In my latest at Picks and Ponderings, I take a look at the pair of rich Grade 1 races: the third annual Pegasus World Cup, and the first annual Pegasus World Cup Turf!
The Fair Grounds spurs of the Derby Trail and Oaks Trail get underway this Saturday. Over at Picks and Ponderings, I preview the meet’s first three-year-old preps, the Silverbulletday for fillies and the Lecomte (G3) for open company.
Hawthorne’s meet draws to a close on Saturday afternoon. However, before racing in Chicago goes on hiatus for two months, I have a full-card look at Saturday’s closing day card at Picks and Ponderings.
The Santa Anita spur of the three-year-old trail gets underway this Saturday with the Sham Stakes. Coliseum is getting all the buzz, but there’s a more experienced horse I like better. Find out who in my preview at Picks and Ponderings!
Today is the final race day of the year at Hawthorne, meaning all bets must pay out. Thus, there’s $52,170 to seed the pool of the Super High Five — and here’s my analysis of today’s High Five race at Hawthorne!
The Santa Anita meet opens on Wednesday afternoon. Over at Picks and Ponderings, I share my thoughts on the day’s pair of Grade 1 races, and my picks for all the day’s stakes action.
At Picks and Ponderings, I look at Saturday’s competitive eleven-horse field in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Stakes — new, improved, and extended to seven furlongs as of this year.
Two-year-old Illinois-bred fillies took centre stage at Hawthorne today, and Irish Marvel stood alone. In my latest at Picks and Ponderings, looks back at the race!
A field of six Illinois-bred juvenile fillies has entered to contest the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante: in my latest at Picks and Ponderings, see who I think has the best shot to be the belle of the ball!
It’s the first big weekend of American racing after the Breeders’ Cup, and today I take a look at Aqueduct’s Cigar Mile Day action!
Saturday will mark the 28th edition of the Pacific Classic, Del Mar’s marquee race for the handicap division.
The race has always been contested at a mile and a quarter over the Del Mar main: polytrack from 2007 through 2014, and dirt otherwise. The race offers a $1,000,000 purse, as well as a Win and You’re In berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic for the winner. Thus far, no winner of the Pacific Classic has gone on to win the BC Classic in the same year. Pleasantly Perfect (2004), however, had already won the BC Classic the year before. Bertrando (1993) finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that same year, overtaken late by 133/1 longshot Arcangues. Recent winners have, like Bertrando, come close in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. 2016 winner California Chrome finished second behind Arrogate in that year’s Classic; the next year, Collected finished second behind Gun Runner in the same race.
Thursday’s sixth race at Arlington, a turf mile for juvenile fillies, drew a field of eleven: a mix of first-time starters and more experienced horses, with pedigrees ranging from modest to Championship.
The Bruce D. Memorial Stakes is the only one of Saturday’s five stakes carded for the polytrack, and the only ungraded stakes of the group. Originally run as the Straight Line Stakes between 2012 and 2014, it was renamed in 2015 to honour R. Bruce Duchossois (1950-2014), son of Arlington Park chairman Richard Duchossois. Bruce Duchossois was involved in horse sports as well — though he made his name in the eventing world, not the racing world. He rode Kim’s Song to the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year title in 1973, and served as vice president of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation.
Though the race is an open stakes, locals have done extremely well over its history.
This race is named after Pucker Up, the 1957 Champion Older Female Horse. Owned by Dan and Ada Rice (who campaigned 1965 Kentucky Derby winner Lucky Debonair) and trained by Jimmy Conway, she went on a tear at age four. At Arlington, she beat her own sex in the Arlington Matron. Out at Washington Park, she took on the boys in the Washington Park Handicap and emerged victorious. The daughter of Olympia also took her form out of the Chicago area, winning the Beldame Handicap at Belmont that year.
Arlington has carded a race in Pucker Up’s honour since 1961.