• Texas Chrome (2-1) bravely squeezed through on the rail for an Oklahoma Derby win.Posted 16 hours ago
  • Unbridled Mo (4-1) rides the rail to victory in the Remington Park Oaks.Posted 17 hours ago
  • Accelerate (1-1) rallies to win the Los Alamitos Derby (G2).Posted 1 day ago
  • Connect (10-1) upsets the Pennsylvania Derby.Posted 1 day ago
  • Songbird (1-5) gets win number 11 in the Cotillion (G1) at Parx Racing.Posted 1 day ago
  • Noholdingback Bear (3-1) wins the Gallant Bob (G3) at Parx Racing.Posted 1 day ago
  • 2015 Turf Champion Big Blue Kitten has been retired from racing, via the Chad Brown barn.Posted 5 days ago
  • No catching Sarah Sis (10-1) in the Presque Isle Downs Masters.Posted 6 days ago
  • Victory to Victory  7-1) pulls clear in the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes.Posted 7 days ago
  • Good Samaritan (3-1) rolls to a Breeders' Cup birth with a Summer Stakes win.Posted 7 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing


Older Comments...

I have a question:Why was Songbird's Equibase speed figure so high when she ran the Cotillion in a claiming time?
Pegasus World Cup, World's richest Horse Race, for ALL of 2 months!! hahaha I'm already hearing strong rumours that next years Dubai World Cup will be a $15 million race. :-)
  • Mary via Disqus · good grief, Charlie Brown. Where will it end? A 100 million dollar race? · 11 minutes ago
This is my opinion, and feel free to disagree. I don't think that either Nyquist or Exaggerator belong in the BCC, at least not this year. They seem to be tired horses, and if I owned them, they would be turned out for the remainder of the year and start training again early next spring for a four year old campaign. And the same could be said about Gun Runner. Start over next year, after a long rest.
I have a general question about the Breeder's Cup; it would mostly pertain to the Classic, but in a year like this, might pertain to the Distaff as well. Did the BC kill match races? Did the DWC further kill them? Or was that already dead from the Ruffian tragedy (and from the Chris Evert rout over Miss Musket the prior year?) The obvious case of the great match race that never was would be Rachel Alexandra vs. Zenyatta. The dynamics of a match race are different, and while RA's team avoided Zenyatta in the BCC, if $3 million or $5 million had been put up in a match race, winner take all, would it have come to pass?
Good to see a couple more horses in the field.
Sorry for my english, but i have a question about BC Challenge. CC runs in the Pacific Classic and he won it, so he's now in BC Classic. But now he will run in Awesome Again and this is another race from BC Challenge (Classic), and what in this case if he win it? Another horse just lose the spot in Classic or when one horse win two races the second one in (for example) Awesome Again has the spot? Thanks for answer.
  • pointgiven23 via Disqus · The Breeders Cup Challenge races just ensure that the winner will be included in the field if the field were to have more than 14 starters. I also believe expenses such as shipping + entry fee's etc are covered by winning. Chrome winning a 2nd Challenge race just takes away 1 guarantee + paid entry for another horse. With the field very unlikely to reach 14, I don't think anyone has to worry about missing out. · 34 minutes ago
Could he be running in the Awesome Again this weekend? He is on the nominations and im mainly curious because he didn't work this past weekend.
First, congratulations to Songbird and her team. What a race, Where I saw it I actually did not know the results, but was very pleased when I learned just how well she did. Incredible. Second, regarding the Distaff - they have so far confirmed, but they have not seen the performance by Beholder and Stellar Wind in the Zenyatta. I know I am eating crow because I said I thought they would skip the Distaff. I still see that as an option. We shall see. Third, I think people who are Songbird fans ought to not hope that a stakes record is set in the race, because if it is it is unlikely it will be set by Songbird. The record is held by Inside Information who set it at 1:46.15. To give you an idea of how fast that is, Beholder's fastest mark at the distance is 1:47.77 which she set in the 2013 Breeders Cup Distaff at Santa Anita when she was 3 years old. Songbird's fastest time at this distance is 1:49.56. She would have to run almost 3.5 seconds faster than her fastest time. To match Beholder's mark she would almost have to run 2 seconds faster. Do I think Songbird can do this? No. I do not think at this point in her development, that Songbird can run a 1:46.15 in a 9 furlong race. Next year, possibly. But this year it would be unlikely. Do I think she can win? Of course. This is horse racing and she is very, very talented. But it will not be easy. Zenyatta has the record on Pro Ride for the Distaff at Santa Anita of 1:46.85 - the only other horses to crack the 1:47 time barrier in the race. This is for those who think Zenyatta could not run fast. Stellar Wind's fastest time at the distance is over 1:49 so perhaps she is in the wheelhouse for Songbird at this distance, but remember at Del Mar she ran a 1:41.54 in the Clement Hirsch which is over a second faster than Songbird's best at this distance. And remember that Cavorting ran a 1:40.14 in the Ogden Phipps, though that is a 1 turn race at Belmont. She also ran the 1:48.61 in the Personal Ensign at Saratoga which is almost a second faster than Songbird's Coaching Club win. I only right this, as usual, so that people will temper their expectations and keep them realistic. If Songbird's connections go forward and enter her in the race they are to be given credit because as I noted, she has nothing to run for other than history. :-)
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • slewcrew7778 · Remember too that Stellar Wind was in an all out drive to beat Beholder and run 1:41.54 for which she received a similar 100 BSF, while Songbird cantered home effortlessly by 6 1/2 lengths. Big difference. · 1 hour ago
  • Ruffianlover · I don't think you're eating crow when the connections openly admitted they would skip distaff to avoid beholder. I agree that they probably committed based on the high they were feeling after the cotillion win and that feeling of invincibility- but if beholder and stellar wind run a blistering time next weekend they may have second thoughts. Songbird has a lot more to lose in the distaff than to gain- she would really only be running for history and for bragging rights as she already has the eclipse locked up- even if off the tracks wins the Beldame songbird will still win. · 49 minutes ago
