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HRN Original Blog:
The Dark Horse

Future Superstars Featured at Arlington this Saturday!

Hi everyone! It’s been a bit since I posted my last blog. I guess you could call it the classic Arlington Million bounce. I’m here today to preview two graded stakes races taking place at Arlington this weekend for the two year olds. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t also recap an exciting Washington Park Handicap that took place last weekend as well.

Race 7 this Saturday features two year old colts (and one filly actually) running one mile on Arlington’s all-weather surface in the 78th running of the Arlington-Washington Futurity! In looking at this race a bit deeper, it appears to me that 2-1 morning line favorite Muppet Man is the one to beat. Perfect in two starts, this Jim DiVito-trained colt handled 7 furlongs with no issues in his last start: a minor stakes victory back on August 4th. The other advantage that Muppet Man has is that he is the only horse likely to flash any early speed, and with the rail trip, could easily win gate to wire without seeing any other tails. DiVito hits at an outstanding 38% with two year olds and wins at an amazing 32% when teaming up with Jeffrey Sanchez.

So can anyone beat this colt?

I think one contender is Pataky Kid. Tom Proctor brings in Garret Gomez to ride a horse that broke his maiden at 7 furlongs back on August 9th. Since that race, he has fired two impressive workouts on the Polytrack and seems ready to fire again on Saturday. The best chance for Pataky Kid to win would be for someone else to pressure Muppet Man up front. Drawing the outside post is Tom Amoss’ Mylute. Mylute was winless in his previous two starts and broke his maiden with his first time on the Arlington Polytrack back on August 11th as the post time favorite. I certainly like the improving pattern of Mylute and he has been working very well since his last race. Interestingly, Donnie Von Hemel is sending out a filly named Scissortail G who has yet to break her maiden. It is an odd entry but don’t forget that Von Hemel is winning at a 26% rate in graded stakes affairs…so who knows!

Race 8 then features the girls running at the same one-turn mile distance in the 78th running of the Arlington-Washington Lassie. This race features a full field of 14 runners and plenty of excellent exotic wagering opportunities! The filly that jumps out to me at first is Wayne Catalano’s Flying Rapunzel. She has been favored in both of her starts and won her second race in impressive fashion over 7 furlongs at Arlington back on July 29th. Since that race she has been firing some very good works and most of us are acutely familiar with Catalano’s record with two year olds (a 25% win rate). What’s even more impressive is the 39% win rate that Catalano and jockey Miguel Mena have when they team up. This is one dangerous combination and certainly worth consideration. And since I’m a bit concerned about the outside post (12) for Flying Rapunzel, I will also give consideration to Gold Edge. This filly Is undefeated in two starts and her last victory came in the $67k Lisa M stakes back on August 4th at Arlington. She should rate just off the pace, and as Flying Rapunzel could get some pressure from Dancinginthecircle and Dancing Elliebelle inside her, the pace scenario could set up well for Gold Edge. For me, these are the two horses that I give most weight to.

So there you have my preview of the two big races this weekend! Who do you like in these races?

Now, I did want to take a moment to recap the 79th running of the Washington Park Handicap. 9/2 veteran Workin For Hops went out to the lead under Robby Albarado and wasn’t challenged until ¾ of a mile into the race. Ballyjamesduff tracked the leader for a while but then ended up not finishing the race (but did leave the track under his own power). Leading rider Cisco Torres and Middie rated through half of the race then took a gigantic lead at the top of the stretch and dominated the field winning by 3 ¼ lengths at 14-1! Post time favorite Prayer for Relief didn’t fire this day and local favorite Mister Marti Gras, of course, closed in from last but just couldn’t catch the winner in the stretch. 
(Middie wins easily! - courtesy Four Footed Fotos)

Here is the latest in the “Behind the Silks” series from Arlington Park!

And in other HRN News…

- Who will win some of the 2012 Breeders' Cup Races?

- Wishing Paynter a speedy recovery...

- Will Snow Fairy Visit America?

- Putting the wraps on the 2012 Saratoga Meet! 





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Older Comments about Future Superstars Featured at Arlington this Saturday!...

You Bought Her reported to be OK--she walked off on her own. Jockey Juli Felix is sitting up now, and will be assisted off track w/ stretcher. Scary spill...
Gold Edge!!!!
Good call Zip. On second look, Custody could win this.
Looks like another great day of racing at Arlington!
For sentimental reasons, I was hoping Prayer For Relief would win for Zayats....but that Middie was really something!
Looks like Muppet Man is the one to beat in the Futurity, but in the Lassie, I am going with Custody, who I am hoping will be much closer to the pace than she was in her impressive debut win. Having Gomez in the irons should not hurt one bit.

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 (Whoa - it's me - the DARK HORSE)
Greetings and welcome to my "dark" blog!  I have been a fan of horse racing since I was about 12 years old.  Growing up in Minnesota, my dad would take me and my brothers to Canterbury Downs and I would practically beg to go every weekend!!  I made my first "big" score there hitting the win, place, and exacta in the same race at age 14 (pulled in $84 with horses named Railroad Red and Racers Dream!).  I even had a poster in my bedroom of Lost Code winning the 1987 St. Paul Derby!
While finishing school in Chicago, I spent every possible moment at Arlington Park with my dad.  We took the time to develop computer programs (on the ever popular Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS) to try to find patterns and handicap races more accurately.  My dad taught me a lot about handicapping races, paying particular attention to class moves!

Since then, I have become more involved with horse racing each passing year through a variety of different media-based roles. Once deemed the "second best racing ambassador in Chicago" (hey I've been called worse), 
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This blog is eternally dedicated to the memory of Tim "Tiznow" Reynolds.

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