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The TDN Topic is a new feature for the TDN, designed to examine a topic in racing from several different angles, and then seek comment from our readers. In each TDN Topic, we ask people with different perspectives—from both inside and outside the sport—to comment on a hot-button issue. Today, we start with whipping.

Top News in Sunday's TDN
Dark Cove Continues Ascent in Stars & Stripes
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7th at APXGIII Stars and Stripes S. ($150k)  [1 1/2m (T)]Winner: Dark Cove, h, 6 by Medaglia d'Oro
Saturday, Arlington Park
STARS AND STRIPES S.-GIII, $150,000, APX, 7-13, 3yo/up, 1 1/2mT, 2:27 1/5 (NCR), fm.
1--DARK COVE, 124, h, 6, by Medaglia d’Oro
     1st Dam: Crystal Cove, by Kris S.
     2nd Dam: Scenic Point, by Unbridled
     3rd Dam: Bangkok, by Riverman
($120,000 wlng '07 KEENOV; $155,000 yrl '08
KEESEP). O-Kenneth L & Sarah K Ramsey;
B-Stonewall Farm Stallions (KY); T-Michael J Maker;
J-Rosie Napravnik. $89,100. Lifetime Record:
24-9-2-1, $488,154. Werk Nick Rating: A+++
*Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.

2--Suntracer, 117, h, 5, Kitten’s Joy--Taxable
Deduction, by Prized. O/B-Team Block (IL); T-Chris M
Block. $29,700.
3--The Pizza Man, 117, g, 4, English Channel--I Can
Fan Fan, by Lear Fan. O/B-Midwest Thoroughbreds
(IL); T-Thomas M Amoss. $16,335.
Margins: 1 3/4, NO, 6 1/4. Odds: 0.60, 7.60, 4.20.
Also Ran: Ioya Bigtime, Live in Joy, Doctor Trotter.
Click for the chart or the PPs. VIDEO.
   Dark Cove won for the fourth time in his last five starts and established a new course and stakes record, shaving 0.11 seconds off the previous mark held by Cetewayo since 2002. Claimed by his current connections for $50,000 out of a distant fourth-place effort over the Keeneland Polytrack in April 2012, the bay entire got the rest of the season off and was in for the $40,000 tag when fourth in an off-the-turf optional-claimer at the Fair Grounds Jan. 5. There were no takers on that occasion, nor was anyone willing to bite when Dark Cove won a $40,000 claimer over the Gulfstream turf Feb. 10 and when runner-up for $50,000 in Hallandale Mar. 7. From there, trainer Mike Maker got to thinking outside the box and stretched his charge out to 12 furlongs for the GII Elkhorn S. in Lexington Apr. 26. Not only did he run off by 4 1/4 lengths at 8-1, but he earned the Ramseys a gold tray for their eighth graded stakes win at the historic track. He affirmed his affinity for marathon trips with a half-length score in the GIII Louisville H. at Churchill May 25 and was heavily favored to continue his streak here. Neatly positioned in second by Rosie Napravnik behind the free-running and defending champion Ioya Bigtime (Dynaformer), Dark Cove clocked that one as he layed down honest fractions for the distance. Napravnik turned up the pressure on the pacemaker and poked his head in front nearing the stretch, and had Suntracer to deal with late, but proved easily best in the finish. “It was a pretty clean trip,” said Napravnik. “We sat just where I thought would be the best spot. This is a really cool horse. He’s very responsive. [Trainer] Mike [Maker] has done a great job with him.”

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