Category: Churchill Downs

2020 Kentucky Derby Preview

2020 has been a strange year, but at least one thing remains the same: the Kentucky Derby will continue its streak of being run every year since its 1875 inception. Though this year’s edition will be run four months late, on Labor Day weekend instead of the middle of spring, it still features an (almost)... Read more »

2019 Pocahontas Stakes and Iroquois Stakes Preview

Surprise!  The leaves haven’t turned yellow yet, it’s still hot and humid this week, but the Road to the Kentucky Derby and the Road to the Kentucky Oaks both begin on Saturday at Churchill Downs, with the Iroquois Stakes (G3) for open two-year-old company, and the Pocahontas Stakes (G2) for juvenile fillies.  Both races offer... Read more »

2019 Stephen Foster Stakes Preview and Saturday Churchill Downs Selections

You might think every single stakes horse descended on Belmont last weekend, but you wouldn’t be quite right.  Just one week after Belmont day, Churchill Downs has another stakes-laden day of racing.  Their card on Saturday night features six races, including a pair of Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In races: the Stephen Foster S.... Read more »

2019 Kentucky Derby Preview and Saturday Churchill Downs Stakes Selections

It’s finally here, after months of prep races: the Kentucky Derby!  As we do here every year, Picks and Ponderings will give you the scoop on every horse in the field. If you’re specifically interested in who’s coming into the Derby (and the Oaks!) hot, and who isn’t, Nicolle has a piece over at the TwinSpires blog that delves into... Read more »

2019 Kentucky Oaks Preview and Friday Churchill Downs Selections

We’ve been talking about prep races since last fall, but it’s finally here: the week of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. We talk about the Derby in a separate piece, of course, but here we take a look at Friday.  We’ll provide our detailed preview of the Oaks, and then below it, we’ll... Read more »

2018 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast: Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes and Golden Rod Stakes

Saturday is the second-to-last day of the fall meet at Churchill Downs.  The card features all two-year-old racing, all day long, and will be anchored by a pair of Grade 2 dirt routes, the Kentucky Jockey Club and the Golden Rod.  They are both points races for next season’s three-year-old features in Louisville: the Kentucky... Read more »

2018 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast: Clark Handicap and Mrs. Revere Stakes

The holiday weekend continues on Friday, and right here we continue our look at the graded stakes action in Louisville.  Churchill Downs’s traditional day-after-Thanksgiving feature, the Clark, gives older handicap horses one more chance for a Grade 1, and often features some three-year-olds getting used to facing older company.  This year, the field of eight horses fighting... Read more »

2018 Thanksgiving Handicapping Feast: Cardinal Handicap and Falls City Handicap

Between the holiday and the fact that racing has had a few weeks to recuperate from the Breeders’ Cup, this weekend is the perfect weekend for serious winter stakes racing to get underway.  Friday’s Clark Handicap (G1) is the first top-level race in the United States since the Breeders’ Cup.  Here at Picks and Ponderings this... Read more »

2018 River City Handicap Preview

As November goes on and snowstorms blow across the country, we draw near the end of the turf racing season.  However, this weekend Churchill hopes to get a little more in with the Grade 3 River City Handicap, a mile and an eighth on the grass for horses aged three and above. The River City... Read more »

2018 Commonwealth Turf Preview

The Commonwealth Turf Stakes (G3) is one of the last chances for three-year-old lawnmowers to compete against their own age group.  Inaugurated in 2004, it has always been run at a mile and a sixteenth on the grass, and has held a Grade 3 status since 2008. In 2010, Yankee Fourtune earned his first graded... Read more »