Archive for April 2015

2015 Illinois Derby Day Picks and Analysis

Saturday, April 18 is the highest-profile day of the fall Hawthorne meet: Illinois Derby day.  The only graded stakes races of the meet take place on this card, but the card consists of eight other races as well.  It drew some solid fields, particularly in the three turf races on the card.  Though Hawthorne took... Read more »

2015 Charles Town Classic Preview

Two tracks have their biggest race day of the year on Saturday. Hawthorne hosts the Illinois Derby (GIII) and the Sixty Sails Handicap (GIII), the only graded events of the spring meet.  Paul Mazur delves into both of these graded stakes at the local track while Nicolle Neulist provides full-card Illinois Derby Day selections from... Read more »

2015 Illinois Derby Day Stakes Preview

Picks & Ponderings this week stays true to its roots with a look at the first graded stakes of the year in Chicago.  Paired together once again, the Grade Three Illinois Derby and Grade Three Sixty Sails serve as the focus of this week’s analysis.  Both races are set for nine furlongs on the Hawthorne... Read more »

Wide Ranging Group Aim for Hawthorne's Stakes

STICKNEY/CICERO — There are only two graded stakes in the Spring at Hawthorne Race Course, the Grade Three $400,000 Illinois Derby and the Grade Three $150,000 Sixty Sails Handicap. Yet, according to Hawthorne’s Stakes Coordinator Debby Lindsay, the equine cast will be one from all corners.  From locals to the East Coast to the West... Read more »

Recount Returns and Lady Kelia Upsets in Hawthorne Stakes

STICKNEY/CICERO — On a pleasant Spring afternoon, the second Saturday of Hawthorne’s Spring stakes action saw three-year-old Illinois-breds take center stage.  Fillies came first in the Pretty Jenny Stakes while the colts and geldings came two races later in the Land of Lincoln.  Both races were contested at six furlongs on the fast dirt on... Read more »

2015 Land of Lincoln and Pretty Jenny Stakes Preview

It’s yet another big weekend of racing both near and far.  The “far” action takes a look at Keeneland and Oaklawn, so be sure to check out our other previews this week.  Nicolle Neulist breaks down the Arkansas Derby and the Oaklawn Handicap from Oaklawn Park. Meanwhile, Paul Mazur analyzes the Lexington Stakes and Jenny... Read more »

2015 Arkansas Derby and Oaklawn Handicap Preview

This weekend, the Oaklawn Park meet draws to a close.  The Racing Festival of the South comprises nine stakes through the final week of the season, and the final day includes a pair of graded stakes.  Both races are nine-furlong dirt tests: the Arkansas Derby (GI) for the sophomore set, as well as the Oaklawn... Read more »

2015 Coolmore Lexington Stakes and Jenny Wiley Stakes Preview

The Road to the Kentucky Derby this week hits the final race mile-marker.  Two points-providing preps remain, and are both covered this week at Picks & Ponderings.  Nicolle Neulist takes one last trip to Oaklawn Park for the Arkansas Derby, with additional coverage of the Oaklawn Handicap as well. This piece takes a look at... Read more »

2015 Derby Dozen 3

The calendar flips to April, and Picks & Ponderings gathers around once more for the Derby Dozen.  There are inklings already as to who the contenders and pretenders might be, but only two points-yielding preps remain before the horses converge on Louisville – the G1 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn (100 points to winner) and the... Read more »

2015 Wood Memorial and Gazelle Stakes Preview

This week, the Easter Bunny is hopping down the bunny trail to put candies and other trinkets in baskets.  But a day before Easter Sunday, horse racing fans will hop on down the Kentucky Derby Trail and Kentucky Oaks trail.  This week is the weekend four weeks out with seven races yielding points to the... Read more »