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The Dark Horse

Upperline and Silver Max Score Big in Arlington Matron & Classic

Starting the day off I was wondering if Arlington would even hold any races on the turf at all. The rain was coming down like a mother (and we know how mothers rain, right?) to the point where the drive to the race track was almost impossible. After breakfast at the famous Walker Brothers in Arlington Heights (where surprisingly none of us had any buttery pancakes) with Horizon Racing Inc. Managing Partner Chris Szulc, my friend Jason, my son Gabriel, and I arrived at a remarkably dry Arlington Park grounds. The beautiful turf course was rated "good" for a race or two but then was "firm" for the remainder of the day.


Besides my son Gabriel picking 5 or 6 winners, I was also very impressed with the two stakes winners Upperline and Silver Max.  


The Arlington Matron, for fillies and mares, was run at 9 furlongs on Arlington's all-weather surface. It was really Upperline's race to lose and she did not disappoint for trainer Mike Stidham. After tracking pace setter Hooh Why and Sea Level Drive, Upperline found a seam between horses at the top of the stretch and didn't look back, scoring a 4 length victory with 2011 leading jockey James Graham aboard.

















(Upperline - courtesy of Four Footed Fotos) 


Next up following the Arlington Matron was the $125,000 Arlington Classic, the first leg of the Mid-America Triple (run prior to the American Derby then ultimately the Secretariat on Million day). Silver Max went in as the morning line favorite and was definitely the horse to beat. The horse kept the pace and set some ridiculous fractions of :22.4, :46.3, and 1:11 even to the point that I thought for sure the horse would fade in the stretch. Well he did just the opposite and easily held off the competition for a 2 length victory over Sachem Spirit and Najjaar, just missing the track record! It was an impressive victory and I look forward to seeing Dale Romans' Silver Max in the American Derby on my birthday, July 14th!






























(Silver Max - courtesy of Four Footed Fotos) 


In other news, I'd also like to congratulate jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. for scoring victory #2,500 on May 20th! I'm sure it won't take her long to get to the next milestone victory of #3,000!

































(Photos courtesy of Four Footed Fotos) 


Congrats Jockey Rose!


Next up on the Arlington stakes schedule is Prairie State Festival day! You can count on exclusive Horse Racing Nation coverage of the sextet of races featuring the best of Illinois racing! 


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Older Comments about Upperline and Silver Max Score Big in Arlington Matron & Classic...

It was hot and humid here yesterday, too. To run that pace throughout in these conditions showed me a lot.
You're not kidding! I was surprised he didn't fade after going so fast early! That horse is something special and I'm sure we'll see him on August 18th!
Love Silver Max. What a great run!!
Arlington has quickly become my favorite track to play turf racing. Silver Max was a gift, but, the tri still paid almost 70.00 that's great value!
Gabriel's handicapping prowess proved too tough! Can't wait for million preview day (on my birthday)!
I was trying to beat those favorites, but they just proved way to good ... Nice to see you out there, Dark Horse!

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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), 
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