• Lady Eli remains unbeaten with her victory in the Wonder Again at Belmont Park.Posted 1 day ago
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  • Spanish Queen edges by Feathered down the lane to win the Grade 1 American Oaks.Posted 2 days ago
  • Divisidero relentless from the outside to get up in the Pennine Ridge.Posted 2 days ago
  • Delicious run by The Pizza Man to win the Opening Verse.Posted 2 days ago
  • Alsvid upsets champion Work All Week in the Aristides at Churchill Downs.Posted 2 days ago
  • 2-time Arc winner Treve is an impressive winner in her seasonal debut today at Saint-Cloud.Posted 3 days ago

HRN Original Blog:


Older Comments...

We know that history and science tells us that the Triple Crown cannot be won in modern racing. Once again, American Pharoah can handle any Track under any conditions. He has already demonstrated it. I agree that Belmont has a different surface than other Tracks. It is no secret that many things can happen in a horse race that can effect the outcome. The best Horse does not always win. American Pharoah is in better condition now than his previous three races. He will win the Triple Crown.
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · You can't asseverate he will handle any track. He hasn't yet tried Belmont's, and as you point out immediately after, Belmont has a different surface than other Tracks. You also have no way of knowing he's in better condition now than in his previous three races. The KD was his third race back from a layoff. That was probably his peak performance. Which makes a lot of sense, since trainers will aim for that. Now you're asking the horse to stay at that level, or better, while running three races in five weeks, and moving up to a mile and a half. Not an easy thing to do. He'll need to be a super horse. Chances are he isn't. · 1 day ago
  • travel_vic · sloppy helps him a lot. Pray for rain · 12 minutes ago
I think American Pharoah's best shot at winning the belmont is for Victor to get to the lead right away, get AP into that cruising speed and put some distance between him and the field. I think if he plays the come catch me if you can game he will open up from them at the stop of the stretch and even if he gets tired late, it will be too much to do with too little time for any other contenders. I think that will work much better than to ask him to pass horses late in the race. What do you all think?
  • Show All 4 Comments
  • amino998 · POSITION is not PACE... :in absentia: :) ...agree with getting into that cruising gear · 8 hours ago
  • travel_vic · many many wire to wire winners of this as the colts of today do not win theses as much as they SURVIVE them. · 16 minutes ago
Twist my arm, and i think that A.P still has a better chance of winning come Saturday, than he has losing. A win or a loss will not change my opinion of this horse. Contrary to many who think that his Derby was slow. Based on the numbers i read,it might of been the fastest ever. So he has already shownme just how fast a horse he is. But after reading about his most recent work, the slightest bit of hesitation now comes my way. I see where some are saying,and i certainly hope that it is not Baffert nor anyone associated with the horse. That he is better now than he is ever been, because of the fast clocking. Speed in no way shows that he is coming into this racethe way he is supposed to. If he has not proven how fast he is based on his races,a 1.39 gallop out surely should not win you over. Lets analyze his workout pattern. After the Ark. Derby, A.P had 3 weeks to get ready for his biggest test to date. Note Baffert only worked him once in the 3 weeks. That is because he had the horse dead fit,and exactly where he wanted him to be. Between the Derby and the Preakness,no works were necessary. Here is where it gets hairy for me, i am not second guessing Baffert. Maybe i am overthinking the entire thing,and nothing is there. I loved the work last week,not fastand looked good visually doing it. If a horse is doing that great,why now does he need another workout,just 1 week after his last one.That means in the 2 weeks after he ran 3 races in 5 weeks, he needed 2 works within a 2 week span,where before he only needed 1 in a 3 week span.A.P. and i have said it before,has every reason in the world to be a tired horse. He earned that right by running 3 hole in the wind races . Like i said,maybe it is nothing, but why did he need the 2nd work???????I doubt the reason is that Baffert needed the frequent mileage. Maybe just maybe, things are not as easy prepping as they were. To that i say,he earned the right to be a tired horse.
