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HRN Original Blog:
The Dark Horse

The Prairie State Festival Makes Me Want To "Go Ballistic!"

I hope all of you had a chance to enjoy all or some of the Illinois Prairie State Festival of racing at Arlington Park last Saturday!  Six of the top Illinois-bred horse races took place on a beautiful day in Chicago.  Let’s recap these stakes races:



Leading the way and never looking back seven year old gelding Shrewd Operator ($7.00) wins the White Oak by an impressive nine lengths for Team Block.  This horse definitely fired after sitting on the shelf since last August.  With very good recent workouts Eddie Perez had no problem driving Shrewd Operator home for the win.  Big Looie tracked in second for most of the race but faded to third.  Danush Sukie on River Bear closed in from last for the place but could not come near the front-runner.  (Also to note:  Shrewd Operator earned a beyer of 114!!!!!!)

White Oak Handicap - RACE REPLAY



The Isaac Murphy Handicap – 6 furlongs – Polytrack – fillies and mares

Tanner Riggs drives home Wild Hope ($15.00) to an impressive victory in the Isaac Murphy for trainer Frank Kirby!  She came through from the back of the pack, four wide from the rail, charging very hard to pick up the hard earned victory by two lengths.  38-1 shot Kel's Dreamer, ridden by Chris Emigh couldn’t quite hang onto the brief lead from Wild Hope but did hang on for the place.  The exacta alone paid $309.80!!

Isaac Murphy Handicap - RACE REPLAY



The Purple Violet Stakes – 1 mile – Polytrack - fillies

Richie Scherer and Julio Felix teamed up to bring home three year old filly Our Lady In Red ($9.40) to victory by runing down usual front runner Cityrap by a neck at the wire!  Cityrap had a five length lead at the top of the stretch but just missed holding off the hard charging winning filly in a very exciting finish!!  Check out the video replay of this one! 

Purple Violet Stakes - RACE REPLAY



The Springfield Stakes – 1 mile – Polytrack

Joseph Broussard trained three year old Hydro Power ($11.00) ships in from Prairie Meadows and wins the Springfield Stakes by 1 ¾ lengths leading the entire way!  Forbidden Forest attempted to close in from the mid-pack on the rail and Rivershire closed in from the middle of the track, but neither could catch the leader.  Nuckser tracked Hydro Power for most of the race but faded to 8th.  An impressive $0.10 superfecta paid over $1,200! 

Springfield Stakes - RACE REPLAY



The Lincoln Heritage Handicap – 1 1/16 miles – Turf – fillies and mares


Last year’s Lincoln Heritage Handicap runner up Peyote Patty ($6.20) was much the best in this year’s race as she won the turf race by a length leading the whole way over hard charging second place finisher Pathway.  Actually, this race was Peyote Patty’s just second race back from taking a break after last year’s Lincoln Heritage Handicap!  Whoa!  The top three favorites hit the board in this race as Dundalk Dust finished third.  Catalina Way tracked the leader for most of the race and faded to fourth. 

Lincoln Heritage Handicap - RACE REPLAY



The Black Tie Affair – 1 1/16 miles - Turf


Local favorite of mine, Tazz ($10.80), wins by a half length with blinkers on in the Black Tie Affair for Corey Nakatani and Christine Janks!  It was a great finish at the wire as Tazz hangs on from a bunch of closers to take the victory!  Princeville Condo finished second in this race for the second year in a row (deuces wild).  Racing Bran (love that name) tracked Tazz for a while but drifted back to last. 

Black Tie Affair - RACE REPLAY



What a great set of races!  Now I can’t wait for Arlington Million preview day, the Arlington Million (of course) and next year’s Prairie State Festival!

But, to tide us over until then, I’d like to feature an old friend of ours who is racing in an allowance optional claiming race at Arlington on July 1st.  His name:  Going Ballistic.

This seven year old gray (with all of his boy parts still intact, know what I mean, wink wink nudge nudge) with lifetime earnings of over $1.1 million returns to Arlington’s turf course for trainer Donnie Von Hemel

This fan-favorite has participated in such prestigious races as:


This seven-time winner has won three times on the turf and has hit the board in nine of thirteen turf tries.  Eddie Razo Jr. gets the mount for Going Ballistic’s return trip to Arlington this week.  He has been working very well, and at 10-1 we may be able to catch a good price on him! 

I wish you the best on your return to Arlington, Going Ballistic, and I hope you hit the wire ahead of the others!

 

What the Nation is saying about The Prairie State Festival Makes Me Want To "Go Ballistic!"...

Agreed. Do NOT question Zen!!
Chris-I make figures using the Quirin methodology and gave Shrewd Operator a 112 which equals roughly a 110 on the Beyer scale as far as I know.
Good grief there was some serious $$$ to be won last sat not to mention some awesome racing! Seems like while there were def a good # of front running victories the closers got their share too. I love when everyone has a good shot no matter the running style. Kinda makes me wanna go ballistic ;)
I sometimes question Beyer ... I never question Zenner!
Agreed on the speed figs, I use them in ranges to see if a horse can hang with the rest of the crowd, that's about it.
speed ratings are very subjective. I personally don't see the need for them as the time,race shape,works in the PP tell you everything needed
cpsoren121.............it would depend if your were riding your roller blades on the east coast or the est coast.
I used to be able to sustain 18mph on roller blades. Wonder what Beyer that would be?
I often question Beyers, but I think that this one is legit. The other races on the poly that day were really off. This one was by far the fastest. Perhaps the teletimer malfunctioned.
What? Brian? You dare to question the accuracy of a Beyer? For shame.
A Beyer of 114??? Whoa nellie! That has to be a little inflated, doesn't it, Chris?

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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!  
 
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This blog is eternally dedicated to the memory of Tim "Tiznow" Reynolds.