• Songbird repels the challenge of Carina Mia, and romps home in the CCA Oaks.Posted 16 hours ago
  • Up With the Birds swings to victory in Woodbine's Nijinsky Stakes.Posted 17 hours ago
  • Tin Type Gal rides the rail to victory in Monmouth's Boiling Springs.Posted 17 hours ago
  • California Chrome edges Dortmund in a San Diego Handicap showdown.Posted 1 day ago
  • Mokat (7-1) turns the San Clemente into a one-filly show.Posted 1 day ago
  • Dacita just gets up in the Grade 1 Diana in a four-horse photo.Posted 1 day ago
  • Front Pocket Money grinds to victory in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore.Posted 1 day ago
  • Hit It Once More romps home a big winner of the New York Derby.Posted 1 day ago
  • Bitumen (4-5) powers home to win the Grade 3 Sanford at Saratoga.Posted 1 day ago
  • Secretariat winner Highland Reel goes all the way in the Group 1 King George.Posted 1 day ago

HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne


Older Comments...

According to Baffert, Dortmund was only 95%. This and the fact Dortmund surged back and passed CC after the wire(they switched leads several times) IMO implies two things. Dortmund probably would have won if he was 100%(it still would have been incredibly close) and that Dortmund wasn't tired(which seeing that time is a very positive sign especially seeing his distance concerns which are real but not completely validated) Both horses impressed(they obliterated the rest of the tiny field) and the margin between the two is close at 8.5. The Pacific will come down to whether Dortmund really has distance issues. Either way if Beholder proves the Pacific Classic was a fluke both will probably be defeated from what they've demonstrated at 10(CC should be the second choice)
  • Show All 6 Comments
  • slewcrew7778 · Don't know if it was mentioned after the DWC, but I heard for the first time on the TVG broadcast before the race that by the time Chrome had reached the finish line in the Cup his saddle had slipped so far back it was almost on his flank. Which basically meant that Espinoza had little to do with his margin of victory since he couldn't really scrub on him. There's no way Dortmund was going to find more than Chrome yesterday, even at 100% What a roller coaster ride this horse has been for Artie!!!... · 19 hours ago
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · According to Sherman, Chrome was only 85%. · 1 hour ago
So what % fit was Chrome? And ho can you make a statement that a horse is 95% fit.? What measures that?
  • pointgiven23 via Disqus · I think Ideally Dortmund would have had 1-2 more works hence the 95% statement. Usually Baffert gets a few more stiff works into them. He had to do some things differently with Dortmund like working him in company. Baffert usually doesn't work his top horses in company so it definitely lends me to believe they were pressed for time and had to improvise. Regardless he ran a huge race, maybe the best of his career in defeat. If he was a bit short this race should really move him forward from a fitness and racing prospective. Had he not ran so well going to the Pacific Classic wouldn't have been a great option and still might not be, but there's no reason to believe he won't benefit tremendously from the San Diego · 3 hours ago
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · His trainer says he was 85%. · 1 hour ago
Let's try to find out stallion who will be her first mate. Curlin?
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · It will most likely be American Pharoah, but I'd like to see a cross with Honor Code. Better bloodlines in the latter. · 1 hour ago
No works in two weeks... not very encouraging.
He may be headed to the Haskell. Whoa. That is certainly an audible called by Shadwell. "Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is leaning toward sending Mohaymen, who was favored over Nyquist in the Florida Derby in what was a battle of unbeaten at Gulfstream Park. It would certainly add a level of intrigue if Mohayman were to make his first start since finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby." http://www.app.com/story/sports/horses/2016/07/14/haskell-nyquist-giants-killers/87033832/ 5 furlongs 1:00.79 4/24 4 furlongs 48.87 6/22 4 furlongs 47.60 1/6 It seems like he is rounding into form.
  • Show All 6 Comments
  • Ferrisjso26 · This doesn't make sense to me. Horse is unbeaten against horses in races with horses not named Nyquist. Why send him to face off against Nyquist and Gun Runner when they could rack up a more likely win in the Jim Dandy? Maybe things have changed in the last five days because he's listed as probable for the Jim Dandy. · 17 hours ago
  • pointgiven23 via Disqus · Interesting that they are really considering the Haskell with its prospective field. Nyquist worked very well yesterday and is right on target for a big race. Gun Runner has continued to improve and him schooling in the Paddock at Saratoga its clear he has never looked better (noticeably filled out). American Freedom outworked his very talented stablemate in hand at Delmar and his trainer owns the Haskell. Meanwhile the Jim Dandy is in his back yard and while half the purse is a significantly easier field. I do feel Destin is primed for a big effort as Pletcher always brings them ready to go for the prep. Creator & Governor Malibu while good horses seem to be prepping in this race for the Travers more than using this race as their goal. If Mohaymen has taken the expected leap in his development with the time off the Dandy just seems like the best option with Exaggerator likely to skip and Stradavari's racing career over. Having the race over the home track is usually a significant advantage 4 weeks later · 3 hours ago
