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The Dark Horse

The Dark Report – June 15, 2014


Happy Father’s Day! Is anyone still reeling from the potential Triple Crown? I know I am! In my last Dark Report I failed to give Tonalist his due. So today I will honor Tonalist’s Belmont Stakes win! And since it is Father’s Day, I’ll take a look at some of the “fathers” in horse racing today who seem to be doing well. This week’s Dark Report contains some fathers, some handle, a winner, and more winners!
 
Let’s go!
 
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
 
Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there. I hope you have a great day with your families.
 
In reading the June 14 issue of the Blood-Horse, I was looking at some of the sire statistics and wanted to see how some of those “dads” were faring this year.
 
In looking at the third crop sires, the one and only Curlin is leading with $3.85 million in earnings (with Palace Malice at the top). Midnight Lute, Into Mischief, and Majestic Warrior are leading the number of stakes winners with 9 each. And wow… it would be a great Father’s Day for Henrythenavigator! With 457 foals, he would be sure to get a lot of gifts from his children!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(The mighty Curlin at Lanes End) 
 

 
As far as second crop sires are concerned, Dunkirk leads with 256 foals and 4 stakes winners! (He would have a good Father’s Day too)
 
CAN YOU HANDLE THIS?
 
Speaking of handle, did you happen to see how much was wagered on Belmont Stakes day? For the entire card, both on and off-track wagers combined for a $150,249,399 handle! And horse racing is dying?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(Lots of money was wagered on Belmont Stakes day) 
 
 
The next largest amount on Belmont Stakes day was in 2004 when $114 million was wagered on the races. The card that NYRA put together for the stakes day was very Breeders’ Cup-esque. On-track handle was up 32.1% from that previous 2004 record Belmont card handle and up 29.5% from the 2005 Breeders’ Cup! It was a great, and challenging, betting card and was a great spectacle of racing for the fans.
 
Lots of fans bet into that card because of the quality racing that took place, and we know NYRA did well with their finances that day. Just as a matter of perspective to consider, though HANA has launched a boycott against Churchill Downs for increasing their takeout rates, the takeout on some wagers at Belmont are still HIGHER than at the Louisville oval!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
I don’t remember hearing ANYONE complain about that. I understand both sides of the argument, but I’m just sayin’. 
 

 
THE BELMONT WINNER - REVISITED
 
That 2014 Peter Pan Stakes must have been a heck of a race.
 


Both Tonalist and Commissioner who finished first and second in the Peter Pan Stakes, also finished first and second in the Belmont Stakes! Tonalist was wide around the first turn and jockey Joel Rosario moved him forward into position. Like many Belmont winners before, Commissioner was on the lead for most of the race and just lost it by a head at the end.




 
Rosario and Castellano both rode great races and the horses deserve all of the credit for taking the top two spots of the Belmont Stakes!
 
CHURCHILL STAKES REVIEW
 
Races 6 through 9 last night was huge in terms of great horses last night at Churchill Downs. An all-stakes pick four was up for grabs as some of the top horses competed under the lights; anchored by the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap.
 
Tapiture, a Kentucky Derby competitor, won the Grade 3 Matt Winn stakes by two lengths under leading female rider Rosie Napravnik as the even money favorite. Under a steady drive, Tapiture took over the race three-wide along the far turn.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis, an upset was in the making as Molly Morgan, who finished second in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes on Oaks Day, dominated the field by four lengths and storming home to victory in a last to first romp.
 
The feature race of the night was the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap where 10-1 long shot Moonshine Mullin and jockey Calvin Borel stalked the leader Jaguar Paw then took the lead and never looked back, winning the race by 1 ¾ lengths over a hard charging favorite Will Take Charge.



 

How a horse with four wins in a row and a Grade 2 victory in the Alysheba stakes goes off at 10-1 is puzzling. Still, this six year old son of Albert the Great might be a rising star in the handicap division.
 
In the final event, 5/2 favorite A Little Bit Sassy might have been robbed of the victory in the Grade 3 Regret. Running without Lasix and technically winning by a head, the stewards ruled that the horse bumped fourth place finisher Kiss Moon inside of the final furlong, giving the victory to Aurelia's Belle. While it was tough to see on the side-angle, it didn’t look all that bad to me and it didn’t seem like Kiss Moon was impeded all that much. You be the judge.
 
Well that does it for this week’s Dark Report! See you next week! 
 
 

 

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Except for Tapiture it was bombs away at Churchill on Saturday night.

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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), 
I now reside in the Mid-Atlantic Region of the USA and will be covering many different aspects of racing - in my unpredictable DARK HORSE STYLE!  
 
My favorite tracks are:
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Some of my all-time favorite horses include: 
 
Feel free to contact me anytime and I will respond! 
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This blog is eternally dedicated to the memory of Tim "Tiznow" Reynolds.