• Minding rolls home an easy winner of the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh.Posted 1 day ago
  • Melatonin powers home a strong winner of the Gold Cup at Santa Anita.Posted 1 day ago
  • Lord Nelson lunges late to nip Subtle Indian in the Triple Bend.Posted 1 day ago
  • By the Moon proves best in the Grade 3 Bed O' Roses at Belmont Park.Posted 1 day ago
  • Mo Tom finds a trouble free trip, and rolls home an easy Ohio Derby winner.Posted 1 day ago
  • Isabella Sings strolls to victory in Monmouth's Eatontown.Posted 1 day ago
  • Sarah Sis makes all the running as the Chicago Handicap favorite.Posted 1 day ago
  • Harzand holds off Idaho in the Irish Derby to become a dual Derby winnerPosted 2 days ago
  • Far From Over wins his return today at Belmont after more than 16 months away.Posted 2 days ago
  • Champion Untapable has been retired from racing, according to owner, Ron Winchell.Posted 7 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne


Older Comments...

Saratoga: make sure you walk all around the track, over by the backstretch, near the gate and don't miss the US Racing Museum across the street (it is a treat unto itself). When I was last there a year ago, they were building a smaller exhibit near the main grandstand entrance as a display of what the Hall of Fame is all about to entice more participation. There is a smaller version of the great Secretariat statute in the paddock at Belmont, in a quiet garden area in the Hall of Fame. A must see. Look for the jockey silks room too: very colorful as far as you can see. The place exudes HISTORY in spades.
It looks like Frosted and Upstart are going at each other again in the Whitney. Maybe Far From Over will surprise everyone and beat both of them to remain undefeated!
  • Pebbles via Disqus · May be. We shall see. have always liked this son of Blame, but he has some catching up to do. · 1 hour ago
Here then is the Classic dream field that potentially could be assembled at Santa Anita on Nov. 5. With almost every major contender having the same or similar running style, which is speed or stalking, it could make for some interesting riding strategies. 2—FROSTED – The question everyone is asking after the Met Mile is where did that performance come from? Although he’s always been a classy horse, he has never given even the slightest indication he was capable of such a Herculean effort. This wasn’t one of the better fields assembled for the Met Mile, but his 14 1/4-length devastation in a spectacular 1:32 2/5 and final quarter in :23 1/5 was other worldly and still defies explanation. He did beat up on a decent field in the grade II Maktoum Challenge (Round Two) as a prep for the World Cup, but could do no better than fifth, beaten five lengths by California Chrome, in the big race. He showed in last year’s Belmont Stakes he loves Belmont Park and no doubt was happy to be home. Some have wondered if he will now switch his objective to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, but that would be ludicrous to even consider. Despite his poor effort in last year’s BC Classic following a long hard campaign, he showed in the Belmont Stakes that 1 1/4 miles certainly is well within his scope, finishing second in one of the fastest Belmonts ever run. In fact, of those who ran a faster Belmont than American Pharoah – Secretariat, Easy Goer, A.P. Indy. Point Given, and Risen Star – only Risen Star came home his final quarter faster than Frosted, in finishing second. He also closed fastest of all to finish fourth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, in the Kentucky Derby. Also, let’s remember that a mile at Santa Anita is run around two turns and is not a true mile that tests a horse’s speed, toughness, and stamina, and can be decided by post position. If Frosted shows in the Whitney that the Met Mile was no aberration, then we’re talking serious contender in the Classic. http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/horse-racing-steve-haskin/archive/2016/06/26/mid-year-look-at-the-bc-classic.aspx
This whole situation reminds me of Rex Ellsworth and the 100 plus horses on his property many of whom starved to death, most notably the dam of Swaps, Iron Reward.
Investigators from the Kentucky state veterinarian's office and Kentucky Dept. of Justice have gathered information to demonstrate that ~40 horses located on land in Mercer County, Ky., have been abandoned per article on BH. A meeting today attended by Mercer County officials, the county attorney, and the sheriff's department is being held to determine culpability in the neglect/abandonment of these animals. The property in question is being leased by Chuck Borell, Maria Borell's father; ownership of the horses is apparently in question, but the owner appears to be either Chuck or Maria. Volunteers are being allowed onto the property to care for the horses in the interim, and some prominent thoroughbred owners are becoming involved; Rick Porter is one of these owners. This article is very detailed and informative, and I'll link it here. http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/212803/kentucky-neglect-case-under-investigation
Can't freakin wait, making the cross continent trek for the Whitney and my first trip to Saratoga. Hope the field is loaded.
