Shapazian’s Belmont picks – May 27

Memorial Day weekend rolls on and a 10-race card at Belmont Park awaits The Saratoga Special’s leading handicapper John Shapazian.

The Saturday Special – May 27

The unofficial official start to the summer season gets underway now that two of the U.S. classics are in the books with the long Memorial Day weekend on tap. A lighter than usual stakes schedule is on tap but there’s still plenty of quality racing around the world, all previewed here in The Saturday Special presented by Pin Oak Stud.

Steeplechase Preview & Picks: Home again at Fair Hill

And here we are back home again at Fair Hill. The spring steeplechase season comes to a close Saturday at our “local,” the Fair Hill Races. Founded in 1934, the races have always been part county fair, part betting shop, part Preakness infield and all horse race. 

Spill knocks Norris out for season

Somewhat lost in the shadow of Paddy Young’s injury at Radnor, Kieran Norris and maiden hurdler Make Big Plans clipped heels in the first race, sending Norris to the hospital with occipital condylar fracture. The 2016 champion jockey was released from Paoli Medical Center Saturday night and is resting at his Middleburg home.

Champion jockey Paddy Young injured

The last chapter is the hardest one to write.

Five-time champion jockey Paddy Young wanted to ride another season, he had been saying that for several years, “Just one more, maybe another, OK but this is it.” Every time the engine stalled, he somehow found a way to turn it over, jump start it and go out the driveway. The motives varied – money, necessity, thrill, history – but the result was always the same.