Category: Churchill Downs

Roots in the Claiming Ranks, Eyes to the Stars: Jason Servis and Mr. Amore Stable

Roots in the Claiming Ranks, Eyes to the Stars: Jason Servis and Mr. Amore Stable
In the morning, he gallops along the inside of the track. He is a tank, but the word “compact” still dares come to mind. His smooth, dark bay coat barely contains the muscle sculpted underneath. Each stride explodes with the immediacy of a top one-turn runner. Sometimes a horse’s name just fits, and such is... Read more »

2018 Breeders' Cup Saturday Picks and Ponderings

Breeders’ Cup action continues on Saturday.  Friday the two-year-olds take the stage, but Saturday belongs to the older horses.  The day features several links to Arlington Million Day.  This year’s Arlington Million (G1) winner Robert Bruce will attempt to get a mile and a half in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the same distance that thwarted... Read more »

2018 Breeders' Cup Friday Picks and Ponderings

Breeders’ Cup takes over Churchill Downs this weekend, and Friday is all about the future stars.  With the addition of the Juvenile Turf Sprint there are now five Breeders’ Cup races restricted to two-year-old horses.  They will all be run on Friday, with the races open to older The horses all contested on Saturday. Picks... Read more »

An eventful weekend for Illinois-bred horses

Between exactas at Canterbury, the resurgence of stakes action at Fairmount Park, and individual horses turning heads, the last few days have been eventful ones in Illinois racing.  Let Picks and Ponderings make sure you’re on top of all the action, with a romp through the latest news on the Illinois-bred Thoroughbred scene. Illinois-bred exactas at... Read more »

2018 Kentucky Derby Preview and Saturday Stakes Selections

We’ve been following the trail all the way, but now, the Kentucky Derby is finally here.  The field is drawn, with twenty main entries plus one also-eligible.  The field is competitive, with a little something for everybody: fountains of raw talent yet to be forged in the fire, hard-trying and plucky sorts who have yet... Read more »

2018 Kentucky Oaks Preview and Friday Stakes Selections

Kentucky Derby week is here.  As always, Picks and Ponderings is on top of it. This piece focuses on Friday’s action.  We’ll have a horse-by-horse look at the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, which drew a full field of fourteen.  The weather calls for some rain on Friday, so we’ll take that into account, and make... Read more »

2017 Kentucky Derby Point/Counterpoint and Saturday Stakes Selections

The greatest two minutes in sports.  The fastest two minutes in sports.  The two minutes every year when you can talk to your non-racing friends about your favourite sport, and they’ll actually listen. Whatever you like to call it, this Saturday is the Kentucky Derby.  After an inconsistent, up-and-down prep season, twenty horses have cemented their... Read more »

2017 Kentucky Oaks Preview and Friday Stakes Selections

Welcome to Kentucky Derby week! You’ve come to the right place: Picks and Ponderings will be right here with you through the biggest days of the year at Churchill Downs.  This piece focuses on the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, with written analysis of the Oaks and selections (including live longshots) for all six graded stakes races... Read more »

2016 Handicapping Feast: Clark Handicap Preview

The sun rises in the east, the sun sets in the west, and the Clark Handicap will be run at Churchill Downs this year: just as it has been every year since 1875.  The race is named after Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, who started the Louisville Jockey Club along with his cousins, John and Henry... Read more »

2016 Handicapping Feast: Falls City Handicap and River City Handicap

Thanksgiving weekend always offers a feast of top-notch racing, and Picks and Ponderings visits several of the highlights.  Thursday’s graded action at Churchill Downs is replete with locals, so we focus there to start the weekend.  Friday’s action finds its anchor in the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs; Saturday’s lone Grade I is the... Read more »