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The Dark Horse

Windy City Wonders Blow into Louisville for Breeders' Cup! - Day 1

About a week from now, I will be making my very first trip to Louisville to make my very first visit to Churchill Downs to see my very first Breeders’ Cup!   Joining me on this pilgrimage are equine champions that in some way have a connection to the Windy City (and my best friend Jason; but this blog is not about him).  Whether they are based in Chicago, have raced in Chicago, or were bred in Illinois, I will, in this very blog, preview some of the potential Breeders’ Cup contenders that have a connection to racing in Chicago.  Let’s take an exclusive Chicago Dark Horse inside look at day 1 of the Breeders’ Cup.

Juvenile Fillies Turf / Juvenile Fillies

Ann Of The Dance (4-2-0-1 / Juvenile Fillies Turf) - Martin Wolfson assumes conditioning responsibilities to for this Chicago-based 2-year-old filly.  She broke her maiden at Arlington Park on June 18th and her next start was a dominating performance in a 50k optional claimer on August 14th, also at Arlington.  She had a good run at the Arlington-Washington Lassie finishing third while gaining very late.  If she draws in here, she will make her very first start ever on the turf.  

Rocket Twentyone (2-2-0-0 / Juvenile Fillies Turf or Juvenile Fillies) - This undefeated filly recently won the previously mentioned Arlington-Washington Lassie at a very juicy 16-1 price back on September 10th.  She hasn’t raced since that victory and has recently posted a bullet work on a muddy Churchill Downs track.  It appears that she is maintaining her form and could contend on Breeders’ Cup weekend.

Stephanie’s Kitten (4-2-0-2 / Juvenile Fillies Turf or Juvenile Fillies) - Running for Chicago-based trainer Wayne Catalano (if you want to see Wayne's head flash by me, CLICK HERE), this horse does have experience on the turf.  She won her second start at one mile on Arlington’s famous turf course and also has a victory against Grade 1 company in her recent two-turn start at Keeneland.  We’ve seen improvement in every start from her and she has yet to miss the board in four starts.  

Filly and Mare Turf

Dubawi Heights (14-5-4-1 / Filly and Mare Turf) - Earlier this racing season Dubawi Heights made her Chicago debut at the Beverly D. on Arlington’s yielding turf course on Million day.  Coming off of four straight victories, she held the pace and finished a good second to Stacelita in that race, proving that she belonged with North American graded stakes company. 

Fantasia (20-6-5-2 / Filly and Mare Turf) - This five-year-old mare had a bit of an extended stay in Chicago earlier this summer.  Fantasia was victorious in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap winning the race by one length on July 9th.  A month later she took on other champion fillies in the previously mentioned Beverly D. swinging 5-wide to finish fourth in the race.  She has one third place finish in two tries over the Churchill turf course.  

Stacelita (17-10-2-2 / Filly and Mare Turf) - This European champion and 10-time winner has done nothing but love and dominate North American turf racing since she arrived this July.  She may have finished third against the boys in the United Nations at Monmouth, but she came back very strong to dominate the Beverly D. by striking from just off the pace.  She just happened to win her next race as well at Belmont in the Flower Bowl.  Good form and bullet works show that this mare is ready to strike again.  

Ladies’ Classic

Pachattack (25-5-5-3 / Ladies’ Classic) - This mare’s most dominating North American win came over Arlington’s synthetic course this summer as she absolutely dominated the Grade 3 Arlington Matron on May 28th.  Stalking from mid-pack, Pachattack took over half way through the race and proceeded to destroy the rest of the field by 6 lengths!  In her only other dirt race, she finished second to Ask the Moon in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga on September 3rd.  I’d really like to see Pachattack do well here.  

Satans Quick Chick (20-5-4-4 / Ladies’ Classic) - This Polytrack machine hasn’t had the best of luck at Arlington Park over the years, running one time on both the synthetic and turf ovals.  In her most recent start however she finished third to way better company by way of Havre De Grace and Royal Delta (ever heard of them?) on a muddy Belmont track.  

There you have it.  The ladies of Chicago are invading Churchill Downs for the Breeders’ Cup.  Let’s hope that our great city and great race tracks are represented well!

And on the lighter side of sports, Brian Zipse and Jim Miller were the main guests on Pass The Buck Radio this week discussing the upcoming Breeders' Cup races.  As you know both Brian and Jim are based in Chicago.  Chicago Represent!  Also, I even got a "shout out" around the 67:00 mark.  WOW!  (CLICK HERE to listen)

Remember, to catch all of the Chicago Dark Horse blogs, you can click on the main page here:  CLICK HERE.

 

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Older Comments about Windy City Wonders Blow into Louisville for Breeders' Cup! - Day 1...

Excellent Winplacsho!! I hide lots of easter eggs in my blogs!!
Curiosity got the best of me & I clicked the 17 damn it! You know that will be stuck in my head now.
Thanks for the shout out!!
I clicked on the 17 by Stacelita. Who doesn't love a hair band featuring tight leather jeans, but some of the charm is lost since I have a 17 yo daughter. :)
I think Zipse loves clicking on the secret links.
The Dark Co-Host taking over Louisville! I love it! Stacelita and Dubawi Heights have a big shot
Did anyone click on the 17 next to Stacelita?
  • EricSlora · I woulda gone Edge of Seventeen - Stevie Nicks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDNeBXjFLI4 - but that's me, Mr Eighties! · 1054 days ago
  • BrianZipse · Sadly, I had to hit them all :( · 1054 days ago
Nice job, Windy City Man!
Nicely done Chris
Part 2 cometh!!!
Good info and like Ann of the Dance,Stephanie's Kitten and Stacelita
I think it is great that you took the time to put this together for everyone! Thanks
I hope it's Headache!
I'm blowin' in too ... Prediction: At least one winner BC weekend will be coming from Chi-town!

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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:
Arlington
Canterbury
Del Mar
Gulfstream
Hawthorne
Keeneland
Woodbine
 
Some of my all-time favorite horses include: 
 
Feel free to contact me anytime and I will respond! 
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Here are some fun things to check out! 
Saturday Morning Radio Program: Click Here
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First time hosting radio - Hour 1: Click Here
First time hosting radio - Hour 2: Click Here
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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.