• Nyquist will get in his final Kentucky Derby workout Friday afternoon at Keeneland.Posted 3 days ago
  • Time and Motion wins the Memories of Silver for Jimmy Toner.Posted 4 days ago
  • Finest City sets new track record in Great Lady M.Posted 5 days ago
  • Stanford finds his way back to the winner's circle in the Charles Town Classic.Posted 5 days ago
  • Rose Brier sets new course record in the Henry S. Clark.Posted 5 days ago
  • Da Big Hoss lives up to his name with the Dixiana Elkhorn win.Posted 5 days ago
  • Raging Smoke leads all the way in the Sugar Maple.Posted 5 days ago
  • Highland Sky flies home to Woodhaven victory.Posted 5 days ago
  • Brooklynsway upsets I'm A Chatterbox in the Doubledogdare at 25-1.Posted 6 days ago
  • Cupid has been removed from consideration from the Kentucky Derby; Mo Tom is now in.Posted 10 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
Toasting with Andrew Champagne


Older Comments...

My picks: 1st-Minding 2nd-Lumiere 3rd-Nathra 4th-Ballydoyle or Alice Springs.
My picks: 1st-Air Force Blue 2nd-Stormy Antarctic 3rd-Galileo Gold 4th-Marcel.
At Kentucky Derby, the playing of 'My Old Kentucky Home' almost can upstage the race The Kentucky Derby is the "greatest two minutes in sports." The playing of My Old Kentucky Home is the mushiest. At Kentucky Derby, the playing of 'My Old Kentucky Home' almost can upstage the race photo The pomp and song are almost more important than the race... almost. Whether you're a devoted horse fan or one whose knowledge of horses barely extends beyond The Godfather, chances are you're not only aware that the song is performed just before the world's most prestigious horse race, but odds are you've gotten choked up over it, for reasons difficult to explain. Other sporting events have songs. The Indy 500 has Back Home Again in Indiana and New York Yankees games have Frank Sinatra's theme from New York, New York. But do either shine as bright as My Old Kentucky Home? "That two or three minutes is always the signature thing that happens prior to the race itself and almost upstages the race, frankly," says trainer D. Wayne Lukas, a four-time winner. Tom Hammond once again will serve as host for NBC's telecast, which most certainly will include the playing of the song. As a Kentuckian, Hammond is grateful for one thing: "Luckily, I don't have to say anything at that time, because it might a little rough." The rendition of the song by the University of Louisville band will take precisely 1 minute, 40 seconds. That time is so mesmerizing that even bettors forget their priorities. "You want to know what a great moment it is?" says John Asher, Churchill Downs' vice president of racing communications. "If you don't feel like you have to enjoy every second of it, walk back to the mutuel lines. See how many people are standing in line. There's nobody." Suggests Mike Pegram, owner of Saturday's favorite, Lookin At Lucky: "Hey, there ain't nobody in the restroom when they play it." Nobody is certain how long this has been going on (the playing of the song at the Derby, not the suspension of restroom activity). It is believed to trace back to 1921, the 47th Derby. Since 1936, with few exceptions, the University of Louisville band has done the honors. A few renditions stand out: 1996: The late Dixie Carter sang, and though she did well, Asher says, "You're not looking for somebody to lead you in the song." Circa 2005: An equipment malfunction KOs portions of the track's sound system. In the paddock, Asher says, "We all looked around. I heard people saying, 'Where's the song?!' " The original rendition: Stephen M. Foster, who died a pauper at age 37 in 1864, wrote the song in the 1850s. Portions of the original lyrics, particularly the final verse, which isn't played at the Derby, deal with slavery and contain references considered racist today. (portion deleted by poster) Saturday's rendition promises to be memorable. Patrick Henry Hughes, a senior trumpet player in Louisville's band, will perform the song for the final time. Hughes was born without eyes or the ability to fully straighten his arms or legs, confining him to a wheelchair. Yet he became an honor student who has received only six Bs in his life. He also has appeared on Oprah, toured the world as a motivational speaker and written a book, I Am Potential. It's a trying time for jockeys. Hammond relates a story from his colleague, ex-jockey Gary Stevens: "He said the first time he was coming down the escalator from the jockeys' room to ride in his first Derby, Bill Shoemaker is behind him, put his hand on his shoulder and said, 'Kid, you're about to get a tear in your eye.' " Says Garrett Gomez, who will ride Lookin At Lucky: "Vibes go down your spine." Pegram, who won the '98 Derby with Real Quiet, offers a challenge. "Tell them one year to skip it," he says. "They'd get slaughtered. The people would want their money back. There will be people who will forget who won the race, but they won't forget if they don't play My Old Kentucky Home." Why? It's the mo
