onward and upward from Belmont Day

Belmont Stakes day got off to a good start for Curlin babies, with Connect posting an authoritative allowance win.  Connect, of course, proved that was no fluke this past Friday when he returned to win the Curlin Stakes.

Two others who raced on Belmont day did not fare quite as well.  Curalina (Whatdreamsrmadeof, by Graeme Hall) went off the betting favourite in the Ogden Phipps (GI), off her sensational La Troienne victory.  She could only muster fourth place.  Later in the day, Preakness winner Exaggerator (Dawn Raid, by Vindication) went off favoured in the Belmont Stakes (GI), but had nothing late and finished eleventh out of thirteen in the field.

Both Curalina and Exaggerator returned today, trying to put their Belmont Day disappointments behind them.

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Picks and Ponderings: 2016 United Nations Stakes Preview

In addition to covering the Iowa Festival, Picks and Ponderings also wanders to the Jersey Shore this weekend for the Grade I Man o’ War.

We see a few familiar faces from Arlington: 2015 American Derby winner World Approval, and 2015 Arlington Million entrant Triple Threat.  However, I like an always-dangerous graded stakes jockey with a live mount on his home turf.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of the United Nations Stakes, and let me know what you think in the comments.

Picks and Ponderings: weekend stakes racing

Saturday’s card at Saratoga has four graded stakes races.  The card contains a pair of Grade II stakes races for three-year-olds: the Jim Dandy for two-turn types, and the Amsterdam for sprinters.  I preview both of those.  Of course, those aren’t the only stakes races at Saratoga this Saturday.  The card also features the Grade I Vanderbilt for older sprinters, and the Grade II Bowling Green for older turf route types.  Paul Mazur previews that pair of races.

Paul also previews the Addison Cammack Handicap and the Isaac Murphy Handicap, the pair of stakes races at Arlington this Saturday.  I will be previewing these races in this weekend’s Chicago Railbird, which is forthcoming.

For Sunday, I take a look at the Haskell Invitational (GI): American Pharoah’s first race since winning the Triple Crown on June 6.  The big purse drew seven other horses to face the champion…but can anyone beat him?

Head on over to Picks and Ponderings, and get ready for a classy weekend of racing!

Picks and Ponderings: United Nations Stakes and Salvator Mile Preview

This weekend abounds with racing action.  Over at Picks and Ponderings, I took point on previewing Sunday’s biggest races.  Last night, I headed south to preview the Summit of Speed at Gulfstream.  Today, I turn my eyes to the Jersey shore.

Monmouth has one of its two graded stakes races of the meet on Sunday: the United Nations.  A 1 3/8 mile turf test, the race is a Win And You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Turf.  It also marks the return of Main Sequence to American shores after his seventh-place finish in the Sheema Classic in Dubai on March 28.  The card also features the Salvator Mile.  In that Grade III race, newer shooters Race Day and Red Vine will get a crack at more proven dirt milers like Valid, Bradester, and Pants on Fire.

Head on over to Picks and Ponderings, read my takes on the United Nations and the Salvator Mile, and let me know what you think in the comments!