• Far From Over is injured and off the Kentucky Derby trail, according to owner, James Covello.Posted 1 day ago
  • Materiality turns away the challenge of Upstart to win the Florida Derby.Posted 4 days ago
  • International Star reels in Stanford late to win the Louisiana Derby.Posted 4 days ago
  • I'm A Chatterbox sweeps the 3yo filly stakes at Fair Grounds with today's win in the Oaks.Posted 4 days ago
  • I'm A Chatterbox sweeps the 3yo filly stakes at Fair Grounds with today's win in the Oaks.Posted 4 days ago
  • Pants On Fire guts out a win in the Sir Shackleton.Posted 4 days ago
  • War Correspondent rolls late to win the Appleton.Posted 4 days ago
  • Prince Bishop wins the world's richest race; California Chrome 2nd.Posted 4 days ago
  • Dolniya dominates the boys in the Dubai Sheema ClassicPosted 4 days ago
  • Solow defeats The Grey Gatsby in the $6,000,000 Dubai TurfPosted 4 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne


Older Comments...

QUOTE: Either way, I totally agree. Time is not unimportant in this endeavor, but when it comes to the FD, for ex, it is so far out-of-whack that the times are essentially irrelevant to any kind of future event, like the KD. Pssst Don't tell the connections of Northern Dancer, Alydar, Bid, Needles, Empire Maker, Barbaro, Orb, Big Brown, Nashua, Honest Pleasure, Forward Pass, Swale, Unbridled, Carry Back, Candy Spots, Tim Tam, Thunder Gulch, Monarchos...who all did well that first Saturday in May and IN the FLA Derby!
  • DavidBenning · No doubt, my point in that particular quote was in response to what I have been seeing all over the internet which is that the FD was so slow that its runners can be tossed from consideration. I don't agree with that. When I later knocked the FD as a "glib surface" historically, I was 100% wrong, which I acknowledged in a later post below. One of the reasons speed figures changed the whole nature of understanding handicapping principles is because it put final time, etc. in a context that went beyond the actual times, creating a conduit from one surface to another, which was always a handicapping barrier. The FD came back "fast" even though it was the "slowest" in 40 years or something. · 2 days ago
  • Lorelord via Disqus · Oh the times are absolutely relevant. If the splits are slow and speed horse wins, it means you can't throw him out since nobody challenged and made him show his best but you can probably toss many of the others, but conversely if the speed horses fades, it definitely means you can toss him and then you have to factor how impressive the closing splits were on all the others... Bottom line is if the splits are slow and the speed won toss everything but the speed, but if the splits are slow and closers are winning you probably had an incredibly weak field and should dump the whole lot (though I'm sure there's been an exception or two in history). · 9 minutes ago
At least there's some speed signed on in Bridget's Big Luvy. Shouldn't matter to American Pharoah though should be able to put Luvy away early. Might help the closers a bit.
Loved his comeback in the Tampa Bay Derby! Thought it was the most impressive prep race outside of CA.. Not sure about the Bluegrass, but all Winstar does is win, win, win, so I better give them the benefit of the doubt? This year I'll be sharing my Derby picks, and trifectas with a few, see my American Pharoah comments!
  • Lorelord via Disqus · Most impressive prep race outside of CA with absolutely no derby potentials, much less contenders, except for Carpe Diem himself... I'd be far from smitten with him, but the Bluegrass will tell us more. · 22 minutes ago
Half sis silent sighs won the Santa Anita oaks
According to the statement released today by Perry Martin regarding California Chrome being sent to Europe. Martin goes on to say that he absolutely regrets sending CC to run in the San Antonio in February. "Both Art and Steve wanted to prep in the San Antonio against Shared Belief. The argument was that the matchup was good for racing. I did not want to disappoint them so abstained. This was an emotional decision and it was wrong." I do not believe that this trip [to Britain] is a mistake, however I freely admit I have made one mistake in the management of Chrome. I wanted to travel to Dubai early and prep in one of the [Al Maktoum] Challenge races there. This is a proven formula that allows the horse more time to recover from the long trip and gives him the benefit of a race over the surface." So long story short, he's very upset Chrome raced in the San Antonio and he believes that race was one of the reasons California Chrome did not win the Dubai World Cup. Article on racingpost.com
