• Spanish Queen impressive in her Honeymoon victory.Posted 12 hours ago
  • Loki's Vengeance scores in the Affirmed Success.Posted 14 hours ago
  • Private Zone takes the Churchill Downs Stakes, Bayern last.Posted 1 day ago
  • Tonalist returns a solid winner in the Westchester.Posted 1 day ago
  • Dame Dorothy edges Judy The Beauty in the Humana Distaff.Posted 1 day ago
  • Divisidero gobbles them up late to win the American Turf.Posted 1 day ago
  • Competitive Edge remains perfect with a romping win in the Pat Day Mile.Posted 1 day ago
  • International Star has been scratched from the Kentucky Derby.Posted 1 day ago
  • Lovely Maria and Boo Boo Clark strike to victory in the Kentucky Oaks for Jones & Jones.Posted 2 days ago
  • El Kabeir has been scratched out of the Kentucky Derby.Posted 2 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing


Older Comments...

This is the first time Dortmund ran this distance and he's on the rail no less yet he's not just beaten by AP but by Firing Line who he beat 2x already and another furlong Frosted would've gotten him. What else but the distance? You guys are too smart for your own good. lol
  • Brian Shaw via Disqus · I don't think we can say that for sure. It was one race and the track appeared to be very strange. Mubtaahij is a horse who looked like he could run 2 miles, based on his previous races and his pedigree and he had no run in the stretch. You had good horses like Carpe Diem and Upstart finish far behind. My personal opinion after watching the race over and over is that the track was very slow and the rail was dead. Dortmund and Mubtaahij ran along the rail the whole way and did not make up any ground in the stretch. Also, if you watch closely, Dortmund, Firing Line, American Pharoah and Carpe Diem were being prodded early in the race to keep up. And this was despite what appeared to be soft fractions that Dortmund was putting up. Those fractions should have been a walk in the park for those horses. American Pharoah was being prodded as soon as they entered the back stretch. It was just a strange race. · 13 minutes ago
Classy filly, only getting better every time. Was very happy to see her take the Humana Distaff.
Had Dortmund shipped early and trained equally for the distance as did American Pharoah. I would personally have felt better about the outcome even with the loss. American Pharoah won the Derby with class and much conditioning over the track. I know trainers don't train all horses the same. The exception here is, this is not just any race, it's the Kentucky Derby. A further insult to Kaleem Shah racing was the jockey assigned to his colt is exercising the future winner while Dortmund is in California. A.P, galloped 1.5 miles 6 times in 7 days and then posted a bullet on day 8 with another gallop 2 days later. I tip my hat to American Pharoah for his conditioning and heart in winning Kentucky Derby 141. Imo!
I have been very high on this horse for a long time. First time I have seen him load into the gate completely washed out. Lots of lather streaming down his legs. I was very concerned and then he traveled 8 lengths farther than Dortmund. (Check Trakus chart). He was by far the best given these two obstacles that would doom 99% of horses. I usually toss horses that wash out at the gate. Firing Line in contrast had a perfect trip. Looked calm and collected going into the gate and still couldn't best AP. AP wins Triple Crown if he gets back to his normal self. Worried something is wrong but may be the the crowd and conditions at Churchhill. AP seven lengths better than any 3 year old at ANY distance past a mile.
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  • travel_vic · trakus charts are totally unreliable · 3 hours ago
  • VEGASJIM1952 · Do you know what happens when a horse changes leads? AP did not win by 7 and if Firing Line can run in 2 weeks (he likes his races spaced out) do not think this horse can not go by him. AP is no lock! · 2 hours ago
many colts have RELISHED the Belmont distance, including last year's winner.....No historical perspective creates ignorant comments
  • Steve Holmes via Disqus · If AP is healthy he will have no problem with Belmont 1 1/2. I worry he isn't right after watching him wash out so badly · 2 hours ago
No one hates any horse.Some of us have enough experience and insight gleaned over 45 years in the game to point out that this one (2015 Derby) was none too impressive and that running style exhibited will be very hard to duplicate over another 2 furlongs without getting nailed late..A front runner is not always early ..Affirmed for example was a stone cold sustained/presser War Emblem ran his Illinois Derby ON the lead as a late runner so that told many of us that he could easily go in the Derby.... Pace is the yardstick to compare all the colts as they reached their 3 year old month of May, and this group was slow...
