Picks and Ponderings: 2018 Arlington Million Preview

The centerpiece of the summer meet at Arlington is the Arlington Million: the world’s first million-dollar Thoroughbred race when it was inaugurated in 1981.  Its first running is commemorated with a statue overlooking the paddock at Arlington Park: a replica of the tight photo finish that went to John Henry over The Bart.

A field of ten, including last year’s Secretariat Stakes (G1) winner Oscar Performance, will vie for their shares of a million-dollar purse.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of the Arlington Million, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Big Race Showdown: Whitney Stakes

Season Two of this year’s Big Race Showdown at America’s Best Racing continues this weekend: where I clash heads with six awesome handicappers (Emily GulliksonCandice HareDan TordjmanBrian ZipseEric Bialek, and Mark DiLorenzo) to see who can stay the hottest through Derby prep season.

This week we look at the biggest handicap-division race of the summer at Saratoga: the Whitney Stakes.  See who we like right here!

Picks and Ponderings: 2018 Whitney Stakes Preview

The handicap division has no bigger showcase during the Saratoga meet than the Whitney.  The race takes its name from the Whitney family, scions of the New York racing circuit.  William Collins Whitney co-founded the Jockey Club, and campaigned prominent racehorses such as the 1901 Epsom Derby winner Volodyovski and 1904 Champion two-year-old filly Artful.  His son Harry Payne Whitney continued the legacy, owning a long list of luminaries, including 1915 Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year Regret.  His son, Cornelius V. Whitney, not only campaigned racehorses as well, but also founded the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.  The Whitney name carries on in racing today through Marylou Whitney, Cornelius’s widow.

The race run in the Whitneys’ name was inaugurated in 1928, and will be run for the 91st time this year.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of the Whitney, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Picks and Ponderings: Arlington Maiden Notes: 8.2.18, Race 1

We know summer is elapsing as the two-year-old main-track maiden races get longer.  They started at four and a half furlongs, have run five, then five and a half.  Now, Thursday’s Arlington first is the track’s first six-furlong juvenile maiden race.  An open maiden special weight, the race drew a field of eight: two who have raced, and six who have not.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, get to know the field, and find out which longshot I like!  (And, I do like a longshot!)

Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association: Harness racing is all in the family for trainer-breeder Brian Judy

For my latest for the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association, I sat down to talk with trainer-breeder Brian Judy, whose Frontier Elsa has been rounding into beautiful form at Hawthorne this summer.  We talked about how he and his father got into the game, about his stable of homebreds,a nd about his training at his family’s farm downstate.

Big Race Showdown: Bing Crosby, Haskell, and Clement Hirsch

Season Two of this year’s Big Race Showdown at America’s Best Racing continues this weekend: where I clash heads with six awesome handicappers (Emily GulliksonCandice HareDan TordjmanBrian ZipseEric Bialek, and Mark DiLorenzo) to see who can stay the hottest through Derby prep season.

We tackle a trio of Win and You’re In races this week: the Bing Crosby (G1), the Haskell (G1), and the Clement Hirsch (G1).  See who we like right here!

Picks and Ponderings: 2018 Haskell Invitational Preview

In news that surprised virtually no one, Justify has been retired — making the question of which sophomore will rise to the top during the second half of the season a pressing as well as interesting one.

The first of the summer’s top races for the sophomore dirt route set happens this Sunday, and it’s also the marquee race for the entire Monmouth Park meet: the Grade 1, $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational Stakes.  In addition to the biggest share of that seven-figure purse, the winner of the Haskell also gets a Win and You’re In berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, to be run November 4 at Del Mar.  It is the only automatic Breeders’ Cup Classic berth offered in a race limited to three-year-olds.

Head over to Picks and Ponderings, read my preview of the Haskell, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!