Archive for July 2012

An Important Lesson in Horse Racing

This past weekend was the Lead Pony Challenge, and The Author did horribly. In the worst showing to date for Chicago Now, there were six races chosen with zero winners and one second place finish.  Blech. The Author also lost the head-to-head contest by a 8-1 margin.  Double blech. If you had wagered on those... Read more »

Lead Pony Challenge Saturday Picks (Round of 16)

For the ChicagoNow readers, here’s what The Author is selecting in the Lead Pony Challenge. Details are given in the post “Odds and Ends”.  The contest uses $20 mythical Win, Place, Show wagers for scoring.  A primary and an alternate selection are used, ponderings are only offered for the primary selection. Saratoga Race 7: The... Read more »

Odds and Ends

As the picture above reminds,  it’s an Odds and Ends post this week, readers. There’s no stakes race on the docket this weekend at Arlington, but there’s plenty of news off-track. A New Title. The Author has shortened the title of the blog to “Picks and Ponderings”, to make it a touch easier for you... Read more »

Arlington Oaks: La Tia All the Way

The Arlington Oaks carries a Grade 3 ranking and a purse of $150,000. Carrying off the spoils of the race were Hernandez Racing Club’s Illinois-bred filly LA TIA. LA TIA controlled the race from start to finish, drawing off to a short advantage into the first turn and holding it down the backstretch run through... Read more »

Arlington Oaks Preview

When a stakes race has “Oaks” in its name, it’s typically for three-year-old fillies. The Kentucky Oaks, American Oaks, Delaware Oaks, and so on fall under this category.  So too does the Arlington Oaks, our local feature race of the week.  It’s had some different names in the past, such as the Arlington Heights Oaks... Read more »

Million Preview Day Graded Stakes Recap

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS–Four Grade Three Stakes were contested Saturday on the Arlington Park turf course. Each of the turf stakes were on turf rated “good” and all served as prepatory races for the August 18 Arlington International Festival of Racing, better known as Arlington Million Day.  Here’s a look at each of the four graded stakes.... Read more »

Coach Jimi Lee Stakes: Tiree Battles to Win

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS–The first race on Million Preview Day was a seven furlong dash on the polytrack for three-year-old sophomores, the Coach Jimi Lee Stakes for a purse of $65,000. It provided winning rider Cisco Torres with his fiftieth win of the Arlington Park meet, as he guided TIREE to a stalking victory by a nose.... Read more »

American Derby Preview

The middle leg of The Mid-America Triple, the $200,000 American Derby this year received a downgrade to G3 status. The oldest stakes race on the calendar, its first winner was a filly named Modesty. Past pre-turf winners included Round Table and Buckpasser.  Switched to grass later and set in 1992 at today’s 1 3/16 mile... Read more »

Arlington Handicap Preview

Situated in mid-July, four weeks away from the Arlington Million and run at the same 1 1/4 mile turf distance, the $200,000 Arlington Handicap is the Million’s local prep race. A Grade 1 race in the 1980s, it’s fallen to the Grade 3 level. Past winners feature the likes of Round Table (Hall of Famer),... Read more »

Stars & Stripes Stakes Preview

A turf fixture since the fifties, the $150,000 Stars and Stripes Stakes has been a turf marathon since 1996. In its past life, it boasted Hall of Fame winners like Round Table and Fort Marcy. After being revamped into a 1 1/2 mile marathon, its winners include double victors Ballingarry and FREE FIGHTER. This year,... Read more »