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  • Steve Holmes via Disqus · Agree · 2 hours ago
  • https://www.facebook.com/john. · AD NAUSEUM??? I don't see you pick any horse. I just looked at all your posts over the last 2 weeks. Alot of referencing historical fact and conjecture. The closest you came to analyzing the Kentucky Derby was 2 days ago. Here is a quote from YOU " American Pharoah :great potential BUT this one has never been challenged enough early in any of his contest to show us how he would react. At this point in his career he is much like Groovy was before he was exposed. We just don't know" that tells us NOTHING. You build him up..knock him down and then say we don't know. You say Firing Line late energy going backwards and that the Sunland Derby was a joke and a fluke..That dosn't sound like any positive pre race predictions to me..I am giving you a chance right now to give me 3 horses you like moving forward. Not monday morning quarterbacking the day after. Anyone that can read can compare times after the fact. What are you going to do with those times going into the Preakness. Come on Vic make a stand · 2 hours ago
Keeping AP wide and in the clear won the Derby for Victor. Too bad his ride on Stellar Wind was horrible! He got her stopped after a great break. When you are on the best horse you stay in the clear. Basic riding 101
  • travel_vic · exactly what two of our stewards noticed. Being outside was a benefit to that runner NOT a hindrance. · 2 hours ago
Fans of the horse don't want to believe the horse ran slow, so the easiest thing to do is blame the track. They were running perfectly legit fractions for the first mile of the race and then things started slowing considerably. The horses slowed down, plain and simple.
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  • Ruffianlover · I'll take the experts opinions of the track being slow versus trolls and haters any day · 4 hours ago
  • travel_vic · you have heard from experts..RIGHT here not the hollow suits in TV · 3 hours ago
Please, hire a horse whisperer to find out what's up and what happened. I had a big WPS wager on this (I'd like to say 'bum', but will refrain for the time being) horse. For God's sake, look at the pedigree! He should have been supersonic. But wasn't.... At Aqueduct the rail birds are probably mumbling something about him being a mudder, or needing a tongue tie or a better jock. But still....
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  • Ruffianlover · You may just have to admit that he isn't that good as people think :( · 4 hours ago
  • travel_vic · THEORETICAL pedigrees don't' run races, individuals do and Upstart was an easy throw out....Could hardly handle 9 panels and screamed shorter. · 3 hours ago
If as expected A.P. dusts off the Preakness field ,and heads to the Big Apple seeking the Triple Crown. Be advised that pedigree for 12F or to some,lack of it . That this will be the reason that he won't win the Crown. His chances will be gauged on the same parameters that California Chrome had to deal with. How will he handle the 3 races in 5 weeks. That is what people should be focusing on. Not if he is bred or not. He has already shown he is superior in talent to any of these horses. So beating them again will hardly be a chore. As i stated earlier,APs' chances are a bit better. The Belmont will only be his 5th race of the year.
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  • triplechrome · Would that be 4 races in 8 weeks? · 8 hours ago
  • Ruffianlover · His running style also suits the Belmont. Deep closers don't fare well in the Belmont, it's almsot always won be a pace stalker who survives the distance · 4 hours ago
I thought that the Derby was a piece of cake. The Preakness will be like a giveaway. All i hear is how A.P. was staggering. But he was going away. This race will truly be like picking cherries. Easy as they come
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  • tmallios via Disqus · Mike, how are you. For some reason,this horse has not grasped many of the HRN fans yet. The horses that they are saying will make a comeback in the Preakness is really very funny. He dominated them in a race that many thought he was not suited for. Like i said,this will be a cakewalk · 9 hours ago
  • Ruffianlover · Going away with his freaking ears pricked! And all people want to do is hate and say it was slow. They will pick apart any thing just to make themselves feel better after they didn't pick the winner. This horse will just keep proving them all wrong. Yes he probably doesn't want 12 furlongs but what horse does? Horses survive the belmont, they don't 'relish' it unless your name is secretariat. Find a new hobby instead of bringing down magnificent animals that give their all for our entertainment · 4 hours ago
Also I really don't think they were staggering home like most think. I believe it was a slow track and the way the track was playing it was like Dortmund was going 45 and 4 on a fast track I think they were humming early.over that slow track I think it was a lot to do with the track on the time almost like it was last year.
  • Jay Harrison via Disqus · That makes no sense, you say they were humming early and then what, all of a sudden the dirt monster rose up and grabbed them? If the track was playing slow, they wouldn't have went fast for the first mile for a 10F race. · 4 hours ago
  • Ruffianlover · People just love to hate and will find ANY reason to bring down the winner when their horse doesn't win. Bottom line is tons of horses didn't fire and people lost money. The true champ did exactly what was asked if him and nothing more. Im GLAD he didn't rhn lights out or set a track tecord because now it sets him up perfectly for a triple crown. People trolled like this last year on chrome and he blew them away in the Preakness and only lost the belmont due to his painful injury where he could barely stand after the race said directly by his connections · 4 hours ago
don't get your hopes up for a triple crown. 10 furlongs looked beyond american pharoah's limit, he was spent after 9.5 furlongs. at 12 furlongs he doesn't finish any better than california chrome.
  • oj via Disqus · personally i really did not think he looked that bad. · 4 hours ago
Talked with a retired jockey who is now a steward and his comment? "they were all staggering late. Closing fractions were pitiful." Can't run that way a win at 12 furlongs.
