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  • Royal Posse edges Saratoga Snacks in the Evan Shipman.Posted 9 hours ago
  • In a pouring rain, Harmonize rolls on by to a big win in the With AnticipationPosted 1 day ago
  • Azar gets there late to win Saratoga's With Anticipation.Posted 2 days ago
  • High Noon Rider wins the Better Talk Now as the longest shot on the board.Posted 4 days ago
  • It's all Stellar Wind in Del Mar's Torrey Pines.Posted 5 days ago
  • Lady Shipman both Smart and Fancy in winning another one at the Spa.Posted 5 days ago
  • Keen Ice shocks American Pharoah in the Travers.Posted 6 days ago
  • Flintshire flaunts his class in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer.Posted 6 days ago
  • Nothing but a walk in the park for Private Zone in the Grade 1 Forego.Posted 6 days ago
  • Runhappy runs them off their feet in the Grade 1 King's Bishop.Posted 6 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne

 

Older Comments...

AP/Curlin So, I was thinking about Curlin's career yesterday after I heard that AP may not race in the Breeders. To sum it up, Curlin was obviously unraced as a 2 year old and was extremely green in both the Derby and Preakness. 3rd in Derby and although thrilling, an awkward ride and win in the Preakness running down a great horse in Street Sense and tying the Preakness record in a distance that probably didn't suit him. Goes to Belmont and loses to a well rested horse by a neck in another thrilling stretch run. Goes to Monmouth and throws out a dud finishing 3rd. The next month his handlers push him by putting Curlin up against the best horse in the world, at the time, Lawyer Ron who was simply a beast. Notice that Curlin was willing to challenge the 4 year olds after grueling battles against an exceptionally strong Street Sense and Hard Spun. He runs down Lawyer Ron in the stretch in an unreal race. The next month he runs what I've called a perfect race and defeats a very, very strong field by 4.5 lengths running a 2.01 in the slop. Horse of the year in 2007. Curlin goes on to win a few more Grade 1s as a 4 year old and wins HOTY AGAIN. It just makes me laugh how AP is being wussified by his handlers. Here is this "all time" great in AP and there is discussion of shutting him down? I get the reason-money-but lets see him challenge the 4 year olds next month at the Jockey Club and then go to the Breeders-and win both-AND then do it all over again next year and repeat as HOTY. If AP's career ended today-is someone really willing to argue his career was better than Curlin's. ???
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • meowdog · There will always be that argument because AP won the triple crown · 3 days ago
  • slewcrew7778 · Would have been nice if he wasn't running on Winstrol as a 3yo. But he certainly proved at 4 that he could run without it. · 1 hour ago
can't wait for his return! He's awesome.
Shug is sticking to what he feels the horse knows. Whilst I'm dissapointed he's not going to take on the very best, I'm sure he'll take care of business this route. And business is business.
Del Mar r6, 9/4/15, aoc, 5f T: 2 Serbian Syclone, 7 K38, 4 Rocket Heat, 8 Inkling.
OMG, I'm not ready for this yet! Between all the brouhaha over CC & AP the past 2 years, I need a rest.
The comments by Baffert are disappointing. "AP didn't feel right today..." Really?? I guess all the other horses beaten by AP "didn't feel right" those days. This was the first and ONLY time that AP was pushed near the top of the stretch. I've been saying for months that AP was able to run his race during the TC season. Look, although it's obvious I'm a KI fan, ap is the best 3 year old...but he is far from a historic thoroughbred. The 3 yr old crop is slow-and that includes keen ice. AP would have never won the crown vs hard spun n steet sense-just an example. He benefitted from an extremely weak n slow 3 year old crop. But, he won the TC-no one handed that to him my point from the beginning has been that although a great horse-not a comparable horse to the true greats because of the lack of competition.
  • Show All 7 Comments
  • Meathead Rob Lowe ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ via Disqus · Not sure how you can say the best 3 year old crop in quite some time is weak but whatever. I watched the race, it was obvious to me AP was not right. Baffert's comments were spot on in my book. · 4 days ago
  • Deano · Your comments are pretty much on the money. The jock, Baffert, and all AP's fans had excuses for him. · 5 hours ago
Does anyone have word on him?
Well in his return, i learned one thing. Jose Ortiz does not know how to ride him for some reason. This horse does NOT belong 2 lengths off the lead. I hope Jose Lezcano gets back on him.
Some of the horses haven't even run and I know one might not run at all before the Kentucky Derby and just because of his dame who he might not even be good
Yeah!!Very impressive maiden win for this guy!So happy and really excited to see where he goes next!
Love Honor Code!
  • staythirtsty · I think Honor Code is the best horse in the world . But now it's time for other amazing horses (Liam's Map , Coach Inge , Protonico , Bay of Plenty ) to shine in a very high quality G1 race . · 7 hours ago
Going to throw a c-note on that superfecta just for fun (7-2-6-1)..........see you guys at the window after the race ;-)
