Archive for March 2016

2016 Spiral Stakes and Bourbonette Oaks Preview

This weekend, the roads to the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks lead through Florida and Kentucky. In a separate piece, Paul Mazur tackles the pair of prep races at Gulfstream.  Mohaymen and Nyquist will have their long-awaited showdown in the Florida Derby (GI), while Off the Tracks and Gomo headline the Gulfstream Park Oaks... Read more »

2016 Florida Derby and Gulfstream Park Oaks Preview

The preparations continue for the Kentucky Derby, as the “five weeks out” prep races headline this week’s coverage.  While Gulfstream Park rolls out a banner card this Saturday, Picks & Ponderings will zero in this week on the three-year-old races.  The G1 Florida Derby and G2 Gulfstream Park Oaks are the focus of this week’s... Read more »

2016 Dubai World Cup Day - Group I Stakes

This weekend, Picks and Ponderings takes a look at two top-notch race cards this Saturday. Stateside, attention turns south to the Fair Grounds.  Paul Mazur has analysis of the two three-year-old points races there, turns his eyes to Louisiana, the Louisiana Derby (GII) and the Fair Grounds Oaks (GII). The marquee card of the Dubai... Read more »

Welcome to Meydan, and the UAE Derby

Every winter, the eyes of the horse racing world turn to Dubai.  The Carnival meet at Meydan featured classy and competitive racing all winter long, and the stakes racing all pointed to one end-of-meet goal: Dubai World Cup day.  That day is coming up this Saturday, and will be one point of our focus here... Read more »

2016 Louisiana Derby and Fair Grounds Oaks Preview

Picks & Ponderings this week racks up the figurative frequent flyer miles for a trip to Meydan for Nicolle Neulist’s dissection of the UAE Derby and other marquee races from  Dubai World Cup Day.   Another figurative trip is in this piece, which heads to New Orleans and to Fair Grounds Race Course. Despite the plethora... Read more »

2016 Rebel Stakes Day Preview

We visited Oaklawn last week for the Honeybee (GIII), a Kentucky Oaks prep.  We return this week for its corresponding Derby prep, the Grade II Rebel Stakes, as well as a pair of stakes for older horses.  The three races have several things in common, despite the age difference.  All three are graded.  All three... Read more »

2016 Tampa Bay Derby Preview

This Saturday, Picks and Ponderings goes coast-to-coast.  In addition of this preview of the Tampa Bay Derby (GII), another piece takes a look at the Honeybee (GIII), this weekend’s Kentucky Oaks prep at Oaklawn.  Paul Mazur also goes west for a huge day of racing at Santa Anita — the card features a pair of... Read more »

2016 Santa Anita Handicap Preview Day

After a lighter weekend on the national racing stage last weekend, the action picks up this weekend, particularly at Santa Anita.  Saturday’s card at Santa Anita features a bumper card of graded stakes races, including the three races previewed in this piece.  The handicap division converges in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap; turf milers test... Read more »

2016 Honeybee Stakes Preview

Oaklawn is the only spur of the Kentucky Oaks trail this week, and this preview turns its focus there. However, the Derby trail leads to both Tampa Bay Downs and Santa Anita this week, and we will not leave those races unexamined.  Nicolle Neulist delves into the Tampa Bay Derby (GII).  Paul Mazur goes west,... Read more »

2016 Santa Ysabel Stakes Preview

This week’s racing schedule features a trio of three-year-old preps.  The week gets underway early — Thursday’s card at Meydan features the UAE Oaks (GIII – UAE), the only Kentucky Oaks points races away from North America.  On Saturday, Paul Mazur looks north to Aqueduct, where Derby hopefuls get another chance for a fifty-point haul... Read more »