Fort Lauderdale Stakes Preview and Saturday Gulfstream Stakes Selections

Saturday’s graded stakes action happens at Gulfstream, so that’s where Picks and Ponderings turns its attention.  The main focus of this piece is the Grade 2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes, a nine-furlong turf test that takes its name from the city thirteen miles north of Gulfstream Park. We have full analysis of the Fort Lauderdale, and selections... Read more »

IRISH MARVEL Impresses in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante

STICKNEY/CICERO, IL — Two-year-old Illinois-registered fillies took centre stage at Hawthorne in today’s Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante, in which Irish Marvel sharpened the focus on her as an Illinois-bred filly to watch.  A game winner of a maiden sprint on October 26, in which she outslugged Ghaaleb Royale after a protracted duel, Irish Marvel stretched out... Read more »

2018 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante Preview

The Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante was originally scheduled for December 1, but that day’s entire card was cancelled due to the dangers of a thawing track.  With consistent cold weather through this week, the track should be back to a safe and even footing with no more worries about a big thaw, and all the... Read more »
ChicagoNow Video

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 »

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 »

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 »