Archive for February 2015

2015 Santa Ysabel Stakes Preview

This week, it’s all about the three-year-old fillies.  Out east, Paul Mazur looked at the Herecomesthebride Stakes (GIII) at Gulfstream, a race for the grassy set.  On dirt, all eyes are on Santa Anita for the Santa Ysabel Stakes (GIII), the lone point-bearing Kentucky Oaks prep this weekend.  This year’s edition of the Santa Ysabel... Read more »

2015 Herecomesthebride Stakes Preview

Once again, the three-year-olds remain in the spotlight for this week’s races at Picks & Ponderings.  Yet, it’s a fillies-only weekend of coverage this weekend.  The only race yielding Kentucky Oaks qualifying points is the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes (previewed by Nicolle Neulist).  This space goes to the opposite coast for its preview, for... Read more »

2015 Derby Dozen 1

For the fourth straight year, there will be a ChicagoNow Derby Dozen here at Picks & Ponderings.  In a new development this year, the Picks & Ponderings representation will be with two persons and not one.  While Paul is doing the ballot for the fourth straight year, teammmate Nicolle Neulist will be making her ballot... Read more »

2015 Southwest Stakes Preview

Originally, the Southwest Stakes had been scheduled for Presidents’ Day, but cold weather got in the way.  Oaklawn cancelled the card on Monday, and moved the Southwest Stakes to the weekend.  Race day was contingent on whether horses could train Tuesday; with Tuesday’s cancellation, the race was carded for Sunday.  This causes the odd occurrence... Read more »

2015 Risen Star and Rachel Alexandra Preview

This weekend means higher stakes on the Kentucky Derby trail and the Kentucky Oaks trail.  Though inclement weather shifted the last of the ten-point Derby preps (the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn) to Sunday, Saturday heralds the beginning of the fifty-point races.  Though any horse who wins a prep at this level still has to achieve... Read more »

2015 Fountain of Youth & Davona Dale Stakes Preview

Juan Ponce de Leon searched through what is present-day Florida to find (as legend goes) the Fountain of Youth in the sixteenth century.  Picks and Ponderings has found that Fountain of Youth in the here and now. Such fountain is located in Hallandale Beach, Florida at a racetrack.  Gulfstream Park once again is the basis... Read more »

2015 El Camino Real Derby Preview

This week, love is in the air. Oh sure, Valentine’s Day is soon and that holiday’s obvious connotations.  But it’s also a weekend with two Kentucky Derby prep races and a chance to fall in love with a horse you can root for the in the Derby.  Whether you plunked down cash in the futures,... Read more »

2015 Withers Stakes Preview

Two big events highlight the racing weekend for the first Saturday in February.  One of them is the X-Country Pick Four, an inter-track Pick Four that features two races from Santa Anita (San Antonio Stakes, San Marcos Handicap) and two races from Gulfstream (Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, Donn Handicap) strung together in an inter-track pick... Read more »

2015 San Antonio Day Stakes Preview

Saturday features the X-Country Pick 4, a $500,000 guaranteed, all-graded-stakes $0.50 Pick 4 featuring high-profile races at both Santa Anita and Gulfstream.  The west coast races include the San Antonio Invitational Stakes (GII) for the handicap division and the San Marcos Stakes (GII) for the grassy set.  The pair of east coast races are also... Read more »

2015 Donn Handicap & Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap Preview

Two weeks ago, the Picks & Ponderings Winter Tour stopped at Gulfstream for a look at Holy Bull Day.  This week, the Tour makes a return trip to Gulfstream Park.  While the track cards six stakes this Saturday, four of which are graded, the focus of this piece is only on two of them.  Those... Read more »