This race is a do-over for those who missed out on the Travers payouts.........7-2-6-1 will hit again, in this order, just as it did in the Travers.......Why? Kismit, that's why, and the horses fit perfectly into this scenario.........the 2 and the 6 battling it out, and the 7 coming down the stretch closing on both of them, with the 1 bringing up the rear for 4th place......will be sweet! ;-)
Entered in the Bernard Baruch.. woahhhhh
According to the equibase entries for this race Magna Light and Uncle Vinny will be having their Sanford rematch in the Hopeful. Other notables are Gradation runner up Ralis and McLaughlin trained Salisaw. I think Uncle Vinny is the best horse among this group and he'll give Uncle Mo another a grades stakes winner!
Shared Belief, the champion 2-year-old male of 2013, has started a light exercise program of walking at the Pegasus Training and Equine Rehabilitation Center in Redmond, Wash., the first stage in a planned comeback after injuring his hip in the Charles Town Classic in West Virginia in April. This program will go on for the next few weeks and then they will focus on getting him back to a light jog. If all goes well, Shared Belief could return to Jerry Hollendorfer's barn in time for the 2016 racing season. Article on DRF
I don't put a lot of credence in workouts, but the notification I received today from equibase said he went 4F in 53.80, that just seems incredibly slow for a horse of his caliber
I decided to wait a few days to let everyone cool down before posting about the Travers. All I can say is I am ashamed at how many bandwagon fans jumped ship after one loss from the great Pharoah. I am disappointed that Zayat let emotions cloud his judgement and that he even remotely thought about retirement. They talk about how this is America's horse- yet one loss and you are already a sore loser? And it was hardly an embarassment- he lost by half a length to a GOOD horse that I said had been improving with every race and could eventually close the gap. AP had Frosted take it to him and didn't get a single breather, while Keen Ice had everything his way. Add that plus Keen Ice's talent- and that is all that happened ladies and gentleman. Nothing less, nothing more. AP put away Frosted- a horse that everyone was all over to perform highly- and just barely got beat by a fast closing Keen Ice. The horse should NOT be retired, (he shouldn't even have raced in this race in my opinion) and should point to the Awesome Again and then the Breeder's Cup. I think he got a lot out of this race, as he had two relatively easy wins in the Belmont and Haskell. He had to run hard in the Derby and look what he need the next three times out. I think this sets him up PERFECTLY for his toughest race yet in the BCC. He will not have it easy against Beholder and Honor Code, and Liam's Map will most certainly not be giving him any breathers. I think he got stronger from this race, and he showed us all that he has so much heart. He is STILL a great horse, he should STILL be praised for winning the TC, people already act like that didn't even happen! It's so ridiculous. Zipse- thanks for writing such a great article about his mile time, and how he in fact did NOT have an easy race in the Travers. Shame on the flip flop fans, and shame on America for not standing by their horse- win or lose.
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • K.D. via Disqus · Agree and disagree. It was a good idea to wait out the cooling period and I really didn’t notice the band wagon jumping but that’s only because I’m so used to seeing it. I probably don’t notice it anymore, but you still bring up a good point about that. I’m not disappointed in Zayat because being completely deflated after a defeat like that on a national stage is normal especially towards the end of a chapter, campaign, or career and it’s not just a horse racing phenomenon. I’m actually glad Zayat is that over boiling emotional type. If he had that silent, reserved, and calculating persona that some owners have, this horse would have been moved one hoof at a time onto a van after the Belmont Stakes and driven down the highway with a police escort at about 20 miles per hour until he got to Coolmore. We got to see this horse race after the Triple because Zayat floats around on cloud 9 after an AP victory, he loves that more than the money but we don’t usually get to deal with people in layers and slices. We have to take the whole emotionally outspoken pie and to me this whole thing has been a real treat. · 1 day ago
  • tonyzag · RL you're right on! One big mistake that was made that I have heard no one mention.......Victor never got up on A&P since the Haskell. Victor never rode a race that Traver's Day on the Saratoga Track till A&P's race. Got :24 for the first quarter so Victor goes to the lead? A&P had never went to the lead that early. If Victor rode in a prior race he would have figured that out. So who's great idea was it to use an exercise rider rather than his jock....you mean to tell me Victor did not make enough money on the horse to afford to do that? · 12 hours ago
Mr Singh, winner of the G3 Bahrain Trophy and 2nd in the G2 King Edward VII Stakes has been ruled out of next Saturday's G1 English St Leger after trainer John Gosden reported the son of High Chaparral returned a dirty scope. Gosden went on to say he won't be able to work Mr Singh over the next couple of days, so there's no point in pointing him toward the St Leger now. The defection of Mr Singh now leaves 11 other 3YO entered for the final classic of the 2015 flat season.
1st - STRICT COMPLIANCE 2nd - Isabella Sings 3rd - Pine Needles 4th - Bishop's Pond

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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