Archive for June 2015

Arlington Selections and Analysis: June 27, 2015

After recent ventures as far afield as Royal Ascot, the Picks and Ponderings team stays close to home this week.  Friday, Paul Mazur looks at the stakes races at Prairie Meadows, highlighted by Illinois-bred Diva’s Diamond’s attempt to repeat in the Iowa Distaff.  Saturday, we look even closer to home: the card at Arlington Park. ... Read more »

2015 Iowa Festival Friday Stakes Preview

For two nights each year in late June, Prairie Meadows puts on its Iowa Festival of Racing.  The Friday night on the festival program features three stake while the Saturday night program features three more – the ungraded ones on night and the graded ones on night two.  Night one, the Friday program, is the... Read more »

2015 Diamond Jubilee Stakes Preview

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes began life as the All-Aged Stakes in 1868.  It was renamed the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1926, in honour of Richard Boyle, 9th Earl of Cork.  He had served three separate stints as Master of the Buckhounds in the 1860s and 1880s, an office which at that time entailed being... Read more »

2015 Ohio Derby Preview

Once upon a time, Ohio had at least one graded stakes race.  (In fact, more than one when counting action from downstate River Downs – now Belterra Park.) The richest of those races was the Ohio Derby, contested at Thistledown near Cleveland.  The Ohio Derby stood as one of a number of “B” Derbies run... Read more »

2015 Commonwealth Cup & Coronation Stakes Preview

The fourth day of the five day Royal Ascot meeting sees the Picks & Ponderings team again tackle the Group One races.  There are two Group One races, both restricted to the sophomore set – the Commonwealth Cup for turf sprinters and the Coronation Stakes for filly milers.  Both races serve as convergent events bringing... Read more »

2015 Ascot Gold Cup Preview

Thursday’s feature race at Ascot is the Gold Cup: a Grade I event for true stayers, at two and a half miles over the grass.  First run in 1807, the race is the oldest of the Royal Ascot meet.  It has been run at Ascot through the vast majority of its history, though it moved... Read more »

2015 Prince of Wales's Stakes Preview

Picks & Ponderings has spent its time covering horse racing from Chicago, then expanding to big days in the United States, and finally a de facto expansion to coverage tantamount to a “race of the week” or “program of the week” format.  With a dearth of American graded stakes this weekend, the focus in this... Read more »

2015 Stephen Foster Handicap Day Stakes Preview

The Triple Crown season is over. Now what? Horse racing moves from its spring season to its summer season, although for the first time since the disco era there’s a Triple Crown winner to celebrate.  In fact, AMERICAN PHAROAH, who took down the June 6 Belmont Stakes to become that Triple Crown winner, will be... Read more »

Voters, American Pharoah, and Dialogues

My Picks & Ponderings teammate Nicolle Neulist came out in support of Martha Claussen.  If you aren’t sure who she is, she’s the lone dissenting voter who did not select AMERICAN PHAROAH as the top all-ages horse in the recently completed NTRA poll. And it should be noted before proceeding that I’m one of the... Read more »

2015 Met Mile Preview and Belmont Stakes Day Selections

To the lament of some horseplayers, the Grade One, $1,250,000 Metropolitan Handicap is not on Memorial Day.  Those vocal rabblerousers feel the race is marginalized with it moved to the Belmont Stakes Day undercard.  On the other hand, the presence of the Metropolitan Handicap gives the Belmont Stakes Day undercard a Baby Breeders’ Cup feel,... Read more »