Archive for April 2018

Dandy Gal, Goneghost, Recount Win Closing Day Stakes at Hawthorne

Hawthorne’s fifteen-day spring meet drew to a close today with three stakes races for Illinois-registered horses. It was a red-and-green-letter day for the triumvirate of owner William Stiritz, trainer Scott Becker, and jockey Chris Emigh.  The three combined for two stakes wins today: Dandy Gal in the Third Chance Handicap, and Goneghost in the Milwaukee Avenue Handicap.  Both... Read more »

Older Illinois Horses Take the Spotlight Saturday at Hawthorne

Saturday is closing day of the all-too-brief Hawthorne spring meet.  After Saturday, the Thoroughbreds migrate north to Arlington, the main track surface at Hawthorne gets swapped out again, and standardbreds take centre stage at 35th and Cicero. However, closing day features a slate of stakes races for older Illinois-registered horses.  The purse for all three... Read more »

Get Your Piece of Wednesday's Superfecta Carryover at Hawthorne

A logical horse won the Hawthorne finale on Saturday.  Silver Saver had to run a huge race to do it: few horses not named Runhappy manage to blow the break, rush to the lead, and still win the race, and such a feat is almost unheard-of in a $5,000 N2L claimer.  But?  Coming off an... Read more »

Jean Elizabeth Overcomes Bad Break, Remains Perfect in Pretty Jenny

For a race in which she so easily towered on paper once her stablemate scratched, the start of the 2018 Pretty Jenny Stakes could hardly have been more difficult for Jean Elizabeth. Unraced since a tour de force victory in an allowance optional claiming race at Hawthorne last October, she was fractious in her long-awaited... Read more »

2018 Pretty Jenny Stakes Preview

The stakes portion of the Hawthorne meet begins this weekend — and, for the first time since 2015, Hawthorne has scheduled three-year-old stakes races for Illinois-breds.  Though the Land of Lincoln was not carded for lack of nominations, the Pretty Jenny Stakes did draw enough runners and will be contested on Saturday. Previously known as... Read more »

2018 Lexington Stakes Preview

The last few Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks points are up for grabs this weekend.  The only 100-point preps are at Oaklawn: Friday’s Fantasy Stakes (G3) for Oaks-bound fillies, and Saturday’s Arkansas Derby (G1) for the Derby set.  Keeneland already had its 100-point prep last week, the Blue Grass (G2), but it also offers one... Read more »

2018 Arkansas Derby Preview

Saturday, the Kentucky Derby trail comes to an end.  This piece focuses on the final race of the Hot Springs spur of the Derby trail, the Arkansas Derby.  Keeneland also hosts a last-minute 20-point prep, the Lexington Stakes (G3), which we visit in a separate piece.  Friday’s Oaklawn card also features the track’s final Oaks... Read more »

2018 Fantasy Stakes Preview

Both the Kentucky Derby trail and the Kentucky Oaks trail meet their ends this weekend.  This piece shines a light on the Fantasy Stakes (G3), the final points prep for the Kentucky Oaks.  In addition to previewing the Fantasy Stakes, we also look at the final Kentucky Derby points preps in separate pieced: the Arkansas Derby... Read more »

2018 Beaumont Stakes Preview

Though the three-year-old trails visit Aqueduct, Keeneland, and Santa Anita on Saturday, make sure to save some energy for Sunday’s action, as well.  The Grade 3 Beaumont Stakes is the second of two Oaks preps to be run opening weekend at Keeneland.  Unlike Saturday’s Ashland, and other recent preps, it does not offer enough points... Read more »

2018 Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Oaks Preview

When one door closes, another opens.  Originally billed as a rematch between McKinzie and Bolt d’Oro, McKinzie has bowed out of the Santa Anita Derby — but his stablemate in the Bob Baffert barn, Justify, will be entered instead.  So, the race will be a showdown between Bolt d’Oro, so proven at two, and the... Read more »