Category: Santa Anita

2018 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Preview, Plus Belmont and Santa Anita Graded Stakes Selections

Just five weeks remain until the 2018 Breeders’ Cup.  Most of the contenders are planning for their final preps, and top prospects on both coasts will make their final tune-ups this weekend at Belmont Park and Santa Anita Park. This piece features a full preview of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) at Belmont, a Win... Read more »

2018 Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks Preview

When one door closes, another opens.  Originally billed as a rematch between McKinzie and Bolt d’Oro, McKinzie has bowed out of the Santa Anita Derby — but his stablemate in the Bob Baffert barn, Justify, will be entered instead.  So, the race will be a showdown between Bolt d’Oro, so proven at two, and the... Read more »

2018 San Felipe Stakes Preview

The San Felipe Stakes (G2) will be run for the 81st time this year.  It is a Road to the Kentucky Derby race, with not only a $400,000 purse up for grabs but also 50, 20, 10, and 5 Kentucky Derby points available to the top four finishers.  Originally inaugurated in 1935 for colts and... Read more »
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2018 Santa Ysabel Stakes Preview

This week’s racing schedule features a bumper crop of three-year-old preps: in fact, five of them, including four for the Kentucky Oaks.  Thursday featured the UAE Oaks (G3) at Meydan, the only Kentucky Oaks points races away from North America.  On Saturday, in addition to the Santa Ysabel at Santa Anita, both Aqueduct and Gulfstream host prep races. ... Read more »

2018 Las Virgenes Stakes Preview

In a week of three-year-old preps that already took us to Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita on Saturday, we return to Santa Anita on Sunday for the day’s lone sophomore points race, the Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes.  The dirt mile drew a field of six fillies to contend for their share of a $200,000... Read more »

2018 Robert B. Lewis Stakes Preview

Picks and Ponderings‘s coast-to-coast coverage of three-year-old points races continues here, with the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. We have already made our visit to sunny Gulfstream in a previous piece, discussing Saturday’s Holy Bull Stakes (G2) and the Forward Gal Stakes (G3).  We will also have pieces analyzing Saturday’s Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct, as... Read more »
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2018 Santa Ynez Stakes Preview

Saturday’s card at Santa Anita features the first chance for the Derby-bound to get points in 2018, with the Grade 3 Sham Stakes.  Sunday, however, is all about the fillies: the day’s feature, the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes, is the first Kentucky Oaks points race of the year. As with so many stakes races... Read more »

2018 Sham Stakes Preview

Thoroughbred racing has concluded at Hawthorne, not to return until late March.  With that, Picks and Ponderings will be casting its eyes afield, focusing most strongly on the three-year-old prep season. The Jerome, originally scheduled for New Year’s Day, was supposed to be the first race on the Derby Trail this year.  However, bitter cold... Read more »

2017 Malibu Stakes Day Preview

After a quiet week and a half in Southern California, the Santa Anita winter meet opens up on Tuesday, December 26 at Santa Anita.  The opening day card features a four-pack of stakes: opening-day mainstays the Malibu Stakes (G1), La Brea Stakes (G1), and Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) for sophomores, as well as the newly... Read more »
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2017 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Preview, Plus Belmont and Santa Anita Graded Stakes Selections

With five weeks until the Breeders’ Cup, many of the marquee prospects for our sport’s biggest weekend have penciled in their final prep races for this weekend.  Thanks to that, Saturday’s cards at both Belmont and Santa Anita are chock full of graded stakes. This piece features a full preview of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic... Read more »