This Monday at Santa Anita features three Grade 1 races: the Gamely for turf fillies and mares, the Shoemaker Mile for open-company milers on the lawn, and the Gold Cup at Santa Anita for the handicap division. They're each an intriguing mix of West Coast denizens and shippers, and I discuss all three in my... Continue Reading →
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!
It's not often I get back in touch with my long-dormant physics nerd days to write a piece about horse racing...but that happened this week when I was writing about Midnight Bisou, and I must say I'm happy with how it turned out.
This is week ten of Big Race Showdown at America’s Best Racing: where I clash heads with six awesome handicappers (Emily Gullikson, Candice Hare, Dan Tordjman, Brian Zipse, Eric Bialek, and Mark DiLorenzo) to see who can stay the hottest through Derby prep season. We tackle all three Kentucky Derby preps on Saturday: the Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland, the Wood (G1) at... Continue Reading →
When one door closes, another opens. Originally billed as a rematch between McKinzie and Bolt d'Oro, McKinzie has bowed out of the Santa Anita Derby -- but his stablemate in the Bob Baffert barn, Justify, will be entered instead. So, the race will be a showdown between Bolt d'Oro, so proven at two, and the... Continue Reading →
This is week six of Big Race Showdown at America’s Best Racing: where I clash heads with six awesome handicappers (Emily Gullikson, Candice Hare, Dan Tordjman, Brian Zipse, Eric Bialek, and Mark DiLorenzo) to see who can stay the hottest through Derby prep season. This week is a huge one, with three stateside Kentucky Derby preps: the Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct, the... Continue Reading →
The San Felipe Stakes (G2) will be run for the 81st time this year. It is a Road to the Kentucky Derby race, with not only a $400,000 purse up for grabs but also 50, 20, 10, and 5 Kentucky Derby points available to the top four finishers. Originally inaugurated in 1935 for colts and... Continue Reading →
This Saturday features four different three-year-old preps at three different tracks: three Kentucky Oaks prep, and a Kentucky Derby prep as well. Over at Picks and Ponderings, I preview all four of the points races: the Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Davona Dale (G2) at Gulfstream, the Busher Stakes at Aqueduct, and the Santa... Continue Reading →
It's time for the second week of Big Race Showdown at America’s Best Racing! The panel is full of sharp horse racing minds: Emily Gullikson, Candice Hare, Dan Tordjman, Brian Zipse, Eric Bialek, and Mark DiLorenzo. This week, we take a look at a pair of Kentucky Derby preps, one on each coast. Head over to ABR, and see who we like for the... Continue Reading →
In a week of three-year-old preps that already took us to Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita on Saturday, we return to Santa Anita on Sunday for the day's lone sophomore points race, the Grade 2 Las Virgenes Stakes. The dirt mile drew a field of six fillies to contend for their share of a $200,000 purse, as well as... Continue Reading →
Picks and Ponderings's coast-to-coast coverage of three-year-old points races continues here, with the Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. This year marks the 80th running of the Robert B. Lewis Stakes. Previously the Santa Catalina Stakes, it was renamed in 2007 for Robert B. Lewis (1924-2006). The race has been restricted to three-year-olds since... Continue Reading →
Saturday's card at Santa Anita features the first chance for the Derby-bound to get points in 2018, with the Grade 3 Sham Stakes. Sunday, however, is all about the fillies: the day's feature, the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes, is the first Kentucky Oaks points race of the year. As with so many stakes races at... Continue Reading →
Thoroughbred racing has concluded at Hawthorne, not to return until late March. With that, Picks and Ponderings will be casting its eyes afield, focusing most strongly on the three-year-old prep season. The Jerome, originally scheduled for New Year's Day, was supposed to be the first race on the Derby Trail this year. However, bitter cold and snow... Continue Reading →
After a quiet week and a half in Southern California, the Santa Anita winter meet opens up on Tuesday, December 26 at Santa Anita. The opening day card features a four-pack of stakes: opening-day mainstays the Malibu Stakes (G1), La Brea Stakes (G1), and Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) for sophomores, as well as the newly... Continue Reading →
With five weeks until the Breeders' Cup, many of the marquee prospects for our sport's biggest weekend have penciled in their final prep races for this weekend. Thanks to that, Saturday's cards at both Belmont and Santa Anita are chock full of graded stakes. This piece features a full preview of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic... Continue Reading →