• Harmonize comes widest of all to win the Jessamine Stakes.Posted 22 hours ago
  • Got Lucky gets there on the wire in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.Posted 3 days ago
  • Airoforce kicks away in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes for hot trainer Mark Casse.Posted 3 days ago
  • Ben's Duchess takes advantage of a speed duel to win the L.A. Woman.Posted 3 days ago
  • Inheritance, a $1.9 million 2yo in training purchase, broke her maiden by 13 today at Belmont.Posted 3 days ago
  • Golden Horn wins the Arc ... Treve runs well, but settles for fourth.Posted 4 days ago
  • Wild Dude earns a Breeders' Cup berth with a Santa Anita Sprint win.Posted 4 days ago
  • Grand Arch just holds off a flying The Pizza Man to win the Shadwell Turf Mile.Posted 4 days ago
  • He repeats -- It's all Tonalist in a sloppy Jockey Club Gold Cup.Posted 4 days ago
  • Brody's Cause flies home to win the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity.Posted 4 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing


Older Comments...

Tonalist was closing fast his last two races. This time it wasn't even close. Sure the time wasn't good but this is a pure distance horse so you shouldn't expect 10 f in 2 minutes from him. Tonalist is certainly staying in my superfecta with AP, Frosted and Beholder. IMO those 4 horses are the elite in this group. I was expecting Effinex to prove something to him and while he made the money and will l be a GREAT longshot bet for the BCC the Surburban is looking more like the exception not the rule for him. Not sure if Tonalist will win the BCC but barring injury he'll be a player mid stretch or later.
Looks like a 2yo Honor Code...monstrous stretch run!.. Stakes wins are definitely in his future! Race 6 https://www.nyra.com/saratoga/...
G1 winner Tepin will be offered at the Fasig Tipton November sale. She will go through the sale as a racing or broodmare prospect.
Spendthrift Farm announces that they have acquired the stallion rights to G2 winner Race Day, who will stand at the farm for a fee of $8,500, Race Day is being pointed to the G2 Fayette stakes at Keeneland and will retire at the end of the year. According to DRF
But the downside is higher than the upside on running in the classic. They don't think he can settle in at a good pace and take 2nd or 3rd or maybe win? Ridiculous, the mile is not even a lock as we've seen upsets. Appealing tale looked good in his last two and Protonico is still a probable. Now AP can take dictate the pace like he did at Belmont since I don't think Beholder will press early to avoid her getting gassed, some other horse like (Frosted) will have to bother him again for the closers to have a chance.
I think people are going to far with saying Beholder should be favored to win the BCC over AP and are just reacting to the horse of the week hype. Yes Beholder is special and IMO I think she's the best mare since RA and is better than Zenyatta. Despite this the competition she's faced is downright inferior to that that the three year olds or older males have.(Bayern and HA were far from their best at the PC) Now don't get me wrong she has looked appropriately brilliant in oblitering that competition but this years BCC is going to be the best in a very long time. To be frank the expected field is far better than the 2010 classic and Zenyatta would probably do a lot worse than a close second. Is it possible Beholder wins? Is she one of the favorites along with AP? Yes. Should anyone in conscience be saying Beholder will probably beat AP who has beaten elite competition and only lost to a horse he had beaten three times prior in a perfect storm? No way in hell. The chances Beholder does what she did yesterday or in the PC against the BCC is very slim and IMO it's more possible she finishes off the board than manages to win. Most likely she comes in second or third either behind a victorious AP or AP and the horse that manages to beat both of them. I do think she'll get LM though . After the Zenyatta I've got her still as my third choice after AP and Frosted. I think she's probably equal or better than Frosted it's just Frosted's style is better suited for this race.
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • Williemicky via Disqus · Interesting that you use this platform to take a few shots at Zenyatta. For me the debate of "Rachel vs Zenyatta was rendered moot by the events of 2010. After dodging any direct confrontation with Zenyatta, Rachel completed a mediocre campaign of two wins in five races while "Lady Zen" won all her races until closing over twenty lengths on a track she did not handle to miss by a head for a second Breeder's Cup Classic victory against a full field of the best males in the world. Nineteen consecutive wins until that narrow loss; what more can I say except SCOREBOARD!! · 10 days ago
