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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing


Older Comments...

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.
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.
Victor Espinosa knows not putting Chrome on the lead after he broke on top was a mistake last year. If AP breaks on top he will not make the same mistake twice. Or will he? Never fight the horse..........let him RUN.
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · He'll get blisters from holding AP back. All to no avail. · 1 day ago
  • Douglas Rutherford via Disqus · Bafferts said in his interview today that he has not even thought about how to tell VE where to have AP : These are the interviews that some-what get to me at times . . . But then , looking in on the bright side - Baffert is very WISE not mention a single word what he actually does have in mind : Baffert / VE will surprise the heck out of almost everyone once that gate opens : Baffert and VE have been planning this race for a very long time · 4 hours ago
Poor boy Swale, what a fighter he was...trying hard to be like his daddy Seattle Slew ! Job well done Swale, you are loved !!
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.
They EVER gonna race this colt?
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 · 6 hours 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 · 15 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. · 6 hours 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.
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
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. · 11 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. · 17 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?????? · 11 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. · 11 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.

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 Meet Matt Shifman 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently serves as Assistant Editor. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.


Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.


The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.


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