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • jay.harrison.52035772 · Coming from him, it's your typical hindsight is 20/20 deal. Naturally has all the answers. Quoting Mike Tyson: Everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the mouth. And unfortunately for California Chrome, Martin has the plan until Chrome takes a huge punch from his competition at Ascot. People are saying no big deal if Chrome loses, just bring him back and he'll be like his old self. Perry is not thinking this way in the least. · 6 hours ago
  • amdaman via Disqus · The same proven formula that all other American horses have used to win the DWC, right? So now he'll be getting a prep in Newbury before Ascot. I wonder what his excuse will be this time around. Sherman publicly questioning Martin's decision to go to the UK, Martin publicly blaming Sherman and Coburn for the loss in the DWC, that doesn't sound too good. It seems Martin is pulling rank. · 5 hours ago
I really like She's a big winner. I am not sure how she'll take to the dirt, but I'll be rooting for her.
Dortmund has the rail in the Santa Anita. We'll see if the extra distance helps Prospect Park who looked to be closing well in the San Felipe.
top of his game.really looking foward to the met mile! bayern should race that one.like to see a little payback.
really like Bolo with M. Smith back as his jockey
Looking forward to seeing this tiz shea d run.Love to see a horse that i put my hands on at the sale do well.
No some very good HORSES were in his barn and he kept them healthy. Any good journeyman trainer, given the same level of horse, could have exactly the same result. There are dozens and dozens of trainers toiling on the back side who have horsemanship skills easily on par with the top statistical ones, they just never get the horse quality. Horses make trainers not the other way around.
Stellar wind
Call me crazy- but I like Singing Kitty here a little bit (to at least hit the board?). Tough field. Some good fillies in this one.
nice ride joe ..go back to the west coast
  • Deano · Joe wasn't the problem, War Story always makes a good move but refuses to pass horses in deep stretch. I've been pulling for him and every time no matter who rides him he gets to or near the lead and flattens out. One time is O.K, but three times in a row is a disturbing pattern. He doesn't have the killer instinct you need to win a Derby. You have to be able to pass alot of horses down the lane to win the big one. War Story has not improved in that area in his last 3 attempts. Wish he did, but the proof he's not improving is evident. · 9 hours ago
Those were Wise Times indeed!
When Phil Gleaves was on his game he was one of the top 10 trainers in the USA. His horses ran for him.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cELYu5bpgRk Not sure if this was already posted, but quite the fall for the jockey. He walked off course.
East Hall possible for Excelsior (GIII) at Aquaduct Apr. 25th, will have to see how he is in a week or so.
Initially i was looking to bet the Wise Guy Horse,and take a shot with Tencendur. I am not getting rid of him that fast, he will be used in my horizontals. But after seeing the field for the Wood Memorial, i am changing my approach . Frosted is looking like more and more the right horse to beat,even with Rosario on his back. In taking a closer look at his 2 races in Florida, only the Fountain of Youth was out of charecter. But he had a major excuse in that race.As it turns out,the track was very tiring on the horses that weekend. Frosted made a big move on the front end,and just got tired running on the wrong part of the track. In the Wood ,unless Chuckie goes after Daredevil. Frosted should be sitting right off him in pedestrian fractions. Just a matter of how good the "Devil " is. We know one thing,he is a very fast horse.To those that believe in the old Adage ,horses for courses. Frosted arguably ran his 2 best races over the Aqueduct Main Track. He broke his Maiden by running a hole in the wind speed figure. Then was as good and as game as they come,running the entire race against the most pronounced inside bias at Aq. over the past 3 years. Kiaran had a rough go at it in the Sunshine State and the Bayou. Nothing like Home Cooking in this race.

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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