Archive for March 2015

Scott Becker Sweeps the Sprint Stakes

STICKNEY/CICERO — The name of one of Scott Becker’s runners in the Third Chance, Win’em All, proved prescient. Becker, who trains exclusively for owner William Stiritz, has been a perennial training champion at Fairmount Park but has made his mark in northern Illinois over the last year.  Becker won the training title at Arlington last... Read more »

2015 Dubai World Cup Preview

From stakes races at Hawthorne to Derby preps at Fair Grounds and Gulfstream Park, Saturday is a big racing day on both a local scale and a national scale.  Before racing gets underway stateside, however, the richest day of horse racing in the world takes place: Dubai World Cup day.  Though the World Cup Carnival... Read more »

2015 Third Chance Handicap and Robert S. Molaro Handicap Preview

There’s big stakes action this week.  Three-year-olds take vital steps to the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks in both New Orleans and south Florida.  And the Picks & Ponderings duo has these races covered, with Nicolle Neulist looking at the Gulfstream-based preps of the Florida Derby and Gulfstream Park Oaks and Paul Mazur looking... Read more »

2015 Florida Derby and Gulfstream Park Oaks Preview

This weekend, the Road to the Kentucky Derby and the Road to the Kentucky Oaks gets even more serious.  After a winter full of ten-point races and fifty-point races, the stakes get even higher.   Over the course of the weekend, five 100-point races take place: three for open company pointing toward the Derby, and... Read more »

2015 Louisiana Derby and Fair Grounds Oaks Preview

Picks & Ponderings this week goes around the corner to Hawthorne Race Course for Paul Mazur’s look at the first stakes of the Chicago season and around the world to Meydan for Nicolle Neulist’s dissection of Dubai World Cup Day.  It also looks at major Kentucky Derby preps from two ovals – this piece’s investigation... Read more »

2015 Spiral Stakes and Bourbonette Oaks Preview

This week, the roads to both the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks visit a pair of tracks that typically fly a bit farther under the radar.  Saturday, Turfway Park hosts the final synthetic-track points races leading up to the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks: the Spiral Stakes (GIII) and the Bourbonette Oaks (GIII). ... Read more »

2015 Sunland Derby & Sunland Oaks Preview

Picks & Ponderings is splitting its coverage this weekend to tackle the weekend’s biggest Kentucky Derby prep races.  The Saturday program features Nicolle Neulist tackling the Spiral and Bourbonette from Turfway Park near Cincinnati.  The Sunday program, and focus of this piece, is coverage of the Sunland Derby and Sunland Oaks.  Sunland Park is the... Read more »

2015 Derby Dozen 2

We return for round two of the Derby Dozen.  At six weeks out from the Kentucky Derby both Paul and Nicolle have made no changes at the top and more changes at the bottom.  We’ve also changed the presentation a bit.  Instead of the column or “side by side” text, we’ve put Paul’s on text... Read more »

Jim Vs. Picks and Ponderings

Every Friday this meet, Jim Miller faces a new contestant for a friendly little handicapping competition.  Tomorrow, I will be that contestant.  I will discuss the races and my selections with Jim on the pre-race show, and also do a segment in the paddock before one of the races.  It works a little differently this... Read more »

2015 Rebel Stakes Day Preview

Picks & Ponderings last week visited Arkansas for one race, the Grade Three Honeybee Stakes for fillies bound for the Kentucky Oaks that could reappear at the start of April in the G3 Fantasy Stakes, part of Oaklawn’s Racing Festival of the South. This week, Picks & Ponderings sticks with Oaklawn Park again for three... Read more »