For all of you conspiracy theorists Carpe Diem was pulled for two reasons. His poor showing in the Derby and his last workout, which if anybody happened to watch, was very uninspiring. When he came into the stretch his head was all over the place and you could see he was over heated. A clear sign of a horse that's not ready to run 1.5 miles. Exacta Box-AP-Frosted-Madefromlucky-Keen Ice.
If anyone wants a good laugh, there's an article on Yahoo about the hype after AP's work today. Some of the comments are pretty laughable.
O.K. is doing good, as per Stonestreet, and training ( will race soon ).
Alright I'm giving it a go: AP and Materiality on the front end all the way. These two will be head and head and will start to separate themselves from the pack just before the final turn. They'll have their match race in the stretch. I can see Frosted, Mubtaahij, and/or Keen Ice making up ground on the turn and coming up behind them (lead by Frosted). Tale of Verve will make a cute little run but let's be honest, lightning will not strike twice. Keen Ice will not go on in the stretch, and Mubtaahij will quickly fade. But Frosted will find his stride and catch up to the leaders. It will be AP holding off Materiality by a neck in the final 1/16 with Frosted strongly surging. If Materiality wore AP (and himself) down enough, I could see Frosted catching them. But if not, we may have ourselves a new Triple Crown winner. PS: to all you Frosted haters: bring it on. ;)
Take note all of you Frosted doubters: 1 - In the KD not only did he have trouble after the break but was wide the entire race while making a monster move in the stretch closing into moderate fractions. 2 - Rosario never touched him once with the stick which tells me that there is more to see from this horse. 3 - He will certainly be closer to the pace on Saturday 4 - Has a race over the track where he closed on a speed biased track to place second. This is a gift..............
When a horse works 6F consistently that is a tell tale sign that all is well. Also, regarding a comment about taking to Belmont Track. His sire Curlin won the Belmont. Hello
This race is turning into a weak installment of the race and it's sad a 1.5 million dollar race doesn't even fill the gate.
There will be a triple crown. Frosted and possibly Mubtaahij for the Trifecta?
Carpe Diem is out - and then there were 9 unless the elusive Mr. Z enters.
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · Wouldn't be surprised. You can't hold that Preakness run against him. · 4 hours ago
BREAKING NEWS : Todd Pletcher tells DRF'S Jay Privman that Carpe Diem will NOT run in Belmont. "Going to point for Haskell or Jim Dandy," Pletcher says of Carpe Diem. Field of eight now in line for Belmont, smallest since 7 in 2007. Article on DRF to be posted later today.
  • Show All 4 Comments
  • jmac500 · I honestly don't get there reasoning as to why, The article on Bloodhorse didn't even make sense. · 11 hours ago
  • tmallios via Disqus · Something had to happen to the horse for him to do this. What you people are saying,that he is ducking A.P. is ridiculous. If that were the case,why then point to a race 2 months down the line. If he thought this horse was fit and tight enough to run,why not go to the Ohio Derby or the race at Belmont on July 4th weekend. Todd is not going to come clean and let everyone know if there is anything wrong.All you need to know is that you have the #1 Trainer in America scratching from a Grade 1 Triple Crown race, 4 days before it is run. Do you think Pletcher just found out today that A.P. was running?????? · 5 hours ago
Where did you see/ how do you know that Carpe Diem is out
After scratch of CD>...... order: AP / Mubi / Frosted before form.....
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · That leaves only two horses with early speed: American Pharoah and Materiality. Madefromlucky and Mubtaahij tracking, Frosted and The Truth Or Else mid-pack, and Frammento, Keen Ice, and Tale of Verve lingering at the back. The pace will probably be pretty slow. The real running will start at the half-mile pole. The pace setters should have plenty left in the tank, but they may make their move a tad too early. I think Mubtaahij could overtake them entering the stretch. Materiality finishes a clear 2nd, and Frosted again loses the photo for show, this time to AP. · 5 hours ago
