• Spanish Queen impressive in her Honeymoon victory.Posted 1 day ago
  • Loki's Vengeance scores in the Affirmed Success.Posted 1 day ago
  • Private Zone takes the Churchill Downs Stakes, Bayern last.Posted 2 days ago
  • Tonalist returns a solid winner in the Westchester.Posted 2 days ago
  • Dame Dorothy edges Judy The Beauty in the Humana Distaff.Posted 2 days ago
  • Divisidero gobbles them up late to win the American Turf.Posted 2 days ago
  • Competitive Edge remains perfect with a romping win in the Pat Day Mile.Posted 2 days ago
  • International Star has been scratched from the Kentucky Derby.Posted 2 days ago
  • Lovely Maria and Boo Boo Clark strike to victory in the Kentucky Oaks for Jones & Jones.Posted 3 days ago
  • El Kabeir has been scratched out of the Kentucky Derby.Posted 3 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne


Older Comments...

Best filly ever!!!
International Star, the La. Derby winner who was scratched Saturday from the Kentucky Derby with a sore left front foot, was diagnosed this morning at Churchill Downs with an ankle chip in the same foreleg and will be sidelined indefinitely. "This is a very depressing moment," owner Ken Ramsey said by phone this morning. "He was jogging unsound again this morning, and after we had extensive X-rays taken, a tiny chip about 2 millimeters in diameter was discovered. He'll have surgery, then 60-90 days off, then 30 more days stall rest. Best-case scenario would be a late-fall campaign." Article on DRF to be posted later today.
At the news conference they said he had a bunch of dirt trapped in his larynx. That is why he stopped at the quarter pole and had to be eased to the wire. Part of the problem with Upstart is he does not appear to like the jockey in his back. He takes him between horses when he is changing leads (DQ FOY), takes him next to a horse that is drifting out into him under a left whip when he has the entire track (Fl Derby) and as a result does not want to finish races. And the Derby saw the horse fighting for his head the entire race in 11th place and taking loads of dirt in the lungs. No horse whisperer needed. THEY NEED A NEW JOCKEY, and a new trainer if the trainer thinks letting Ortiz ride the Derby without a plan B was a good idea. Sitting in 11th place with that tepid place was ridiculous. Until they address this issue, the horse is all potential and a no bet.
  • Lisabn via Disqus · I agree with the new jockey, but doubt he will get one · 1 hour ago
his time was faster then c.c !!
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  • jonathanpoker · His time was slower than AK. If you can't guess i'm an AK fan. · 14 hours ago
  • Smart American via Disqus · CC was geared down the last 70 yards and trotting across the line. · 1 hour ago
Monmouth Park opens this weekend and "Jersey" Joe Bravo is 2 wins away from 5,000. History in the making
I think his lost was just a matter of the Jockey2be curse... she picks a Derby horse and they are doooomed!
I hope he is ok,never looked comfortable,it seemed he was running with his head really high...sigh
  • Stuart H. via Disqus · It think that is when he was fighting for his head and got a load of dirt up his trachea. The worse part is the rider had no clue. Ortiz thought he was in the perfect spot 11 back despite that slow pace, like Upstart was going to catch AP or the other 2 leaders from way back there when they are walking the dog basically. · 8 hours ago
Was eased up and finished 60 lengths behind
  • Stuart H. via Disqus · As a rule of thumb, I thought anything over 50 lengths when the runner is not extended is a DNF. Big Brown was 60 lengths back in the Belmont Stakes and they listed him as DNF. When did they rules change? Upstart stopped and was eased to the wire, about a minute after the last horse (17th) finished the race. Look at the race slides at the homepage at the wire. Upstart is nowhere to be seen on the horizon. · 8 hours ago
The Tin Man, a popular multiple grade I-winning gelding who raced through age 9, died April 29 at age 17 in Santa Ynez, Calif. Bred and owned by Ralph and Aury Todd and trained by Richard Mandella, The Tin Man earned $3,663,780, winning 13 of 31 starts. His biggest victories included the 2006 Arlington Million (gr. IT), the 2002 and 2006 editions of the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (gr. IT), and the 2007 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT), the latter at age 9. Victor Espinoza, who piloted American Pharoah to victory in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), rode The Tin Man in the Arlington Million and recalled what a thrill it was to win that race."He was one of my favorite horses," Espinoza said of the Kentucky-bred son of Affirmed—Lizzie Rolfe, by Tom Rolfe. "He was so nice and kind. He was an amazing horse. I always rode that horse with so much confidence. I always trusted that when I needed him in a race that I knew he was going to respond." Article on Bloodhorse
It's gonna be a thriller at Pimlico with this dark horse burning up the track. I love this race already... I don't see Frosted or Materiality... all the race needs now is late speed.
Hope he runs in the Belmont. He owes me money!!!! Disappointed in that derby. Even though I got the tri, I wanted him to win
Lets' look at the race logically. In regards to beating the Derby winner, the first thing we look at are new shooters. There are none that can threaten A.P. , not even in their wildest dreams. The next thing you can point to,is the quick turnaround of 2 weeks. Since the horses he dominated will all be working under the same time line, that angle does not hold much water. Finally we examine the trip and compare it to the Derby. A.P. by far had the roughest trip from all the contenders. With a smaller field entering the gates in the Preakness. A better trip is almost guaranteed.
