Race of the Week 2017
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The Dark Horse

Chicago Racing Continues to Impress!

Though I’ve been mainly covering the stakes races lately, there are other racing happenings that I would like to share from Chicago!

(The beautiful Arlington Park) 

First, we all are aware of the European dominance on turf in recent years.  Well as you know Arlington has one of the best turf courses in all of the land and it appears that the Euros are ready to invade Chicago on Arlington Million weekend.  I highly suggest you check out this article.  

Second, in what must have been one of the best days in Million Preview Day history, Arlington set a record day for handle!!  Direct from the press release:   
The total handle on Arlington Park's 12-race Million Preview Day card on Saturday, July 14, of $7,616,325, the highest Million Preview Day handle since the event was launched in 2001.  In addition, the 2012 figure was more than 48% higher than $5,141,447 wagered on the 2011 Million Preview Day program of 11 races.  The 2012 per-race average handle of $634,694 was nearly 36% higher than the 2011 per-race average of $467,404.  “This demonstrates that there is a strong public interest in seeing the stars perform and wagering on quality racing,” said Arlington Park General Manager Tony Petrillo. “Because of tremendous support from owners and trainers who chose to race their horses at Arlington on Million Preview Day, we were able to put on a great show and racing fans around the country responded. This makes us even more excited for what is to come the rest of our season – especially Arlington Million Day, when we'll have stars from around country and from all over the world.






























(Ioya Bigtime upsets in the Stars and Stripes!  Photo by Four Footed Fotos


WowJust wow.  I have mentioned on many occasions that I feel this season’s Arlington meet is one of the best in a very long time.  The racing may have gotten off to a bumpy start, but it has since picked up greatly. 

In the jockey colony, Cisco Torres has been on an absolute tear so far racking up 55 wins.  In fact, I’m not sure how his mounts still provide any value at all, but they do.  He just seems to find a way to get the horse home first every time.  The battle for top trainer is a lot more close however as both Mike Stidham and Wayne Catalano are tied for the top spot with 22 wins while Larry Rivelli is only one behind with 21.  It will be a great competition to watch for the remainder of the season!  







































(Leading rider Cisco Torres) 

Did anyone catch the victory by Brown Almighty (Big Brown-Gone Goodbye by Gone For Real) on Saturday?  Wow.  This horse sat in 3rd for most of the race behind a very slow pace on the turf only to find some trouble at the top of the stretch, but still zip through with a charge to win by almost 2 lengths under Cisco Torres guidance.  This horse even sits atop the HRN 2 year old standings at the time of this writing so he must have made quite the impression.  I know I was amazed!  To watch his debut performance CLICK HERE!







































(Brown Almighty in the paddock for his debut) 


The race that I still have in my mind is Saint Leon’s victory over hard charging Chamberlain Bridge, whom probably would have won if he didn’t miss the break again.  To watch the race again, CLICK HERE.  I highly encourage you to do so!






























(Saint Leon holds off Chamberlain Bridge - photo by Four Footed Fotos)


Arlington continues to provide value for their customers!  Through July 8:

  • The post time favorites are winning only 29.53% of the races!
  • The average $2 win mutual is $12.56!
  • The average $2 pick 3 is $635.73 and the average $2 pick 4 is $5,212.54!

Let’s not be too short sighted however…as we look ahead to the fall, Hawthorne released their fall stakes schedule and they will have over $1.9 million in stakes money to hand out.  Rest assured there will be some great racing in Cicero as every weekend in October will feature stakes races!  The $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup will kick off opening weekend and serve as a prep for a couple of the Breeders’ Cup races.  On the same day, both the Indian Maid and the Robert F. Carey will be run on the turf for $100,000 each.  Later in the month we can expect to see the $200,000 Hawthorne Derby followed by a more spread-out Illinois-bred stakes race schedule!! (Gives me more of a reason to “have to” go to Hawthorne on the weekend)

I’m happy.  The racing in Chicago has improved significantly over the last 12-18 months and I’m happy to be a part of it! 



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Older Comments about Chicago Racing Continues to Impress!...

I LOVED Brown Almighty's win! With his ears pricked and all...looked maybe little unsure once he got in front but very excited to see more of him!!! Very exciting racing coming up at AP...can't wait!!
Those are some awesome pictures! great story.
Great to see Rahystrada remains competitive at 8, what a nice horse, and what a super job his connections have done of managing his career. There will no doubt be a formidable cast of Euros in for the Million next month, but I would not be shocked to see Mr. Courtney's silks gracing the winner's circle.
Nice run by Brown Almighty, even though that jockey tried hard to keep in trouble around the turn.

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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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Kentucky Downs

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

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