• Big Macher best in the Cary Grant! Posted 3 hours ago
  • Calgary Cat blows by the field in the Kennedy Road! Posted 7 hours ago
  •  California Chrome works 4f over Del Mar turf course in :52.00Posted 10 hours ago
  • Belmont runner-up Commissioner returned to the work tab Nov 22 (3f in :38.12 at Palm Beach).Posted 10 hours ago
  • Sunbean raises his career record to 12-for-19 lifetime with a Delta Mile victory! Posted 1 day ago
  • Ocho Ocho Ocho edges Mr. Z in the Delta Downs Jackpot! Posted 1 day ago
  • Take Charge Brandi scores again, this time in the Delta Downs Princess!Posted 1 day ago
  • Strike Charmer flew away with the Cardinal! Posted 1 day ago
  • Yahilwa and Mike Smith get the job done in the Treasure Chest!Posted 1 day ago
  • Honor Code returns a winner in an Aqueduct allowance! Posted 1 day ago

HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne


Older Comments...

Well looks like another matchup between East Hall and Wildcat Red, Jan 17th, GP, both appear to be doing very well at GP.
Personally at their best,i do not think that Sb is anywhere near the Racehorse that California Chrome is. But that is not the point of this post. This is to laud Hollendorfer, Rome and the rest of the connections as to how they handled this horse in the publics eye. From early in the year,when all scribes were looking for that it factor moment ,and tried to get Hollie to crack and show his hand. They never cracked and went about their buisiness and kept the pressure off. You see that was very strategic on their part. The more self inflicted pressure you put on yourself,the more results have to be achieved. Even now,the media is speculating that SB will do this and do that. To their credit they are keeping their mouths and lips sealed. Their counterparts are to busy holding daily press meetings and sort of enjoying the attention paid to them. But you almost can't blame them to a degree. They are only catering to a starved for prime time media outlets and fans that are just as hungry.
  • Mary Z. · Had to giggle at "never cracked". I doubt they felt any pressure. · 3 hours ago
  • amino998 · The "Clones" should also be recognized for their diffidence · 2 hours ago
Saw him run the slop at Belmont back in Oct - can't wait until he can go on a firm track.
CT was running extremely fast in the DD Jackpot then suddenly hit the wall - hopefully all is well and it was not anything serious.
American Pharoah won 2 grade ones, Texas Red won 1, and Carpe Diem won 1. Wonder who will be 3 year old champ?
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • Sullivan · As far as I'm concerned, it takes more than wins. American Pharoah only has 2 victories, though both are G1 and over quality horses. What if Mr. Z runs away with the Los Alamitos Futurity? Ostrolenka takes the Remsen? There are still 3 big races · 6 hours ago
  • tmallios via Disqus · Somehow in a Fantasy World . If Zayat were able to Trade Pharoah for any 2yr old in the land. I seriously doubt he would pull the trigger. Red may or not win the Eclipse based on his Juvi race. Personally i think that is where the comparisons end. As ggod as Red ran in the race. He did get the perfect set up. · 4 hours ago
Big Macher, Red Outlaw, Sermon, Patriots Rule.
  • Mary Z. · Good job by Sermon to hold on to place against the very nice sprinter Big Macher. Exciting finish with the stretch duel and Patriots Rule closing fast. First defeat for Red Outlaw, but a close finish for him. Whatever the Native Diver is called now, I'd look for Sermon to run in that. · 5 hours ago
It was repoerted that Brandi now will become the filly version of her once more famous stablemate Will Take Charge. As reported yesterday after a nice win, she will now be pointed to the Starlet . Many are applauding this decision and are on her bandwagon to go for The 2 YO Eclipse Award . Dwayne owns slightly a few more Graded wins than i do in his career(LOL and tongue and cheek to those that always fail to realize sarcasm). He did it with WTC last year. Rather than rest on the horses accomplishments and let them just kick their feet up on the living room table, not my cup-o-tea says Dwayne. Like WTC Brandi will be asked to travel back and forth in a short period of time. It took Dwayne all of 3 months the next year to cripple arguably one of the fastest 3 yo colts in recent history. To those applauding this move. I am sure that you were among the majority that did so with WTC. Then i am sure that you were also part of the group that trashed him when this horse could not beat basically Allowance foes. Curious as to what the over / under in Vega is for Brandi . Unfortunately for her,WTC was a strong 3yo Colt and he buckled under the stress. She is only a promising 2 yo filly with a potentially good future. One that she can be telling her grand kids after she saw the famed Brando movie. I COULD OF BEEN A CONTENDER.
  • Show All 11 Comments
  • Sullivan · My question, Lisa: how does Lukas know if the filly is feeling good when he said she'd go to the Starlet prior to getting her back to the barn? · 7 hours ago