I'm not surprised in the slightest. I could tell in the walking ring, this was not a happy horse. He wasn't happy at all. I can not BELIEVE his trainer and jockey could be so stupid! That horse is a sprinter, I've said it countless times, but no one would believe me. They would point out the races he won past a mile, but they clearly didn't see that, after every one of those, Nyquist was exhausted. After the Derby, he was so tired I was surprised he could even walk in the winner's circle. He was so bathed in sweat his coat looked about 5 shades darker. I knew he would flop unless he was put in a mile race. They need to think about him. He's going to be so dejected and unhappy. He needs to be in a mile or less race that he can win so he can get his confidence back.
  • Show All 4 Comments
  • Horse longevity · Nyquist was exhausted after the Kentucky Derby with sweat covering his coat? Well this is news to me. What video best shows this? · 13 hours ago
  • Pebbles via Disqus · I saw him leave the barn and heading to the gate and he looked great. On his toes. Ready to go. Sprinter's do not win the Kentucky and Florida Derbys. You do realize that he had buckets of water dumped over him before he the roses were placed over him, that the track was wet, and that there was a downpour right before the race, right? :-) He is bone dry for the interview post race and does not even seem to be breathing too heavy when Mario is interviewed by Donna. · 57 minutes ago
Irish Pharaoh, full brother to American Pharoah, this morning at Summer Wind Farm. He looks strong.
Texas Chrome yesterday showed to me what a race horse looks like. How he squeezed thru that hole with his ears pinned back looking at the other horse was probably for me the GUTSIEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR Congrats to Texas Chrome Oklahoma Derby winner
OMG...everyone is still stuck on Songbird's times....does she need to do a Big Red at the Belmont and win by 30 lengths?.....the filly has been asked to run once in 11 starts....GET OVER IT....she won by 7 on Saturday.....times mean nothing....and on September 26th they still have a fresh looking filly.....Beholder and Stellar Wind....watch out.....hopefully after a Distaff win...EVERYONE can just shut-up and enjoy what they are watching....
Zenyatta won this race 3 times. If Beholder will win it 4th time, should we expect next stakes' name changing? ;)
  • MaryZinke via Disqus · Sure, if you can tell us whatheh Lady's Secret ever did to deserve having HER stakes race taken away. . . . . .Exactly. · 16 days ago
  • Pebbles via Disqus · They will name a race after Beholder. Not this one. She has yet to be HOTY. In fact, while I disagree, she may not even win champion older female. Could be her 11th G1 win, though - 2 shy of Zenyatta. · 1 hour ago
11 for 11. What is your favorite race of hers that she has won? Mine is the breeders cup juvenile fillies. The way she dominated that stellar field, with the ease that she did it in a time that beat Nyquist the future Kentucky derby winner- it was a look into the future if her brilliance. I'm interested to hear your picks!
  • pointgiven23 via Disqus · Coaching Club American Oaks for me. Got challenged and still went on. · 3 hours ago
  • Pebbles via Disqus · I have to say the Pennsylvania Cotillion. It was the strongest field that she had faced, the best horses ran well in the race, and she still won by one of her biggest margins. The field in the BC Juvenile Fillies included one other G1 winner. It was not as strong as many think. · 1 hour ago
Two losses in the G3sphere to two of the three best three year olds in the country(IMO anyway) followed by three wins over weak competition. However just look at the winning times of Gun Runner and AF and then the winning times TC has produced. He is not a G1 horse(he barely beat Dalmore) and his connections shouldn't put him higher than lower prestige G2 races. If they do this, he can probably keep winning for awhile.
  • Erin J. via Disqus · Except that his time was pretty good in the Oklahoma Derby...that time would be competitive in the Pennsylvania Derby...and he may end up getting better next year where he could be competitive with some Grade 1 horses. · 1 hour ago
lol.....Songbird beats them all....look at her fractions....She was the best horse on that track that day....3 year old males are a disaster right now....CC beats them all at the Classic......Songbird wins the Distaff....on to 2017 now....
If Arrogate runs out in the Classic, they may be picking the Champion 3-Year-Old Colt by drawing a name out of a hat.
I am eating some major crow today. I thought Exaggerator would do much better.I have to admit that I am a bit biased toward him seeing him as playing 2nd fiddle to Nyquist for so long. It just seems like this year many of the critics may have been right that this is a weak class of horses. No denying, though, when he was brilliant, he was brilliant. I have to say that perhaps he is just an wet track specialist at this point. This is 3 races in a row where he had no excuses at all.
  • jinlie01 · It looks like both Exaggerator and Nyquist are tired horses and made need a refreshening. Hate to say it but IMO they should skip the BC Classic and start fresh for their 4 yr old campaign. Believe me, I would love to see them run against past Chrome, (new kid) Arrogate, etc but might be best for them to rest up since their last two outings have been subpar. · 2 hours ago
Lindyhop is entered to race 9/24 Race 8 at Mountaineer Lindy can run a big race the only thing I don't like in the race is there is so much speed we can rate and close. So far she has had a great 2016 and has been earning almost everytime out.

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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.

• Preakness Interview with Trainer Todd Pletcher

• Kentucky Derby 2016 Handicapping Tips from A to Z


• Edison: the Travels of a Million Dollar Colt 

• A Kentucky Derby Field with Just 14 Horses

• What is the Best Kentucky Derby Running Style?



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