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HRN Original Blog:
Head Heart & Hooves

Record-Breaking Rahystrada

Rahystrada AH 615 X 400
Photo: Four Footed Fotos

 

No horse had won the Arlington Handicap more than twice in its 84 year history until about 2 minutes and 1.66 seconds past 5:25 yesterday when Rahystrada held a half-length lead over longshot Temeraine and crossed the line first.  The one-time claiming horse who's career began at Ellis Park in 2006 has now surpassed the peerless Round Table to become the race's only three-time champion.  The nine-year-old chestnut also became the oldest winner of the Arlington Handicap, breaking his own record from last year.


"He's got as much heart as any of them," said Rosie Napravnik, who was aboard Rahystrada for his record-setting run.  He has shown that heart throughout his seven-year career, which has included three starts in the Arlington Million, where he finished fourth in 2010, fifth in 2011, and third in 2012.  Can we expect to see the old man back for an unprecedented fourth try at the Million?  That's up to Rahystrada.

"He keeps telling us he wants to go, so we go," said trainer Scooter Hughes.  Assuming Rahystrada wants to go, nothing will be stopping him.  His entry and start fees are waived for the Grade I, 10 furlong signature set to be run on August 17.

Rahystrada settled in third between rivals and attended fractions of 24.56, 24.91, 24.39, 24.58 set by Beer Garden through the opening mile.  He shifted out in the upper stretch as Beer Garden packed it in and Rahystrada led for the final quarter which went in 23.22 seconds, allowing him to hold off late-coming longshot Temeraine.  The 5/2 morning line favorite went off at odds of 3.4/1, as Dullahan and Coalpoart both took money.  Rahystrada paid his backers $8.80 on a $2 win bet.

As for Rahystrada, he added $117,600 to his career earnings total, which now stands at $1,371,750.  The well-managed gelding now has 14 wins, 5 seconds, and 8 thirds from 44 lifetime starts.  This was his first win of 2013.  Besides the Arlington Handicap and a multitude of allowance and claiming races, Rahystrada has also won the Grade 3 River City Handicap, the Colonial Turf Cup Stakes, and the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Turf Stakes.  Can the millionaire finally become a Million winner?  The answer is only five weeks away.

 

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Older Comments about Record-Breaking Rahystrada...

Agree, loved the race. And he's 9, running in that rarified air now. Very cool horse.
What a cool horse, Rahystrada. He is really a Head, HEART and Hooves horse.

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Meet Alex Fawell 

Unlike many, I did not grow up with horseracing. My first time at the races was the 2008 Kentucky Derby. I bet on Colonel John. That fall, I had the good fortune to go to England, where I visited Ascot and Kempton. When I returned to the U.S., I was hooked. I started reading handicapping books, studying historic sire lines, watching races and going to Portland Meadows regularly. While the purses there were small, I was able to be close to the action and see firsthand the day-to-day operations of an average American racetrack.

 

Last year I moved home to Chicago. I went to Arlington for the first time this year. In the interim, I have devoted my time to understanding all aspects of horseracing  I hope to provide unique isights on handicapping perspectives and multifaceted analyses on the state of horseracing today. I will strive to write with an open mind and a willingness to learn through the writing process. I will not claim to be an expert, but I will read thoroughly, write carefully, and be honest.

 

To me, the all-time greats are Kelso, John Henry, Round Table and Yeats. Horses I like because they have won me money include Raven's Pass, Alternation, and I'll Have Another. The greatest horse I have even seen live is Zenyatta. I also enjoy the Bears, the Bulls, the White Sox, the Blackhawks, Mexican food, good Bourbon, and old-time music - specifically that played on the 5-string banjo. Thanks for reading!