  • tmallios via Disqus · It is always important to assess a horse prior to the race. You can easily do it by how they recover from the previous race,how they cool down or are their eating habits the same as before. An important thing is how they relax. Are they to much on edge and dependent on nervous energy to keep going. There are many more signs. But in this instance,where you are asking a 2yo Filly to give you her 3rd effort on the track within a 6 week or so period. The real question should not be how is she going in. You have to gauge at where he or she is,and figure out where will they be after a potentially gut wrenching effort in such a short span. I know it,nobody can predict the future and nor is Lukas a mind reader. That is why you try and analyze previous experiences. Be it with your horse or someone elses. This is a 2yr old filly.She has the world ahead of her. What good does this race really do for her. Knowing who the owner is,i doubt the small purse in relations to what she can earn being healthy mean. Bottom line is that she can win like a Champ and nothing at all happen nor affect her. But ask yourself,is the reward worth the risk. · 6 hours ago
Jess a work today at Belmont going 4 in 49.5. Glad to see him doing something I was beginning to worry ?!?! jlp
Just watched Ary and he will not commit.How shocking,when i said that the timing was terrible, all trashed me. Now Art will gallop him on Thursday. Art enough with the publicity stunts. You or your owners are trying to force a round peg into a square. Do it the right way and take your time next year. As a gambler ,i wish you run and go off 1/9. Win or lose,he will be one of the greatest bet against horses this year. To those that were convinced that the infamouss 4F work was enough. Look again.
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  • tmallios via Disqus · Mary how can they run this horse in that race. This was never on the Agenda,they were grasping at straws after the BC. I kept saying that trying the turf is not the problem. It is all about the timing of it all. It seems that whoever is calling the shots on this horse has dropped the ball on multiple calls. But it was really sad to see this horse out there today being restrained from running. They were afraid to let him gallop out and have something go wrong. If that wasn't enough,they are still playing games by holding the track and public on pins and needles as to if he will run or not. If they could not gauge an opinion with a workout(wink-wink). What on Earth will a jog or gallop in the stretch show them. · 7 hours ago
  • Sullivan · Shared Belief or Chrome in the Malibu? Horse didn't look good because he had no blinks · 6 hours ago
He ran a nice second in his comeback behind a good one in W V Jetsetter. Both he and Promise Me Silver ran well. Silver Akantha ran 3rd in the filly stake. It was a good night for freshman sire Silver City.
Where is Kevin Silverlaspia? How did he end up at a kill auction? Why did you NOT do right by this horse?! You should be ASHAMED of yourselves! I don't want to hear that you "gave" him to someone and didn't know this would happen because we know that's crap! Be honest!
Are you kidding me? Rating her in the top 50? You should be banned from this site. lol
Thats a good win but was pulled up with 25yards and still won by 2. Hope nothing is wrong
Another nice win! earned a 95 beyer for this race.
More fantasyland conjecture without a shred of evidence. People live in dream worlds of their own creation....NO wonder they have no idea what is going on around them inside that self constructed bubble.
  • tmallios via Disqus · Ah another selective response. Seems you only come out of your cave to answer when it suits you. Tell me,do they have a toll booth at the door of your cave ,and you are to cheap to spring for it. I will respond to you in a serious manner,when you respond to my other posts. Seems this post,just like the other posts all have and say the same content. · 13 hours ago
  • amino998 · QUOTE: This one who comments has an interesting habit of cerebral dysfunction and selective editing in order to confound a point that was never there to begin with. -- Guess Who :D · 11 hours ago
Another very good performance. hes the real deal! Triple 8!!!
DRF's Brad Free reports that Calculator is back on the work tab and is projected to make his next start in the Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 20th
Looks like he'll be a nice handicap colt at 4 next season.
Wonder what happened to him ?
  • Sullivan · Should've run a little better but on a lead-or-die track like Delta, he got no chances. Has also been facing worse · 14 hours ago
Does anyone else think his running style and crazy turn of foot might suit him for turf?
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • jockey2be. · I do!!!,I think it would fit him really well!!!!!! · 23 hours ago
  • Sullivan · Shug's already worked him on turf and found him to be the same, if a little worse over it. · 14 hours ago



Meet Andrew Champagne


A native of upstate New York and a graduate of Ithaca College, Andrew Champagne fell in love with horse racing at a very early age on summer trips to Saratoga. His turf writing credits include time spent as a sportswriter, weekly columnist, and handicapper at The Saratogian, a summer working for The Saratoga Special, and "field research" at OTB facilities in Saratoga Springs and his hometown of Kingston. He also spent two years in the athletic communications office at Siena College, and interned with NBC Olympics at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Andrew moved to Pasadena, Calif., in October of 2013, and now serves as an Associate Producer in HRTV's Digital Media department and Horse Racing Nation's Southern California writer. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewChampagne, and email him at andrewdchampagne@gmail.com.