Archive for December 2016

2016 American Oaks Day Preview

Racing happens throughout the nation on New Year’s Eve, but only one American track features graded stakes action: Santa Anita Park.  So, Picks and Ponderings ventures back to the Great Race Place to preview Saturday’s stakes action there. Sophomore turf fillies shine in the final Grade I of the year: the American Oaks, which had... Read more »

A Holiday Monday at Hawthorne

Monday is opening day at Santa Anita, and we published a graded stakes preview for The Great Race Place earlier this weekend.  However, December 26 also features horse racing in our own back yards.  Hawthorne hosts a full eight-race card, kicking off at This post features my ABCX chart for each race, grouping each horse... Read more »

2016 Malibu Stakes Day Preview

Christmas may be December 25, but many horseplayers look even more forward to the day after.  Santa Anita’s winter meet opens December 26, and four stakes races anchor the card.  Such stakes are grouped together at card’s end in an all-stakes pick four. For three-year-old dirt sprinters looking for a final Grade I against their... Read more »

Saturday Gulfstream Stakes Preview: Harlan's Holiday and More!

Chicago has gotten cold, so cold that Hawthorne skipped a day of racing on Thursday.  If you’re looking to take a vacation to warmer climes, look no further.  Picks and Ponderings takes a road trip to sunny Florida, and Gulfstream’s stakes-packed Saturday card. The Hallandale Beach oval hosts five stakes on Saturday.  We analyse them... Read more »

Mature DEVILEYE Stays Undefeated in the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity

DEVILEYE entered today’s Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity undefeated in two starts, but most juveniles would not have won either of those races. In his debut, he had to shoot through a small opening on the rail.  In his allowance victory, he spent much of the stretch run caught between horses, then saw an outside hole... Read more »

2016 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity Preview

Last weekend, Babybluesbdancing asserted herself among the best of the two-year-old state-bred fillies by winning the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante. This weekend, the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity gives the two-year-old males time to shine. The race was originally the Illinois Breeders’ Futurity.  Since 1999, it has taken its name from Jim Edgar, governor of Illinois... Read more »

In Different Silks, BABYBLUESBDANCING Continues a Legacy in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante

Trainer Terrel Gore trained for longtime Martin’s Super Markets CEO Robert E. Bartels, nom-de-course RNB Racing, for over twenty years.  Finding his horses on the track was easy, thanks to the neon green and purple silks.  Finding a horse he owned (or owned at one point) was never hard on paper, either: look for names... Read more »

2016 Claiming Crown Preview

The Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park gets underway on Saturday with a day full of salty horses and lucrative betting opportunities: the Claiming Crown. Claiming races form the backbone of the schedule at racetracks everywhere. The principle is simple: a licensed owner and trainer can buy any horse in a claiming race for the price... Read more »