Race of the Week 2017
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The Dark Horse

Leading Astray Mows ‘Em Down In The Pucker Up

Leading Astray
Photo: Four Footed Fotos


In a race that could have gone many different ways, Illinois-based trainer Chris Block and rider Eddie Perez teamed up to win yet another stakes race – this time with Illinois-bred Leading Astray in the Grade 3 Pucker Up!

Over the last couple of days, speed has not been favoring on Arlington’s turf course as closers have been dominating as of late. Perez got the perfect trip he needed to bring home the 8-1 winner of now 4 in a row and 5 of her last 6. Perez spoke of the race, “She broke sharp. I saved some ground in the first turn. I had a good trip the whole way. She ran great and gave me everything I needed.”
(Leading Astray in the paddock) 
Leading Astray got the pace that she needed to chase as 42-1 long shot Soonerette set some faster fractions of :23.2 and :48.1 with my choice Volcat close by. These two held the front for most of the race as Volcat finally took the lead near the top of the stretch. Volcat had the lead up until about 1/32 to go as Leading Astray blew by on the outside. Miss Cato and Treasured Up were also near the finish as the final distances were nk, hd, 1/2 , and no. An exciting race for sure and three horses could have won it in the end!


Morning line and post time favorite Angegreen, with Mike Smith aboard, finished last. Said Smith, “No real problems. It was just her first time out in this country and she just got a little lost.”

For trainer Chris Block, it puts the cap on a great summer meet. His runners have been doing very well and he even won two stakes races within one hour (see Ioya Bigtime at Kentucky Downs)!
(Leading Astray in the winners circle!) 
Block said of Leading Astray’s victory, “She had run through her (allowance) conditions and she got a little better with each start. Then in the Hatoof (on Aug. 18), I told my dad this would be the test to see if we were good enough for the Pucker Up. She stepped up (won) that day. She’s trained great in between the Hatoof and today. I felt really good about the race. Eddie (jockey Eduardo Perez) did a fantastic job with her. He deserves as much credit as anybody else when it comes to this filly. I’m proud of her and her mama (Taxable Deduction) who puts out nothing but runners.”









































(Chris Block and Eddie Perez in the post-race interview) 


To see my full day of photos, CLICK HERE.


To watch a replay of today's race, CLICK HERE.


To watch my video interview with Mike Smith - asking him about today's Pucker Up Stakes mount, CLICK HERE.

This ends the graded stakes program for the fantastic 2012 Arlington meet. While the meet broke slow from the gate, it saved ground on the turn and stormed home with a fury! I’ll wrap up the Arlington meet soon and also stay tuned for the Hawthorne fall meet preview!



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Older Comments about Leading Astray Mows ‘Em Down In The Pucker Up...

BWS I left you a note before I left!!
Happy for Chris and Team Block -- enjoyed hanging out with you at the track, Dark Horse!
In Chris Block I trust ... In Chris Block I trust ... In Chris Block I trust ...

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

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