Archive for November 2014

Red Rifle Shoots to Hawthorne Gold Cup Triumph

STICKNEY/CICERO — On a mild and breezy evening on West 35th, the Grade Two, $250,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup was contested at a mile and a quarter on fast dirt.  With a field of eleven in the gate, it was the largest field in five years to contest the race, the only graded stakes and only... Read more »

2014 Handicapping Feast: Hawthorne Gold Cup Day Full-Card Analysis

The biggest day of the Hawthorne fall meet is here: Hawthorne Gold Cup Day.  Though the Hawthorne Gold Cup (GII) is the centerpiece of the action, there is more going on than just that race.  There is a full card of nine races scheduled at Hawthorne.  If you like maiden races, there are a couple... Read more »

2014 Handicapping Feast: Cigar Mile Day

This weekend’s handicapping feast at Picks and Ponderings has taken us all over the country.  Thursday we visited Aqueduct and Del Mar, and Friday’s races sent us back out to both of those tracks, plus to Churchill for the Clark.  Saturday brings the Hawthorne Gold Cup in our backyard, the Hollywood Derby Day card out... Read more »

2014 Handicapping Feast: Hollywood Derby Day

If you’ve been following along during Picks & Ponderings‘s three-day Thanksgiving Weekend Handicapping Feast, you’ll notice that we’ve covered Thursday and Friday stakes races that have led up to the multi-stakes programs slated for Saturday.  And the feast continues.  Nicolle covers the program from New York headed by the Cigar Mile.  Not to be outdone,... Read more »

2014 Handicapping Feast: Hawthorne Gold Cup Preview

For additional information on this race, please consult Paul Mazur (PM)’s preview for Blood-Horse. For about a decade, the Hawthorne Gold Cup occupied the first Saturday of October on the calendar and served to kick off the Hawthorne Fall meet.  As a result, it also functioned as a Breeders’ Cup prep race. For the second... Read more »

2014 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast 2: Clark, Go For Wand, Seabiscuit

Black Friday.  The Day After Thanksgiving.  Seems every store in the world has a sale this day, with doorbusters and campaigns and all kinds of charms to curry people to shop and spend money before Christmas.  Yet for those more keen on racing action, this weekend continues to feature quality post-Breeders Cup racing.  There are... Read more »

2014 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast 1: Fall Highweight & Hollywood Turf Cup

We at Picks & Ponderings wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  But it is worth noting that Thankgiving in the racing world is a high water day.  It serves as the (traditional) opening of the Fair Grounds, a New Orleans-based oval.  It serves as the start of HolidayFest, a series of graded stakes from Aqueduct.  Churchill... Read more »

2014 Sun Power and Showtime Deb Stakes Recap

STICKNEY/CICERO — On the second of five stakes race days for the meet, the juveniles took the spotlight.  The horses — and the people — got a break today, as the weather warmed up into the forties.  The track finally got some rain overnight, though the rain held off on the cloudy race day.  The... Read more »

Full-card Hawthorne Picks and Analysis: 11.22.14

This is a slightly edited version of a piece that appeared originally at Blinkers Off. Tomorrow the state-bred juveniles take center stage, with the running of the Sun Power Stakes and the Showtime Deb Stakes. The card even kicks off with a juvenile race, a $25,000 claimer for non-winners of two. However, there is a... Read more »

Jim Vs...Picks and Ponderings!

Every week, Hawthorne hosts Jim Vs.: a weekly head-to-head handicapping competition between Jim Miller, the track’s television analyst, and one intrepid track-goer.  This week, I am that contestant.  I will be on the pre-race analysis show today starting at 1:00 PM Central to discuss my picks, and my top three selections for each race will... Read more »