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  • amino998 · almost... did you see Victor {I'm just a lucky Mexican} Espinoza's 'trips' in the TC Belmonts? :) · 11 hours ago
  • tmallios via Disqus · Not even pimples on an Elephants butt. Todd is to smart to wheel back in 2 weeks and go 2 turns for the 1rst time. If C.E. ran,he'd get swallowed up. If he ran,it would be one of the dumbest decisions of the Racing year. · 11 hours ago
Let's be clear. This Horse had a heart of Gold and was the Best of the Best. He took on all comers and beat most of them. How many Triple Crown Winners are there? This Horse earned the respect of all how watched him run and was a Champion.
Not saying it's a lie but there's always some after the fact explanation for a disappointing showing. Last year it was Chrome's hoof in the Belmont. I'm just saying. I look forward to seeing Dortmund back in form in the Preakness. I doubt he'll beat AP though.
As much as I thought AP was a super horse coming into the derby based on how easy he made things look in the Reb and AD as well as the way he was training, I suspect something is going on with this horse health wise. We all know he runs with a plate in his left front but the way he washed out so badly going into the gate (first time I have seen that from him), the way he was whipped to oblivion coming down the stretch and then the way he jogged back to the winner circle all tell me this horse has something that he is dealing with. Coming back in two weeks will be very difficult for this horse. I don't see him improving with the short turn around. I hate to piss on anyone's party and I hope I am wrong but I would not be surprised if this horse shuts it down. We all know trainers doctor these horses up (yes even the great ones) but not sure he is fine. I did very well on the derby but will probably watch the Preakness hoping I am wrong.
  • icyhotboo · I think his problem in the KD was the extreme outside PP. If Sanford hadn't scratched and he was coming out of the #18 PP he would have had an extremely hard time establishing position like he did. This is something Victor Espinoza said. For myself it made the difference between betting and watching. · 12 hours ago
The times in the derby are a direct correlation with the track conditions. Alysheba, smarty jones, charismatic, and others all ran 2:03+. A turd like monarchos ran sub 2:00. Spectacular bid, 2:02.4. Is monarchois really a better horse than spectacular bid by 3 seconds over 1 1/4 miles? Sunday silence ran 2:05, and beat easy goer, two of the best horses ever supposedly would have gotten beat by 30 lengths by monarchos? They'll never let the track get like that again. When Monarchos threatened secretariats record, it was never going to be allowed that a horse would threaten 2:00 again. These times are simply a reflection of track conditions, not a reflection of quality of the horses involved. It was a strong field, baffert went out and did exactly what he wanted, had dortmund and AP control the pace of the race and duke it out in the last 8th. It was a perfect setup not a "slow" race time
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • Jay Harrison via Disqus · This race could of easily went in 2:01 with the fractions being what they were for the first mile of the race. The fact is they slowed considerably, which had nothing to do with track conditions IMO. · 12 hours ago
  • travel_vic · Monarchos was the 3rd fastest run of all time and his races coming in were right in the middle of the standard energy requirements to win this and the most consistently run in the last 25 runnings of that race. He was excellent, and miles above his competition. His run would have destroyed this field EASILY. Up front they went 44 4/5, 109 1/5, 1:35, finishing in 1:59.97 He was 10th at the 6f, 6th at the head of the stretch hen closed in 24 flat...HARDLY a turd...Investigate before your ignorance is exposed for what it is. · 12 hours ago
Despite the fact that he washed out, started from the 15 post and had a less than stellar ride by his Jockey, he still Won the Race. How many lengths would American Pharoah need to win the Preakness by to say, "That is a good horse?"
A rabbit....okay....Competitive Edge is no RABBIT and has just a good of chance of winning the Preakness as Firing Line or Dortmund. Now Am Pharoah is a great horse who got one of the 4 best posts in the derby, but anything can happen. That race may have taken a lot out of him. Competitive Edge is my pick to win the Preakness and Materiality is my pick to win the Belmont.
  • https://www.facebook.com/fiddl · Took the words right out of my mouth... if I had to guess now that is. A lot can happen between then and now though. Obviously need to see The Preakness and Peter Pan Stakes, and watch workouts, and see how the horses health progresses. I think it will be between Competitive Edge and AP, could go either way. But I won't snub my nose and the other contenders, this year's class is incredible... I really think Materiality or Frosted could win The Belmont. Materiality's running style is generally better in The Belmont. · 13 hours ago
Beyer speed figures are BS. Anyone who bets based on beyer speed figures will surely be a loser. Its one guys opinion of the track conditions plus some other bs formula stats. Its a terrible way to judge horses and more importantly its a terrible way to bet on them
This is anually one of my favorite races on the calendar. At one point this was looking like an absolute showdown but with the lackluster performances by Honor Code and Bayern this weekend and the injuries to Palace Malice(still may run) and Shared Belief has this race lost some of its potential luster? Thoughts?
  • Jay Harrison via Disqus · From what I read it sounds like Palace Malice is fine and that Todd even wants to get a race into him before the Met Mile, which is great news. All the big boys will show up and run their race I believe, as we all know each horse loves the track. Of course I hope Palace Malice can repeat and beat what will be another really good field. Met Mile never seems to disappoint for horse power. · 13 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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