Archive for May 2014

I Got It All Takes It All Again in the Springfield Stakes

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — The state-bred stakes season at Arlington kicked off on a hot late May afternoon, as nine Illinois-bred three-year-olds faced off in the $100,000 Springfield Stakes at a mile over the Arlington polytrack.  The field featured two previous winners of Illinois-bred stakes: Rambling Richie, the winner of last year’s Sun Power Stakes and... Read more »

2014 Springfield Stakes Preview

For the next five weeks, the state-breds take center stage in a series of six stakes that were packaged together in the past as the Prairie State Festival. Most of the races will be spread out over the coming weeks and populate the late-spring stakes schedule at Arlington International. For the last day of May,... Read more »

2014 Arlington Matron Day Recap

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — The Arlington Park stakes season got underway this afternoon with three Grade III events, two on the polytrack and one on the turf.  The sun was out, the turf was rated good, and the track had a healthy contingent of racing fans ready to watch the first stakes action of the 2014... Read more »

A New Alliance

“Picks and Ponderings” has provided you, for nearly 2 1/2 years, the quality horse racing coverage that you’ve come to expect from Arlington International, Hawthorne Race Course, and whatever other road trips have been taken.  Saturday May 24 starts the stakes season at Arlington, with the triple-feature of the Arlington Matron, Hanshin Cup, and Arlington... Read more »

2014 Arlington Matron Day Preview

For the Saturday – the 24th of May – that starts the Memorial Day holiday weekend, there are three stakes with Grade 3 status and $150,000 purses on the card, serving as the kick-off to the Arlington stakes season. The first of them is the Arlington Matron, a Grade 3 for older females. They’ll go... Read more »

2014 Preakness Stakes Picks & Ponderings

The Preakness Stakes.  The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. A big thank you to all the readers and twitter followers that found “Picks and Ponderings” for Kentucky Derby week.  The readership numbers were high and you readers made “Picks and Ponderings” a top-read site in the broad ChicagoNow network. Even if the picks and... Read more »

A Response to "Taking on Takeout"

Following the Thursday May 8 release of “Taking on Takeout”, the piece was attacked on Twitter by horseplayer advocate A. Asaro and an e-mail was sent from HANA President J. Platt.  Below, is the “Picks and Ponderings” response to President Platt.  It does contain a partial mea culpa but is more a clarification of the... Read more »

Taking on Takeout

In this article, takeout doesn’t refer to Chinese food from around the corner, but rather to the percentage of money that a track will deduct from wagers for its own operations, and as a rule of thumb it hovers around twenty percent.  Usually, takeouts are set by state racing organizations (in Illinois, the Illinois Racing... Read more »

2014 Kentucky Derby Picks & Ponderings

The Kentucky Derby. The Run for the Roses.  The First Saturday in May.  The first leg of the Triple Crown.  The finest two minutes in sport. Handicapping it though, is a mess. You are presented with a field of twenty horses (which is rarely seen at other times in America other than the Derby), all... Read more »