Frosted 💙Should have been the Triple crown winner that horse is absolutely amazing.
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  • Players Klub via Disqus · Yeah right. LOL And he put in a complete clunker in the BCC last year. Better luck in 16.---Without AP around. · 3 days ago
  • Ruffianlover · Uh no lol did you even watch the series! Maybe you forgot about a gross called American Pharoah, the GOAT · 1 hour ago
It seems that many horse racing fans are not giving Nyquist any chance of winning against California Chrome and Beholder, particularly in weight for age races such as the BC Classic later this year. What these fans don't know is that Nyquist's KD winning form is better than Beholder's (her entire racing career, including the Pacific Classic). And it is only slightly behind California Chrome's best form (the 2016 DWC, which Chrome was never able to reach until he's 5 years old. A healthy Nyquist carrying 4 pounds less will beat both California Chrome and Beholder in the 2016 BC Classic! Remember this prediction 4 months before the race!!
  • Ruffianlover · He really does have a good shot. Seeing how easily he was won some of his races and in really good times, it makes me wonder just how could he could be by years end. I think the Preakness was a fluke- he was victim of a crazy fast early pace, and I think he was sick in that race. Scratch off that one race and this horse has been spectacular in his career · 1 day ago
Got a response from Ramsey Farm. They haven't discussed future plans for him, but they'll pass along the suggestion of the Mystic Lake Derby.
No Way!! Simon Callaghan announces that Firing Line is on track to make his 2016 debut in the G2 San Diego Handicap on July 23rd. Which means there is a chance we could see California Chrome vs. Dortmund vs. Firing Line in a prep for the Pacific Classic!
  • andthey'reoff · WHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT? Oh my goodness. This makes my day. Firing Line is my favorite older dirt horse. I love any Zetcher horse. Also, you may have seen that I contacted Ramsey Farm about Oscar Nominated. I was granted permission by my boss, Eric Halstrom. Will update when I get a response. · 21 hours ago
  • sczen50 · YES; I HEARD THAT,TOO! CC IS IN FOR SOME VERY GOOD COMPETITION..THIS TIME HE WON'T BE HELD BACK. 'Gonna get good~ ;) But don't count him out. He's running & working out excellently,too! · 16 hours ago
If Firing Line is pointing toward the San Diego Handicap, then his connections must have carefully weighed the risks and rewards of running him in California versus shipping east.
As much as I want to see another good horse compete, I think this is a ridiculous decision to have him run off a 14 month layoff against CC. Not sure what the game plan is but it would have been nice to see him at a much easier race. It's like killing the horse's confidence right off the bat.
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  • sczen50 · I do agree though about maybe an easier race.. but I guess he wants to see maybe how he rates against 'the biggies'. Then again Dorty hasn't been on the track in awhile. But is also looking Very good..and as Baffert stated--he's not worried at all about facing CC. Though I think he should be a little anyway~ · 13 hours ago
  • verygoodlooking1 · I agree, I don't think for 1 second Firing Line will come back in his 2016 debut against Beholder and (possibly) California Chrome in the Pacific Classic, just NO WAY. To be honest, I think it's only a 50/50 chance that he even comes back at all. But I hope he does, he was great last year. · 11 hours ago
I went to check out how Dream Ahead and Wootton Basset were doing on the European sire lists and I found this: http://bloodstock.racingpost.com/statistic/leading_lists.sd#leadingListsTabs=top_flat_racing_sires Shocked at Sea The Stars' percentage of winners from runners there - that's unusually high! He's come 2nd to Galileo by total earnings in Europe, but with half the amount of runners as Galileo has Sea The Stars boasts a 41% of winners from runners.
CC, Dortmund and FL were all great at the 8.5 distance when they were pretty undeveloped. To see three fully developed horses face off the distance will be something to see. I think FL's chances against both CC and Dortmund will get better the longer the distance he beat Dortmund at 10 but not at the shorter distances. Now Dortmund might have hit a wall there or he might not have of but the truth of the matter is FL surpassed him at the distance nonetheless at that stage whereas at the shorter distances he wasn't quite able to beat him. FL was far from bad but coming off of 8.5 I don't think he's going to beat CC or Dortmund his next time out though it's certainly possible. I'm picking Dortmund for this one.
