• La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 5 days ago
  • Rubilinda (6-5) finds the wire just in time to take the Pebbles Stakes.Posted 5 days ago
  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 5 days ago
  • Bolt d'Oro is the 12-1 favorite in the current Las Vegas line for Kentucky Derby 2018.Posted 8 days ago
  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 11 days ago
  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 11 days ago
  • Flameaway (5-1) wins a three-horse photo finish in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at a wet Keeneland.Posted 11 days ago
  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 11 days ago
  • Separationofpowers (9-5) impresses in the Frizette at Belmont Park.Posted 11 days ago
  • Roy H (4-5) lives up to favoritism in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.Posted 12 days ago
Breeders' Cup 2017

The Dark Report - April 20, 2014

Imperative Charles Town 615 X 400
Photo: Coady Photography

Happy Easter everyone! In this week's report I will discuss some special offspring, the return of a classy sprinter, a classic of a race, and my latest thoughts on the Kentucky Derby!


Let's go!


It's a Hootenanny!


















Welcome to racing, Quality Road babies! This bay gelding by Quality Road out of a Hennessey mare has $30,000 in career earnings already after just one race. His maiden performance on April 17th was impressive as he hung tough around the turn, battled down the stretch, and ultimately pulled away from the competition winning by more than four lengths. If this is any indication of more things to come, we will have to watch out for more of Quality Road's offspring!


Rise Up!


Once thought to be a prominent contender on the Kentucky Derby trail, Tom Amoss' colt just didn't seem to take to the longer distances with a 7th place finish in the Risen Star and a 10th place finish in the Louisiana Derby. So entering Rise Up into the Robert S. Hilton Memorial Stakes at Charles Town last night seemed to be what the doctor ordered!



















(Rise Up wins!)


This horse sure does seem to like the bullring style configuration of a race track. Rise Up absolutely destroyed the field in the stakes race last night, pounding the field by more than ten lengths as the 1-2 favorite.




















After watching that race, good friend "Cigar" Orrison and I were just amazed by that performance! We both agreed that we couldn't wait to see him run again!


The 2014 Charles Town Classic


Most of us really enjoy watching when an underdog comes through, no matter what the sport. Imperative's gutsy performance at the Charles Town Classic last night was quite remarkable when you really think about it.  

Imperative was claimed for $50,000 just a few months ago. In that time he bounced back and took home the $1,500,000 payday in the classic and to me that is truly amazing. I think more impressive was the ride by Kent Desormeaux in this race. His intuition was correct in that the race was going to go very fast early. He had Imperative saving ground along the rail behind the pack of speedsters. With the "push of the button" his horse switched gears and passed up the class of the field in Game On Dude who, at 3/5, was the obvious choice for many. I'll be watching this replay again and again for a long time.


















Furthermore, I can't say enough good things about the work that Erich Zimny and the crew at Charles Town had done to put this great card and evening together. A job well done by all!


It's almost Derby time!


Are you getting Derby fever? I am! This seems like an evenly matched class of three year olds this year and I can't wait to see what unfolds. This is the time of the year where racing fans are all asking each other, "who do YOU like for the Derby?" What's interesting to me is how impressive California Chrome has been in his performances thus far, and how many people don't give him the chance he deserves (myself included) in the upcoming big race. It's highly unlikely, but if he does happen to get a clean trip in the Derby, he might be hard to catch. His pedigree suggests that he might be able to get the 10 furlongs, but like in any other Derby anything can happen.


Still for me, I contend that this will be a year where a long shot wins. Some horse that not a lot of people expect to win, will be first to cross the wire on the first Saturday in May. I'm still on the Wicked Strong bandwagon (and Hoppertunity, and...) for now but I need to see all of the PP's to determine my final choice. I think pedigree and post position draw will have a lot of weight in my Derby decision this year.



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Older Comments about The Dark Report - April 20, 2014...

Exterminator- You have a Canadian in there also. We can add a province to this. Ontario Bred :)
Ex you also have a brilliant speedball ouisiana bred in Vicars in Trouble.i
This is the year of the state-breds. We have a good Cal-bred, Texas-bred, and some nice Ny-breds.
Tom Harrison,post position draw will have a bearing on many horses. I seriously doubt it will affect Chrome at the least.With his tacical speed,he will have the same position on the track when they hit the stands the first time. The only draws that should bother him should be the 1/2 or 3 post. Not from a strategy standpoint,but he will be stuck in the gate longer while the others load.
I like CC & Wicked Strong. Both have a hood chance. I agree that post position will have a lot to do with my decision.
What do you think, Dark Horse, is 2014 going to be another year for the fillies? With Princess, Beholder, Close Hatches, Emollient, and Untapable, the distaff side sure seems awfully impressive.
This is the year in general. The older male dirt division is awesome, that Santa Anita Hcp was one of the best non BC fields in awhile. The older filly division is stellar once again. The Champ Wise Dan is still doing his thing, "The Titan of the Turf". Judy the Beauty may pick up right where Groupie Doll left off in the filly sprint division. And Cali Chrome and Untappable could end up being something unforgettable. Top to bottom 2014 is looking like an exciting year
It wont be the year of the 3 year olds I can see that. I see it being the year of Belmont Park a Meet we wont ever forget

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