonwealth Turf Preview

The Commonwealth Turf Stakes (G3) is one of the last chances for three-year-old lawnmowers to compete against their own age group.  Inaugurated in 2004, it has always been run at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass, and has held a Grade 3 status since 2008. In 2010, Yankee Fourtune earned his first graded... Read more »

Roots in the Claiming Ranks, Eyes to the Stars: Jason Servis and Mr. Amore Stable

Roots in the Claiming Ranks, Eyes to the Stars: Jason Servis and Mr. Amore Stable
In the morning, he gallops along the inside of the track. He is a tank, but the word “compact” still dares come to mind. His smooth, dark bay coat barely contains the muscle sculpted underneath. Each stride explodes with the immediacy of a top one-turn runner. Sometimes a horse’s name just fits, and such is... Read more »

2018 Breeders' Cup Saturday Picks and Ponderings

Breeders’ Cup action continues on Saturday.  Friday the two-year-olds take the stage, but Saturday belongs to the older horses.  The day features several links to Arlington Million Day.  This year’s Arlington Million (G1) winner Robert Bruce will attempt to get a mile and a half in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the same distance that thwarted... Read more »
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2018 Breeders' Cup Friday Picks and Ponderings

Breeders’ Cup takes over Churchill Downs this weekend, and Friday is all about the future stars.  With the addition of the Juvenile Turf Sprint there are now five Breeders’ Cup races restricted to two-year-old horses.  They will all be run on Friday, with the races open to older The horses all contested on Saturday. Picks... Read more »