From today's Racing Post web-site: Bow Creek, who represents Godolphin's Australian division as 1 of 2 runners for the operation in Sunday's G1 Champions Mile, will fly from Hong Kong back to the UK the following day along with the Charlie Appleby trained Safety Check, but is expected to bypass an entry in the G1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal-Ascot in June. Henry Plumptre, who manages Godolpin's Australian interest said "Bow Creek will spend the summer in Newmarket and may have 1 or 2 races before he returns to trainer John O'Shea in Australia in September, but Royal-Ascot is not on the schedule at the moment."
Has a filly out of Ghostzapper
Finally TCL finally has a colt again! War Front is the sire
From today's Racing Post web-site: Originally intended to race on this season as a 4YO, multiple G1 winning filly, Legatissimo, has been retired after suffering a setback according to her trainer David Wachman. As yet, no official explanation was given as to what the career ending setback was?
Hard to realistically classify this one against the rest of the Derby field until the pace numbers at the 9 furlong plateau are available. May be competitive, who knows as of yet?
This horse beat horses who beat him in the Rebel in a bad time. Creator is just a typical mediocre major Derby prep winner IMO.
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • Chicken Dinner via Disqus · As you know, 3 year olds improve in leaps and bounds. This one is headed in the right direction imo...whether or not he remains eligible for a win in the derby remains up to each handicapper to decide. I would not say he's going to win but he is a contender to hit the board for sure. · 9 days ago
  • Mark Kennedy via Disqus · Win lose or draw. As long as a three yr old continues to improve that's about all u can ask for · 15 hours ago
Well, really like this horse and love the forward move he made in Arkansas, that said he would have to continue to improve to compete with Nyquist.
  • travel_vic · Winners OFTEN come from a group that get really good, really quickly (Charismatic, War Emblem, Lil ET etc.) · 3 hours ago
In my observation of the Arkansas Derby, it really didn't have any proven quality G1 or G2 horses in the line up. Therefore, it is hard to consider him a treat to Win against the quality that he will face in the Derby and coming from that far back will be a tough test in such a big field. However, as long shot closer, he may have a slight chance of finishing in the money.
  • coyne.kaylor · There are hardly any Grade 1 races up to that point for a young horse. There are probably about 5 grade 1's on turf or dirt that I can even think of before the 100 PT preps, 4 on dirt... Do you know how many of the 100pt prep winners beat a field that contained a single Grade 1 winner? Zero. · 5 hours ago
The only guaranteed winner of this year's DERBY will be... THE FANS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Check out this field of 14 for Golden Gate race 8 on Saturday. Thank you, whoever posted the entries.
  • Sammie Buck via Disqus · "my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet 98$/hr".....!cc222c
    two days ago grey MacLaren P1 I bought after earning 18,512 DoIIars..it was my previous month's payout..just a little over.17k DoIIars Last month..3-5 hours job a day...with weekly payouts..it's realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over. hourly 87 DoIIars...
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    · 1 day ago
  • MaryZinke via Disqus · Paladin, Thank you. · 10 hours ago
Thank You MaryZinke - My question is not a fake = I really wasn't sure which way to bet- as I mention I am first time to bet- I also trusted this site so thats why I posted here - I also was just looking to see who this horse was that folks were talking so much about- a person I know was a jockey and said he quit riding in 93 as the horse tripped- I actually deleted my comment but then i saw that my question got answered - Have a great evening and best wishes
Since she's supposed to debut this summer, could it be she could start at Del Mar? Oh, I hope so!!
Had an Awesome Again filly in 2016 and will be bred to Uptowncharlybrown for 2017.
A client tried to talk to me about horse racing today. She said 'I think I'm going to go with that good horse NyQuil' My face............. -_-
BREAKING NEWS : Jerry Hollendorfer announces that champion Songbird will return to training on Sunday, her fever is all better and she will be ready to go in a little while. No timetable when she will race again.
I'm trying to add his Woodhaven stakes win to his results, but the Woodhaven is not in the stakes list. Can someone add it?
I do believe he is feeling good. Hope he can make Nyquist earn those roses on Derby Day! Got a good feeling he is going to surprise some folks

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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