She's roughly halfway through her 3YO season now, and Minding is already a 5-time Group 1 winner over distances of 7f, 8f, 10f, & 12f, and had she gotten a bit livelier ground in the Irish 1000 Guineas I have absolutely no doubt we'd be calling her a 6-time Group 1. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she shows up at Goodwood in July next to contest the G1 Nassau Stakes at 10f. That's usually one of the deeper fields of the season that draws a good mix of quality 3YO fillies + quality older fillies & mares. I also wouldn't mind seeing Minding take on older fillies & mares at 12f in the G1 Yorkshire Oaks at York in August.
  • jonquil · Am I like the only person who was disappointed with this year's Pretty Polly Stakes? I don't mean Minding, but the overall field or lack thereof. The last Pretty Polly Stakes sort of like this was the one Izzi Top one and that one was very disappointing for me, too. Just doesn't feel like a G1 level race. As much as I love Bocca Baciata, she ISN'T one of the fillies I wanted to see take on Minding. Pretty much all of the older fillies in the Pretty Polly this year were hovering around G2 - G3 level, but none were solid G2 types by my estimation. Lucida was a great 2yo who followed up with a decent 3yo year, but I'm not convinced she's kept the same level of talent she showed before as a 4yo. Koora looks like she could potentially improve her level, but Speedy Boarding looks dependent on things to go exactly her way and IMO that's no good. As for BB, I think she might be able to finally get a G2 after this! I hope I'm not getting carried away by this performance, but I thought against a filly of Minding's class she did exceptionally well considering she only barely won her one G3. That said, there's a whole list of fillies I'd love to see race against Minding, and I'm *still* waiting, and probably will never see some of them run against her because Coolmore. :/ BTW -- did you hear Aidan O'Brien said he wants to keep her in training as a 2yo because he likes her so much? That's probaby the most truly heartfelt thing I've heard from him, he doesn't usually give so much away. The Lads just may let him keep her in training next year, no reason why not unless they feel her value as a broodmare outweighs all else. · 12 hours ago
Waller has indicated 3 Syd races for WINX in Spring, Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes,Chelmsford & Colgate Optic White! by Australian Turf Club on Twitter https://twitter.com/atc_races/status/747228058046763008
Love this guys win in the Triple Bend. Now at the head of the sprinting division (until Private Zones and Runhappys return)
  • Ross via Disqus · PZ is back and should run next week at Belmont. Add in Joking, would be another good BC if they all can run. · 15 hours ago
8 year old Cali stakes regular Soi Phet wins the listed McCann's Mojave, 8.5 f, in 1:40.80. His first win at Santa Anita.
Because there are no real pressing horse racing questions to be answered on the track today- lets turn our attention to the other super star athlete who, should show up big - The question to be asked is Chile or Argentina?
I do not know if this supposed schedule is official yet. In watching TVG yesterday during the races. They said that Songbird would be coming East for the C.C.A , The Alabama and the Cotillion at Parx. From there it will be the B.C. Distaff. If she were an East Coast based filly,there would be absolutely no issues with that schedule. If they decided to leave her on the East Coast for the 2 to 3 months needed,i would have no problem with that. But why would you take her away from the day to day training by a H.O.F. trainer. Ask Baffert with Bayern and Pharoah over the past 2 years. Ask them how 3 year olds react to the quick roundtrips between East and West. To run in this schedule,she would have to do it twice. I have been one that has been critical of West Coast stars staying home. But this would be to much on her at such a young stage of her career. At best you can do is 2 out of 3. Bypass the middle leg. But unfortunately,that leg is the gem of the 3yo fillies division. Tough decisions to make. But do not make the stupid one,by running in all 3.
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  • Neigh Sayer via Disqus · She will be fine staying on the East coast for two or three starts and will be exceedingly well taken care of and trained by people who are now with her every day. · 3 days ago
  • Pete via Disqus · You want her to run the Distaff off a two month layoff? Come on give me a break, she just had two months off for a sneeze, the Oaks at Saratoga will be a walkover, the Alabama will be a slight test and then another walkover at Parx as a prep to the Distaff. It's not about the travel, its about how hard the horse has to run to win those races. This horse should of run and won against males by now, the female division offers zero competition. Outside of Mike Smith falling off her or another horse taking her out she isn't losing to another female horse as long as she races. · 20 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.

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