  • slewcrew7778 · Funny, I've felt all along that Pharoah's victories were the results of 'perfect storms'. Curious too about the "elite" that he has been beating. What makes them elite, other than having been beaten by Pharoah? Good horses put up strong numbers even when beating inferior com- petition, like Beholder and Liam's Map have been doing. And unlike anything Pharoah and his gallant band of 3yo playmates have posted so far. I'd say the jury was still out! · 14 hours ago
Told ya :) She couldn't be doing any better. My sources believe shes going to handle anything they ask of her with ease.
Still hoping to see her back in action. Rare to see insanely good turf fillies nowadays.
Big news and idiotic decision by Pletcher. Liam's Map had a real chance to win the BCC.... better chance than any other runner. No other horse would have gone with him on the lead and he could have wired the field. Cowardly decision to go after the lesser purse. This moves AP's chances way up and Honor Code's chances way down. AP now will probably have a good chance to settle into his "cruising mode" on the lead and it's doubtful that anyone will have enough closing kick to get past him at the wire.
I Think it's a Great Move to Run in The Dirt Mile Instead of the BCC. I believe Liam can Get the 10 Furlongs. Looking at the Race With Castallano Committed To Honor Code & Johnny V. Committed To Tonalist, Pletcher probably Doesn't Want To take a Chance With some third String Jockey. Also Private Zone Has Committed To The BC Sprint which is huge. So now In the Dirt Mile They have their jockey Castallano and no Private Zone Running For the front with his amazing speed. It Sets up perfect For Liams Map. I support This Decision 100%
Liams Map isn't running in the Classic. There will barring a horse going rouge like Frosted in the Travers no fast pace. This increases AP's chances of winning dramatically (and Beholder's a little too I guess) and makes this race a nightmare for the small army of closers that will probably be chasing them.
Watch out for this guy. 4th start wins Grade 1 race easy and Finally puts Bayern in the pasture. Most overrated horse on this site. He was never the next Game On Dude! Smooth Roller is one to follow.
  • Pebbles via Disqus · Bayern is a top quality horse. When he was on, he was unbeatable. His only issue was consistency. Unfortunately, as a 4 year old he never returned to his 3 year old form, but he was durable and fun to watch.I know I will miss him. · 5 hours ago
I say he will finish no better then 4th.
  • Pebbles via Disqus · But if he presses the pace he is a fast horse and could have an impact on the final outcome. · 5 hours ago
I feel like he is begging to retire
  • JerseyGirl via Disqus · He won a stakes race in September; however, I do agree. I'd rather see him retire to stud, at this age, then take that terrible misstep. · 16 hours ago
Anyone think that HC may go to the dirt mile now that there will be no hot pace in the classic?
Without Liam's Map, if American Pharoah or any frontrunner is attempting to set slow early pace in this year BCC, they will be in for a surprise when Smooth Roller rolling by them to the wire. He did exactly that against Bayern in the AA.
  • hannahWTC1 · Hoppertunity also went by Bayern. Are we expecting him to collar a loose-on-the-lead AP? If AP gets alone on the lead, and slows the pace down, no one else has a snowballs chance in h*** at winning. · 21 hours ago
Has been retired from racing.. I'm guessing Fox Hill is gonna get a ton of stud farm inquiries.
Normandy Invasion has always been one of my favorites, and always will be. He has one of the best names I have ever heard. I hope he turns out to be an excellent stud. Good luck, Normandy!
I'm interested how others feel about what I'm about to suggest. So, please respond. No matter what Prayer for Relief does in the Godolphin Mile this horse should be retired. He has had a long career--without many breaks in action. I am not saying this horse has been handled poorly. Some might want to make that argument, others may want to dispute it. Nonetheless, PFR seems to be done with the track. He's a winner in multiple graded stakes--even after breaking his maiden at the claiming level! He owes nothing else. If the horse is truly as resilient as his connections run him, I understand why he has been so active over the years. So, maybe he runs in a few more this year. Still, I think this horse should be looked after carefully in 2015. If the connections insist on running him after Dubai, I hope it is on close watch. Michael
  • Jay Harrison via Disqus · Sounds like you're saying a Prayer For Relief. · 202 days ago
  • JerseyGirl via Disqus · I completely agree; retirement is what he's earned. Stallion is better than another older horse misstep💚🐎 · 16 hours ago
Please retire Optimizer before something bad happens to him. He's surely done enough for Calumet, IMHO 💚🐎

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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.


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