The last walkover in a Grade 1 was Spectacular Bid in the 1980 Woodward. The Alabama won't actually be a walkover but it might just look and feel like one. Songbird has the talent to become one of the great fillies of all time. She may not be there yet but she is certainly on the right track.
great ride for a cosy win
The Bird flies again. Where are all the naysayers now?
  • Ruffianlover · #thebird · 15 hours ago
  • Pete via Disqus · I don't think a big field is going to test her in the Alabama, that CCAO race couldn't of set up any worse for Songbird and she still won. The rail was completely dead and she drew inside the only other early speed in the race and still won. No chance she gets beat this year. · 9 hours ago
Beautiful! I think I held my breath the entire race. I remember seeing one of her works posted prior to her first start and I can't remember the distance or time but I remember it blew me away and I said "Wow! I'm watching this one" out loud. And I've continued to be "wowed" every race. I'm looking forward to the BC, which will likely be her next step up in class.
  • barrmorr · Unless Beholder's connections change course and point to the Distaff I'm not sure it will be a step up in class. Stellar Wind is probably the best of the rest besides Beholder and they are scheduled to hook up next weekend at Del Mar. That will give us an idea where she is at this point. · 11 hours ago
Which of the three year old fillies except Songbird looks likely to be effective at 10 furlongs. Mike Smith said after the race that Songbird got a little tired but he thinks she will move forward off this performance. Carina Mia put up a gutsy race and threatened for a little over a mile which makes me wonder what would have happened if she had gone in the Test instead. As good as Cathryn Sophia is she does not look like a 10 furlong horse. Catch A Glimpse may be but it is unlikely she'll be back on the dirt any time soon. After the Alabama the races for this division revert to 8.5 or 9 furlongs until the Distaff. Songbird's tactical speed gives her a huge advantage over her competition. Anything can happen in a horse race but as of now someone will have to run the race of their career to beat her. Carina Mia just did that but the result was the same.
What an amazing performance by Songbird! That was the first time she was ever tested in her 9 races, and she still won.
Beholder is still the best filly/mare right now.
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • triple_double · or best female horse right now... Songbird will not beat Beholder anytime soon. · 15 hours ago
  • marcos via Disqus · Typo or what? · 14 hours ago
Excellent! Nice win for this guy
  • BeastBob via Disqus · I just noticed that this was his first attempt at 12 furlongs or longer. · 15 hours ago
For the love of God will some admin on this site please fix chrome's page? So comments will show up on the main page? Also I saw Dortmund got a 110 beyer anyone know what Chrome got?
  • DerbyDoc via Disqus · Chrome was issued a 111 · 19 hours ago
  • DDAmasa via Disqus · Every other page has"edit" in the top right. Chrome's page has "locked by". I wonder if that is the problem. But I don't understand why they don't fix it. · 15 hours ago
Unlike Beholder and Zenyatta Songbird ships well. Impressive win
  • pointgiven23 via Disqus · your only partly right, zenyatta won away from cali. · 15 hours ago
Was not able to watch the race, but Songbird is truly a special horse to be undefeated for so long. She never really looks tired or like she's been trying.
Personally I hope they target the Woodward Stakes followed by the Awesome Again Stakes as a prep for the BC Classic. Don't like the idea of throwing Dortmund into the lion's den again going 10F in only his 2nd race of the year. Hope they bring him back slower and build him up for his best in the Classic. Baffert is taking Arrogate to the Travers so he could take Dortmund too for the Woodward on the same card. It's still a prestigious G1 but at a shorter distance plus gives him an extra week or so to fully recover from his huge effect.
  • Show All 4 Comments
  • BeastBob via Disqus · The timing of the Woodward and Awesome Again will be tight unless the Woodward field is bad enough to be a public workout for Dortmund. Shipping east and having to compete hard against Frosted may be the end of Dortmund 2016 campaign. · 17 hours ago
  • pointgiven23 via Disqus · I hope they consider going east as well. The Woodward would favor him better than having to go 1 1/4 vs 3 other seasoned horses with similar running styles. But I'm sure Baffert will stick him at Delmar as he usually does with his horses. · 15 hours ago
what a performance. tested on the turn and really looked for a moment that she was done. Then she just put Carena away and won easy. its such a privilege to see her race. won against the bias of the track as well
My nice comment is: Hellyah. Now shaddap :)

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.

Best of the Blogs

Top Stories