Archive for June 2017

2017 Princess Rooney Stakes and Smile Sprint Stakes Preview

This Saturday features a pair of Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In races: both at Gulfstream Park, and both for sprinters aged three and up.  Picks and Ponderings previews both races in detail. The Smile Sprint Stakes (G3), a six-furlong sprint on the dirt, welcomes open company and offers its winner a berth in the Breeders’... Read more »

2017 Diamond Jubilee Stakes Preview

Royal Ascot, five days of world-class turf racing, draws to a close on Saturday.  This piece takes a look at the closing day feature, the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, a six-furlong turf sprint for older horses. The Diamond Jubilee Stakes began life as the All-Aged Stakes in 1868.  It was renamed the Cork and Orrery... Read more »

Speed Rules: LOVELY LOYREE, OAK BROOK Wire Illinois-Bred Turf Stakes

On a humid and (at times) rainy day at Arlington Park, Illinois-bred older grass horses took centre stage for a pair of 1 1/16 mile stakes races.  The Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap, named after the late turf writer for the Daily Herald, featured a field of six fillies and mares, including graded stakes performers LOVELY... Read more »

The Pizza Man, Lovely Loyree Set for 2017 Debuts at Arlington This Saturday

Saturday at Arlington, the Illinois-bred turf routers take centre stage.  Though the fields in both the Black Tie Affair Handicap and the Mike Spellman Memorial Handicap drew short, they drew as classy as any Illinois-bred stakes race has in recent years. The six-horse field for the Black Tie Affair Handicap features 2015 Arlington Million (G1)... Read more »

Isaac Murphy Handicap: ONE LIZ Rewards Cochonours For Bringing Her Back to Illinois

ONE LIZ began her racing career in this state for her co-breeders, longtime Illinois owners and breeders Joe and Don Cochonour. The grey daughter of Kitalpha, in the barn of conditioner Wayne Catalano, fired off a five-win streak through 2014 and 2015.  After four wins in a row at Arlington, she then defeated eventual Grade... Read more »

2017 Isaac Murphy Handicap Preview

This weekend at Arlington Park, Illinois-bred filly and mare sprinters take the spotlight for the Isaac Murphy Handicap. The race takes its name from Isaac Murphy — the first ever jockey to be elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame when it opened in 1955.  During the course of his career, he... Read more »

2017 Belmont Stakes Point/Counterpoint and Saturday Belmont Park Stakes Selections

We’ve reached the Belmont Stakes.  The Test of the Champion, the third jewel of our Triple Crown, drew a competitive field of twelve to compete for a $1,500,000.  There’s no Triple Crown on the line — but no shortage of glory on the line, and an opportunity to end the first half of the three-year-old... Read more »

2017 Belmont Gold Cup Preview and Friday Stakes Selections

Over the last few years, Belmont Stakes weekend has established itself as American racing’s midyear showcase.  With top-class stakes races across all ages and divisions, the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival demands the attention of the racing world whether or not there is a Triple Crown at stake. Picks and Ponderings will tackle both Friday and... Read more »

BABYBLUESBDANCING, SMOKE 'N' GLOAT Make Their Marks in the Illinois-Bred Three-Year-Old Picture

On a muggy evening at Arlington, three-year-olds bred in the Land of Lincoln took the spotlight for a pair of one-turn mile stakes races.  BABYBLUESBDANCING, last year’s standout two year-old in the Illinois filly ranks, reemphasized her place as the best of the group with a runaway victory in the Purple Violet Stakes.  On the other... Read more »