Nobody wants to go to the front with Pharoah. It may only be a 6 or seven horse race come the draw. With rain in the forecast and challengers conceding left and right, it is only getting easier. The reason for the works is to let the competition know he is firing on all cylinders. Listening to the trainers talk, you here a lot of "take a shot" or "anything can happen" , going into Belmont. If AP was out this would be a 14 horse field. Just don't think anyone believes they can beat him, and they're right.
Want my honest opinion? Pletcher is a phenomenal trainer..... I think he has realized the chances of beating AP are next to none. With Carpe Diem out, who was the biggest threat in my opinion, gives AP much less to worry about.... CP had a nice Belmont style and was training solid. Pletcher thought this was his best chance and he is ditching it..... this speaks to the confidence, or lack thereof. He doesn't believe he is beating AP. This move, while subtle, is a major indicator..... the guys around the back are realizing what is likely going to happen on June 6th.... it's a good business decision really. -frb
  • tmallios via Disqus · You can't be serious in a statement in which you say Pletcher is a phenominal trainer,because he does not take a shot at beating a horse. If you do know your way around the track like you say you do. You must also know that no trainer would ever scratch a horse they thought was doing very good,just because of 1 horse to beat. Don't believe me,ask Hollendorfer how his mortal lock faired for 1.5 Million at Charlestown. If the A.P that showed up at CD and at Pim. shows up. Barring bad luck,he does not lose. But as i said in another post, why the 2 works in between so many races. Almost seems as though they have to motivate him to get the best out of him. It is no longer about ,if he is good enough or not. That question has already been answered. Even Baffert cannot guaranree what horse will show up or not on Saturday.As much as he would love to finally win this title,the pressure is off of him and the Zayats. The pressure was in the Derby,after he beat the best that came to race that day. Then there were no questions to answer. The Preakness was the confirmation to what they thought. As far as competition in the race. Maybe a sub par A.P. is still better than others at their best. But no Trainer/Owner who thought that their horse was at his best,would ever duck an opportunity to take him on. · 5 hours ago
Caught his workout earlier.... what else is there to say? At this point, just about everything going well and no setbacks.... his work was superb, nice and slow (was not urged)..... galloped out beautifully.... looks stronger than before the Derby (as said before).... stride shows no signs of tear..... still no wasted motion despite two races recently.... comfortable.... BEL not an issue as his stride is as close to perfection as it comes..... stuff happens, gut instinct is a new TC winner on June 6th. Note i picked against Chrome, Brown, etc..... not an easy task, this guy looks way better than Chrome did last year, IMO. -frb
The Carpe Diem scratch seems to indicate that trainers are tipping their hats that AP will win the Belmont. There are no real speed threats if you look at time splits in all of the contenders previous races. If AP wants the lead, no one can run with him and if they do, they are cooked. Frosted needs a little help to make a run and if the fractions are soft, it is over.
Bal a Bali worked 7f, June 1st, in 1:25:00 (h). It was the fastest of 4 works.

About Me

Mike has been a passionate horseracing fan for over 30 years. He received his “handicapping education” through countless hours of deciphering the mystery that is embedded in every race. It was the tough beats at the window, however, that propelled him to never make the same mistake twice (well, maybe three times).

As Managing Partner of Horse Racing Nation, Mike serves as investor, business advisor, staff handicapper and developer of handicapping content.

Handicapping the Derby has always been one of Mike's favorite endeavors.  He spends weeks compiling notes, speed figures and analysis in preparation for the big race.  In 2010, his HRN pals pushed him into packaging his time-tested methods into what became the 2010 Kentucky Derby Super Screener, an e-book that became extremely popular with HRN readers and was downloaded over 3,000 times.   

In preparation for the 2011 Derby, Mike will be "Rating the Preps" each weekend on the Derby trail.  The goal will be to build a good picture for which prep races are most likely to produce the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner.   

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