  • The Doctor · Well I don't know if he really wants 12 furlongs. There aren't many who do but I bet he at least finishes the race. Actually I think the Preakness will be the toughest one and if he wins that he wins the Triple Crown. Of course I could be wrong, lol. · 6 hours ago
  • Rodney Martin via Disqus · I agree the Belmont will be tough for him. I thought Dortmund would be the one with the best shot at a Triple Crown I think Dortmund will love Belmont but I would say if AP wins the preakness Dortmund won't run in the Belmont. If anyone can get AP all the way through the Triple it's Bob Baffert he's came closer then any trainer has to winning it in almost 40 years but I think frosted will be extremely tough in the Belmont. I think AP wins the Preakness and I'll wait to see who shows up for the Belmont. · 4 hours ago
The distance got him. I hit the superfecta and exacta as well as place and show for Firing Line. Firing Line was rested. American Pharoah was lighlty raced. I was sure both Dortman and AP as well as Firing Line would be in the top 4 so figureing out the 4th horse was all the work. I used Frosted, Materiality, Carpe Diem and Mubtaahij as the 4th horse. Frosted earned me a trip to the IRS window. lol. I fely Firing Line was my best shot to MAKE money so I used him alot and bet him across the board. American Pharoah will not be beat in the Preakness if he runs. He's just too fast.
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  • travel_vic · Did the distance "get" Risen Star? Native Dancer? High Echelon? Jim French? Easy Goer? Avatar? Damascus? all these colts DID NOT win the K Derby but did very well at the Belmont.....Why they did that? We don't really know anymore than YOU know about Dortmund. · 5 hours ago
  • Ruffianlover · Are you high? The distance had NOTHING to do with him losing. He got beat by the best three year old in training- AP. He had zero excuses. Dortmund is good but the derby proved AP is better · 5 hours ago
People who don't understand pace are constantly impressed about the wrong end of a race. The front end, the hard working end, the challenging end: that is where contenders on the dirt come from, not the passive hanger- oners who manage to visibly impress some in the crowd.
  • https://www.facebook.com/john. · The pace was reasonable for all intents and purposes and those who set it finished 1-2-3. There was no epic collapse. If Frosted was passing horses that were burned up on the front end it would be a different story. He is the only horse to legitimately close in that race. If you can't see that then I question what you were watching or what you are taking from your charts. · 6 hours ago
  • travel_vic · quote:"The pace was reasonable for all intents and purposes and those who set it finished 1-2-3. There was no epic collapse." need I say anymore? of course there was.....Frosted capitalized on the same thing in the Wood exactly the same thing. I posted the "reasonable" fractions of War Emblem who ran alone on the lead yet closed almost 2 full seconds faster once the pressure came to him. This trio only had each other and came home in 26.57 War Emblem came home in 24.43 · 5 hours ago
I don't think the issues in Blatimore will affect the Preakness.. As long as orgnized agaitators keep their distance the race will be fine. These protests are organized and funded by people with agendas. It's all very political in nature and not as organic as people are led to believe. Having said that back to racing. Had a blast at the Derby. Loved both Dortmund and Firing Line but of the 2 Firing Line has the best shot at beating Pharoah in my opinion. The complaints about Espinoza are many yet he won. I'm more wondering why Garcia tried to lead the entire race. He had the rail. Was it jockey error or is the horse not what we thought it was? I hit the supa, exacta and I also bet Firing Line WPS. Needless to say I earned a trip to the IRS window to collect. Handicapping the supa was easy because I was pretty damn sure Dortmund and AP would be in it. Firing LIne drawing the 10 and being rested made me comfortable with him too so it came down to the fourth horse and I used Carpe Diem, Materiality, Mubtaahij and Frosted. You experts in here might say a novice like me got lucky but it works for me. Will be at Pimlico in the morning to get my tickets. Going there personally. That's how concerned I am about any trouble.
  • https://www.facebook.com/john. · If anyone has been to Pimlico you would know it is about 20 minutes from the "heart" of Baltimore. · 7 hours ago
  • travel_vic · Things that are bothering people go FAR beyond one city. The term "shot walking while black" is a real entity with trigger happy law enforcement who are racially profiling. · 5 hours ago
The super screener was way off. When I saw they had carpe diem and not American pharaoh in their top likely to win category, no way I could trust following their betting strategy. uh I don't think it was hard to see carpe diem had almost no shot with his poor speed figs and post position.
  • Ricky via Disqus · I bought it too. Did not bet it though. Ap and firing line where my top horses and did not agree with how far they had them placed down. Then again it is based on categories which have set numbers. They didn't like firing line because he didn't have the bris numbers. A 1:47 1 and 1/16 is fast, I don't care what track it is on. Then they released the pedigree, firing line was the only horse with all A's. · 6 hours ago
G1 winner Twirling Candy will be represented by his first runner to race race this Thursday at Santa Anita, race 3, the fillies name is Miss Julep Taffy. Twirling Candy's first crop races in 2015.

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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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