Archive for May 2016

2016 Pennine Ridge Stakes Preview

The theme of this week at Picks and Ponderings is three-year-olds. Paul stays home while I go east.  Paul will preview the three-year-old state-bred stakes at Arlington this Saturday: the Purple Violet for fillies.  I will preview a Grade III turf race for the sophomore set.  This preview focuses on the Pennine Ridge Stakes at... Read more »

Illinois Celebrates Its 2015 Thoroughbred Racing Champions

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – Though Saturday night’s Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation Awards Dinner featured more traditional banquet fare, few would have complained had the event been catered by Lou Malnati’s. After all, the evening belonged to The Pizza Man. In 2015, his six-year-old year, The Pizza Man won four stakes races, three graded.  He... Read more »

FLIPCUP and SURGICAL STRIKE Prevail in Photo Finishes at Arlington

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS — Saturday was as muggy as Friday, but in a welcome deviation from the day before, the rain stayed away.  The card featured a pair of Grade III races.  The Arlington Matron, the earlier of the two races, featured the older distaff set.  The Arlington Classic, the traditional early prep for the American... Read more »

2016 Arlington Matron & Arlington Classic Preview

The Arlington stakes season got underway last week with the Hanshin Cup (GIII).  Picks and Ponderings keeps its focus close to home this week, focusing on the pair of Grade III races at the local oval this Saturday: the Arlington Matron and the Arlington Classic.  Neither race was run last year, but with Arlington’s stakes... Read more »

A New Dawn for Big Event Racing

During NBC’s Preakness coverage the network teased its coverage, to begin in 2017, of the Royal Ascot meeting in Britain.  NBC Sports Group also composed a press release about it.  Similar attention was given to the Donn Handicap Pegasus World Cup next January at Gulfstream (though there is no official advisory yet). The idea of... Read more »

TRACE CREEK Skims the Rail, Upsets the 2016 Hanshin Cup

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS —  This year’s running of the Hanshin Cup had no shortage of horses with recent stakes-level form over the Arlington main.  The top two finishers from last year’s Hanshin Cup returned for this year’s running.  The 1-3 finishers in the 2014 Arlington-Washington Futurity came back for this polytrack test. Yet, when all was... Read more »

2016 Hanshin Cup Preview

The third Saturday in May is two Saturdays after the First Saturday in May, which means that the national racing scene shifts its eye to Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.  Pimlico plays host to the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, and the Picks and Ponderings team has analysis of Friday’s stakes, headlined by the G2 Black-Eyed... Read more »

2016 Dixie Stakes Preview and Saturday Stakes Selections

The spotlight shines on Pimlico this weekend, and Picks and Ponderings is there.  Saturday’s card is, of course, anchored by the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes.  We have a full horse-by-horse preview of that race, in point/counterpoint style.  Here, we preview that day’s Dixie Stakes (GII) for older grass horses, as... Read more »

2016 Preakness Stakes Preview

The Preakness Stakes.  The Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.  Contested once again at Pimlico, it’s the centerpiece of this week’s coverage. Pimlico plays host to the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, and the Picks and Ponderings team has analysis of Friday’s stakes, headlined by the G2 Black-Eyed Susan, Saturday stakes selections for Pimlico including full... Read more »

2016 Black-Eyed Susan Preview and Pimlico Friday Stakes Selections

Friday’s stakes-laden card at Pimlico is anchored by the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (GII).  Though there is no generally agreed-upon “filly Triple Crown”, the Black-Eyed Susan is a fillies’ complement to the next day’s Preakness Stakes (GI).  It attracts similar sorts of horses, the elite and rising dirt route fillies, as it is run at the... Read more »