Archive for September 2016

2016 Rodeo Drive Stakes Preview, Plus Stakes Picks from Santa Anita and Belmont

We are just five weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup, scheduled for November 4-5 at Santa Anita.  This weekend’s schedule features a bounty of high-class races on both coasts that some of the premier contenders will use as their final tune-up. Santa Anita’s Saturday card features five graded stakes races: all Grade I races, and... Read more »

Back Where It All Began

I’ve hinted in prior writing for Picks & Ponderings that even though I’ve covered the Chicago circuit of Arlington and Hawthorne for years, I’m not originally from Chicago or its collar communities.  I’ve just never disclosed the information as to where I was prior to Chicago as it’s almost never germane to the discussion of... Read more »

2016 Pennsylvania Derby Day Stakes Preview

This Saturday is the biggest day of the year at Parx: Pennsylvania Derby Day.  The card features three graded stakes for the sophomore set, including two for seven-figure purses.  Those seven-figure races, the GII Pennsylvania Derby for open company and the GI Cotillion for fillies, drew some of the leading lights of the sophomore division:... Read more »

At Woodbine, Redemption for THE PIZZA MAN

TORONTO, CANADA — THE PIZZA MAN has reigned supreme among Illinois turf horses for several years now.  Though four off-the-board finishes made many think he had lost a step, he showed in today’s Northern Dancer (GI – CAN) at Woodbine that he still had what it took to get a taste of Grade I glory. ... Read more »

2016 Woodbine Mile Day Stakes Preview

Picks and Ponderings has gone on a few road trips this year.  One or both of us has picked and pondered live from Tampa Bay Downs, Indiana Grand, and Fairmount Park.  This weekend, in a Picks and Ponderings first, we leave the country. That’s right: thanks to the persistent urging of Twitter’s favourite barn cat,... Read more »

WELLABLED, DIADURA Win Arlington's Juvenile Stakes

The stakes portion of the Arlington racing season drew to a close with the meet’s only juvenile stakes races: the Grade III, $100,000 Arlington-Washington Futurity and the $75,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie.  Both covered a trip of seven furlongs on the polytrack. Both races drew large, competitive fields…but in the end, both the Futurity and the Lassie... Read more »

2016 Arlington-Washington Futurity and Lassie Preview

This Saturday’s card at Arlington features the final stakes races of the meet, and the only juvenile stakes races of the season: the Arlington-Washington Futurity (GIII) and the Arlington-Washington Lassie.  Both races cover seven furlongs on the main track.  Since synthetic-track stakes races are few and far between nowadays, particularly for juveniles, the races also... Read more »

2016 Hopeful Stakes Preview

Summer at the Spa draws to a close on Monday.  The meet ends on a hopeful note…quite literally, as the day’s feature race is the Grade I Hopeful Stakes. A fixture at Saratoga since 1904, the Hopeful is the first Grade I of the season for two-year-old open company.  This year, it is first by... Read more »

2016 Woodward and Spinaway Stakes Preview

Time is running out at the Spa.  The Saratoga meet draws to its conclusion at the end of this holiday weekend.  But, there is still plenty of top-class racing in this final week of the summer meet. This weekend, Picks and Ponderings will preview all three Grade I events at Saratoga this weekend.  This article... Read more »