Category: Aqueduct

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 Wood Memorial and Gazelle Stakes Preview

This weekend, three different spurs of the Kentucky Derby trail and Kentucky Oaks trails draw to a close. This piece focuses specifically on the pair of Grade 2 races in New York: the Wood Memorial and the Gazelle.  In addition to the Wood and the Gazelle, Picks and Ponderings also previews all five other three-year-old... Read more »

2018 Gotham Stakes Preview

This year, the Gotham Stakes will be run for the 67th time, offering a $300,000 purse as well as Kentucky Derby points (50-20-10-5) to its top four finishers.  The race, which takes its name from an old nickname for New York City, was inaugurated at Jamaica Racetrack in 1953 before being moved to New York City... Read more »
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2018 Busher Stakes Preview

This weekend is a big one for the Kentucky Oaks trail: it started on Thursday with the UAE Oaks at Meydan, and continues in three places on Saturday.  We cover, in separate pieces, the Santa Ysabel (G3) at Santa Anita as well as the Davona Dale (G2) [and its Derby-bound complement, the Fountain of Youth... Read more »

2018 Withers Stakes Preview

After visits to Gulfstream (for the Holy Bull and the Forward Gal) and Santa Anita (for the Robert B. Lewis), Picks and Ponderings heads to New York for a look at the Withers Stakes, Aqueduct’s Derby prep for the weekend.  Though the race only drew six horses to vie for shares of a $250,000 purse and... Read more »

2018 Busanda Stakes Preview

This year marks the 45th running of the Busanda Stakes. The races’s namesake was a mare who excelled both on the track and in the breeding shed.  A 1947 daughter of Triple Crown winner War Admiral, bred by Ogden Phipps, her female line was just as regal.  Busanda was out of the mare Businesslike, who herself was... Read more »
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2018 Jerome Stakes Preview

Originally scheduled for January 1st, the Jerome Stakes — like much of the northeast and midwest — has been stuck in a deep freeze.  As New York will have hopefully become warm enough to safely race, the Jerome has been released from its suspended state, and scheduled for January 13.  It is one of four three-year-old... Read more »

2017 Wood Memorial and Gazelle Stakes Preview

This Saturday, three different spurs of the Kentucky Derby trail and Kentucky Oaks trail draw to a close.  This piece focuses specifically on the pair of Grade 2 races in New York: the Wood Memorial and the Gazelle.  In addition to the Wood and the Gazelle, Picks and Ponderings also previews two other pairs of... Read more »

2017 Busanda Stakes Preview

This weekend, Picks and Ponderings focuses on the three-year-old points races.  Paul Mazur flies south to Hot Springs for a look at early-stage Derby dreamers in Oaklawn Park’s Smarty Jones Stakes. This piece, on the other hand, focuses on the fillies.  Sunday at Aqueduct, five sophomore fillies will line up for their share of a... Read more »
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2016 Handicapping Feast: Cigar Mile Preview

Saturday’s card at Aqueduct features a stakes-laden card, anchored with the Grade I Cigar Mile — the subject of this preview. This year marks the 28th running of a race originally inaugurated in 1988 as the NYRA Mile.  The race has always been contested at the one-turn mile over the Aqueduct course, though it was... Read more »