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The Dark Horse

The Dark Report – Triumphant Return to Chicago (and other nonsense)

Sweet home Chicago! Last weekend I, along with my dark clipboard, made a triumphant return to Chicago and of course Arlington Park! However that’s only part of the story…
In what was supposed to be a surprise birthday party weekend for my best bud Jason, ended up where tables were turned on both of us by the dark wife! In addition to two days at the races Jason and I were surprised with a Chicago Cubs VIP experience which we will both never forget. Baseball and horse racing, how could anything be wrong with that?!
Since I knew I was going to be in Chicago, I first decided to take some time to get some business done as well. Meeting up with my bud and business colleague Evan and his teammate Wali for a couple of days of “real work,” we talked business, pizza, and of course horse racing. We were fortunate to enjoy a fun and sunny afternoon one of those days at Arlington as well! This was Evan’s first time at Arlington Park and I think he got to see just about everything, including a view of the races from the winner’s circle and a photo with jockey Emmanuel Esquivel! This trip had an epic beginning!
(the darkness returned to Arlington...) 
After hanging with my Beatle brother Dave Zenner later that evening and watching Paul McCartney's Rock Show, I couldn't wait for the morning as I knew I would surprise Jason when he arrived. See, the story was that I knew he and I were supposed to go to a Cubs game that afternoon, only from his perspective he was going to pick me up at a hotel in Vernon Hills much later in the day. I thought I was being so sly.
When Jason arrived, very surprised to see me at Z's place, he opened the package which his sister (who was in on the whole ordeal) conspicuously gave him before he left. Inside were the two Cubs VIP passes, room reservations for a hotel in Lincoln Park, and a letter from the dark wife on how she punked both of us! What a sneak!
These incredible VIP passes included:
- Tickets to the Friday and Saturday Cubs game
- A behind the scenes tour of Wrigley Field
- Lunch with Cubs outfielder #6 Ryan Sweeney
- A swag bag full of goodies
Whoa!! This was a completely amazing experience which I will never forget!! Not to mention the Cubs won on Friday!!
After two days of Wrigley Field, Cubs games, and Chicago food, Jason and I headed to Arlington Park (what a shocker) the next day to meet up with some close friends I haven’t seen since I left as well as meet up with some friends I had yet to meet in person!
It felt so great to be back “home” at the race track I had been hanging around since high school on such a picture perfect day. There’s just something about Arlington which relieves all of the stress and makes me feel relaxed. Perhaps it’s the familiar faces, John G. Dooley’s voice over the loudspeakers, the expansive turf course, the paddock, the John Henry statue, or the pristine and perfectly manicured grounds. Regardless it’s just a pleasure to be so familiar with the most beautiful race track in the land.
After making a nice profit for the afternoon while betting only three races, and having dinner at the Buffalo with the guys, it was time to say goodbye to the Chicago area and return to my new home. However, if you hear the terms “Cardboard Chris” or “Polymeat” being tossed around in conversation at the races, please let me know!
P.S. so this is what Hawthorne looks like from the air!
P.S.S. You can view all of my Wrigley and Arlington photos via the links on the right side of the page! --------->
On that second day at Arlington, jockey Maria Thornton won her first lifetime race!
(Photos by Stephen "with a PH" Kershner...thanks!) 
And I guess this (see below) is what happens when you break your maiden… classic!
(Video also by Stephen Kershner)
Well it always seems to happen. Without failure when we start talking about the class of 3yo fillies such as Untapable this year, or other filles and mares in recent years, the conversation almost never fails to turn to the Rachel vs Zenyatta battle.
“Untapable is no Rachel.”
“Rachel is no Zenyatta.”
What normally starts as a friendly conversation about horses currently in training turns into a fiery, no holds barred slinging of words about arguably two of the greatest female runners of all time. The words turn personal, people on Facebook are unfriended or blocked, and while debate is sometimes good for the sport, in this case I’m tired of hearing about it. In the most recent war on social media in which I was participating, I employed a new system to get the never-ending squabble to end.  And in the spirit of the recent World Cup, I issued these:

Funny thing, I actually think it worked!!  Well after I posted these photos countless times.
So since they never raced against each other, we will never truly know which of the two is better or which would have won in a head to head battle. With that being said, please for the love of horse racing, let it go. I have fond memories of both horses and I’d like to keep those as happy memories.
(Drawing by Debbi Martin!)
Yeah, so we’ll see how well that works out.
Well since it’s been a while since I produced a Dark Report, I missed writing about a lot of great stuff. So as not to drag things out, I’ll proceed in a quick-hit format.
1. Are you kidding me, the Queen of England had a horse suspended for doping? Contaminated product, eh? That’s like a NFL player not knowing what’s in his supplements I suppose. Still very funny to see that.
2. Ah, here is the first round of dirt going in at Keeneland! I wonder if the fall meet will produce many longshots, or go back to the speed-favoring. chalky track we knew in the past. I guess we’ll find out soon!
3. I can’t believe what happened to Dance With Fate. Seems like only yesterday I was right there when I saw him win the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland back in April. Horrible accident.  Rest in peace, friend. 
4. Then on top of that Del Mar, one of my favorite tracks actually, is having that much trouble with their turf course. I know it’s new and all, but with the Breeders’ Cup coming in a few years, hopefully they will have everything in order before then.
5. Happy to see that Wicked Strong, with blinkers on, won the Jim Dandy! I knew that horse was special and I wonder if it was strange for him to be up near the lead and not closing in from the clouds?
6. And finally, Moreno! I’ve been waiting on this horse for quite some time, and over this last weekend, he finally came through in the Whitney. With only his third lifetime victory, this gelded son of Ghostzapper finally got the Grade 1 victory which he deserved. Out to the lead with his normal running style and setting some decent fractions, he kept enough distance between himself, Itsmyluckyday, and Will Take Charge to win at 10-1!
Stay tuned for more Dark Reports!! 


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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:
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.

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