• The Pizza Man dominates the Hollywood Turf Cup.Posted 10 hours ago
  • Heart to Heart runs away with the River City on the Churchill Downs turf.Posted 11 hours ago
  • Green Gratto holds off a brigade to win the Fall Highweight at 24-1.Posted 12 hours ago
  • It's all Favorite Tale in the Fabulous Strike.Posted 1 day ago
  • Lavender Chrissie romps past Calamity Kate in the Zia Park Oaks.Posted 1 day ago
  • Mobile Bay wins the Zia Park Derby, while International Star fades to fourth.Posted 1 day ago
  • It's all Lewys Vaporizer in the $200,000 Steel Valley Sprint at Mahoning Valley.Posted 3 days ago
  • Solid Wager rolls late in the Cary Grant; Big Macher last at 2-5.Posted 4 days ago
  • Dolphus (Lookin at Lucky), 1/2 brother to Rachel Alexandra, wins his career debut at Fair Grounds.Posted 4 days ago
  • Rusty Slipper proves best in the 11-furlong Red Carpet.Posted 5 days ago
HRN Original Blog:
The Dark Horse

Willcox Inn wins easy in the (very) Windy City!

On a day where speed was generally holding, Willcox Inn ($4.20) stormed from near the back of the pack to easily win by 4 ½ lengths in the Hawthorne Derby.  

Today featured a very stiff head wind coming down the stretch with winds gusting over 30 miles per hour out of the West.  Champion horse Willcox Inn saved ground in the first part of the race as jockey Robby Albarado was keeping the horse fairly reserved on the rail.  Albarado must have known that the race would have more of a sensible pace than what was showing on paper with fractions of :24.0 and :48.2 for the first half mile.  The pace did end up setting up well for Willcox Inn's victory.  150-1 shot Legendary King took the pack through the first turn and actually led for 6 furlongs!  (At 150-1, that’s crazy right?  You should have seen Lethal’s odds too as they were 190-1!  Could you imagine the superfecta possibilities?)  After that point it was all Willcox Inn.  He split horses around the turn and took over at the ¼ pole.  Without looking back, he left the rest of the field in the dust for victory.  

You almost have to feel bad for Suntracer as he finished 2nd to Willcox Inn yet again for the third time this year!  Do you think that Chris Block almost wishes that Willcox Inn would just scratch already?  Suntracer really ran a good race though as he had to come from last to get up for the place just beating 54-1 shot Friendly Banter by a neck.   Actually, Friendly Banter was in second for the entire trip and still held on for third.  For a while we (Brian Zipse, Dave Zenner, Scott Dick, and I) had thought that the horse might even hold on for a win or place!  The value that Hawthorne offers shines again as the trifecta paid $496.80 and the superfecta paid $2,500!  Not bad considering an even money favorite won, right?

Today was also my first ever visit to the Hawthorne’s Gold Cup room too!  It was a pretty large area with lots of room to move around.  We had a big table waiting for us that had a lot of space to spread out our past performances, laptops, my shredded mutual tickets, and food.  The buffet was very good, huge, and there was quite a tasty selection to choose from.  The Gold Cup room also had their very own very friendly mutual tellers.  One of them told me, “Hey, look at those odds on 10, 11, and 12.  You should put $1 to win on each of them.”  What friendly advice!  It was a maiden race with a lot of first timers so I decided to burn the $3 on a chance that I could make a little extra money.  Well, that didn’t win but neither did any of my other picks today other than Willcox Inn.  That certainly didn’t put a damper on the fantastic afternoon I had!

Check out my exclusive videos from the Derby for
Horse Racing Nation!

- The paddock on Derby day
- Willcox Inn in the paddock
- More Derby day paddock
- Hawthorne Derby post parade
- Willcox Inn visits the Winner's circle

Don’t forget next Thursday, 10/20/11, I’m going to co-host the pre-game coverage with Jim Miller in his weekly “Jim vs.” contest.  The way it works is that for each of us a mythical $2 WPS wager is placed on our top of three picks.  Whoever ends up with the most money at the end of the day “wins.”  Jim is a very good handicapper so I’ll have to be on top of my game in order to take down the champion.  Be sure to check out my television debut!  

Photo by Four Footed Fotos


comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about Willcox Inn wins easy in the (very) Windy City!...

Willcox Inn ran huge! I should have hit you guys up for some picks....I was playing in a handicapping contest up in Omaha, NE at Horsemen's Park. Adulare killed me! Are you going to be on the in house TV feed or on the website with Jim Miller?
Willcox Inn was very impressive today ... loved how the ownership team started a "Breeders' Cup" chant after the race. Good luck to Jim Miller this Thursday ... he's going to need it!

Related Pages

Connect With

"The Dark Horse"


Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter


 (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:
Del Mar
Kentucky Downs

Some of my all-time favorite horses include: 
Feel free to contact me anytime and I will respond! 
Twitter: @GoDarkHorse <---Preferred
Here are some fun things to check out! 
Saturday Morning Radio Program: Click Here
My Main Web Page: Click Here
Speaking on Derek Simon's Show: Click Here
First time hosting radio - Hour 1: Click Here
First time hosting radio - Hour 2: Click Here
Second time hosting - Hour 1: Click Here
Second time hosting - Hour 2: Click Here
With Derek Simon again: Click Here

Here are some of my racing photo albums!

And here are all of the tracks I have visited in person!

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

Related Stories

Best of the Blogs

Top Stories