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Pucker Up For Arlington’s Final Graded Stake for 2012!!

The Pucker Up stakes gives me mixed feelings. It’s always such a great race however it also signals that we’re nearing the end of the Arlington meet. This year’s race features a couple of European invaders and some darn good North American runners as well. Let’s take an inside look at this 9 furlong jaunt for 3 year old fillies that takes place this Saturday on Arlington’s expansive turf course!

Do you remember when Marketing Mix won last year’s Pucker Up Stakes? I do!

Anyway, let’s look at the race!!

I think in this race there will be a lot of pace to chase and that could set up very well for a closer: especially if the rail is in lane 0 or 1. Zapper Belle, Soonerette, Rare Event, Volcat, and possibly even morning line 7/2 favorite Angegreen could show some early speed. Now I don’t think we’ll have five horses together setting fractions of :22 and :45, but certainly I do expect at least two of these runners to set the early pace.

This is a very tough field and it might have to be a race where you go 3 or 4 deep in horizontals. Turning our attention to the morning line favorite, Angegreen, you would have to give considerations to this filly. First you have a first time North American starter for Graham Motion, using Lasix for the first time, and even garnering the attention of hall of fame rider Mike Smith on the mount. That’s a pretty potent combination for a filly with quite the resume. She has raced each time in Italy where she has yet to finish off the board in five starts. She even broke her maiden against the boys! We’ve seen a lot of Euros come to America and dominate on the turf and it may happen again here.

A horse that I like a lot is Freedom Reigns. This horse will definitely be coming from the clouds and should enjoy the extra 1/16 of a mile that she didn’t have in her last two starts. After winning three in a row on the turf, she just got beat by a nose in the Hatoof on Million Day back in August. Since that race she has thrown a bullet work and seems to be in great form. I also love the beaten favorite angle as well.

Another horse that should love the 9 furlongs is Volcat. This filly has faced some tougher competition and has been training well at Churchill Downs for trainer Kenny McPeek. If jockey Robby Albarado can get her to rate, she might be able to win this one easily. If she tried to battle for the lead she may not have the energy to compete at the end. She is a perfect 2 for 2 on turf at 9 furlongs and should be considered a contender here.

To add a little more European flavor to the race, Roger Attfield teams up with jockey Cisco Torres on Miss Cato. A disadvantage for Miss Cato is that she is breaking from the outside post 12. She never finished off the board while racing in Europe earlier in the year (mostly against the boys) and she has raced well here in America in two starts. She will also be coming out of the clouds and finishing strong late.

Finally, if you’re into long shots, I recommend to you Rare Event. Sure at initial glance you might think that this filly is out of her league, however she has improved in each and every start and if Jon Court is able to get out to the lead and slow the pace down, you may be seeing this horse in the winners circle. She handles the 9 furlongs with ease against inferior competition so let’s see how she does against graded stakes company.

Well there you have it, the final graded stakes race of the 2012 Arlington meet! Who do you like in this race?

In other HRN news…

- How is Paynter doing?

- Ron the Greek and the 2012 BC Classic...

- Dullahan for Champion 3 year old?

- The American Contingent for the Breeders' Cup Mile!

- Keeneland September Sales


Finally, don't forget to check out the entire "Behind the Silks" series with jockey Tim Thornton!


What the Nation is saying about Pucker Up For Arlington’s Final Graded Stake for 2012!!...

This is a very good race. It could really go many different ways.
Leaning towards Miss Cato...
Treasured Up is interesting too.
After looking, if Volcat rates, she wins. Otherwise look for Freedom Reigns, Agregreen, or Miss Cato.
With the prices have to go with a TRI. Not stretching it too uch: ANGEGREEN/MISS CATO/FREEDOM REIGNS
I'll be there, and I'm coming to bet on Rare Event. I just hope JoeyDaK is in the ballpark with his 15-1 morning line tab.


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 (Whoa - 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 also had a poster in my bedroom of Lost Code winning the 1987 St. Paul Derby!

I followed racing all through the remainder of high school and college in Illinois, paying close attention to the likes of Lost Code, Alysheba, Cryptoclearance, Risen Star, Sunday Silence, and Tabasco Cat.  I spent every possible moment at Arlington Park with my dad, taking time to develop computer programs (on 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!

I'm more of a fan of racing now than ever before, and have made a lot of friends in, and because of, the industry.  For that I am eternally grateful!  Once being deemed the second best racing ambassador in Chicago (hey I've been called worse),
I now reside in the Richmond, Virginia area and will be covering many different aspects of racing - DARK HORSE STYLE!  My goal for this blog is to get people more interested in horse racing while focusing on my home(s) away from home, the race tracks of America! My favorite tracks are Arlington, Colonial, Canterbury, Del Mar, Gulfstream, Hawthorne, and Keeneland!
At the end of the day though, I'm just a regular guy who loves horse racing a whole lot.   It is my honor to be a part of the Horse Racing Nation team and I truly hope you enjoy this blog. 

Feel free to contact me anytime
and I'll be sure to respond! 
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This blog is eternally dedicated to the memory of Tim "Tiznow" Reynolds.