• Tragic news - Rock Fall fatally injured working at Keeneland, via Jennie Rees.Posted 1 hour ago
  • Champion Sprinter Work All Week has been retired due to a fracture.Posted 1 day ago
  • Harmonize comes widest of all to win the Jessamine Stakes.Posted 2 days ago
  • Got Lucky gets there on the wire in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.Posted 5 days ago
  • Airoforce kicks away in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes for hot trainer Mark Casse.Posted 5 days ago
  • Ben's Duchess takes advantage of a speed duel to win the L.A. Woman.Posted 5 days ago
  • Inheritance, a $1.9 million 2yo in training purchase, broke her maiden by 13 today at Belmont.Posted 5 days ago
  • Golden Horn wins the Arc ... Treve runs well, but settles for fourth.Posted 6 days ago
  • Wild Dude earns a Breeders' Cup berth with a Santa Anita Sprint win.Posted 6 days ago
  • Grand Arch just holds off a flying The Pizza Man to win the Shadwell Turf Mile.Posted 6 days ago

HRN Original Blog:
Head Heart & Hooves


Older Comments...

Is back! He has arrived in the US and is off to fulfill quarantine requirements!
OH MY GOD!!! BREAKING NEWS: It is with great sadness and a heavy heart to report. DRF'S Marty McGee has confirmed that Rock Fall, a multiple Grade 1 winner and possibly favorite for the Breeders Cup Sprint, suffered a fatal breakdown this morning at Keeneland while working in company. He suffered a leg fracture. This is the 4th breakdown in seven days at Keeneland. Such a tragedy and condolences to the connections. Something has to change at Keeneland. This is getting ridiculous. According to DRF
Sentiero Italia / Miss Temple City / Feathered / Prize Exhibit
I like Feathered, always have. Feathered/Her Emmynency/Sentiero Italia
I will not be holding any contest this year, because I know that I will not be able to keep up with one - But sense I am a curious soul, and I do think tracking the 2 year olds' is fun - Who area couple un-raced (At this point) Two year old colts/or filly's you are interested in watching progress? (5 or fewer) Some I have my eyes on: Demonslayer -( Tale of the Cat - Impressive Miss, by Matthews Keep)Tabaddol - ( Jazil - Shawahid) Girl Talk - (Medaglia d'Oro - One Caroline) She's a Warrior- ( Majestic Warrior - Blabby B.) Battery - ( Bernardini - Flawless Diamond)
Anyone think that HC may go to the dirt mile now that there will be no hot pace in the classic?
  • Show All 3 Comments
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · I think that Honor Code's connections would be more afraid of Liam's Map in the Dirt Mile than whoever runs in the BCC. Liam's map withdrawal from the BCC almost guarantees that AP will be on the lead. But he'll have a huge target on his back. He'll get pressure all along, and won't be afforded a breather. That should set the race up nicely for a closer like Honor Code. · 2 days ago
  • Lisa111 · No, he's set for the Classic, which is where he should be. When I first heard about Liams Map going to the Dirt Mile, I must admit that my heart sank a bit for Honor Code. (And I really questioned the Pletcher/Baffert thing! But that is beside the point!) However, after looking at it from all angles, after all is said and done, Honor Code is not an 8f horse, he is an 11f horse. We have seen incredible brilliance from him at distances that were not his optimum. And I believe we have not seen the best of him yet. No one really knows how any given horse will react to any race at a new distance and this is no different with regards to Honor Code. He has the pedigree for the distance. The surface at Keeneland on Halloween weekend will dictate how any of them react to it. Liams Map would have helped a great deal and would have given Honor Code an advantage - no doubt about that. However, the caliber of this horse is up there with the best of the best. He will begin his run later than norm and others will start to lose steam earlier than norm and the best will prevail. Honor Code has the distance in his pedigree, it will be up to him and only him if he feels like running that day. I hope he does. I don't know if he will win but out of all of them he is the one I want to win. If is on fire that day, he will be running powerfully into that stretch because that is what he is made of regardless of anything else that is going on around him. I think he is spectacular. We must remember that we only can judge his past pace performances against the distances that he has already run at. He can sustain that ending pounding dive much longer than he has shown in his shorter distances. If you watch any of his replays, that horse could have kept that drive up way past the finish line. It will be harder without Liams Map, but not impossible. He has the distance in his back pocket. · 15 hours ago
The drama here after the 2015 BCC will be 10 times better than the 2014 BCC.
AP.....KI........Frosted.....these horses proved all year long that they are the cream of the crop, and they will finish in that order; AP and VE get their revenge from the Travers, and the Cup, and the glory, just like Gretzky, not like McSorely ;-)
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · these horses proved all year long that they are the cream of the crop..." Exactly... of the 2012 crop. But this race is not restricted to 3 year-olds. · 21 hours ago
  • cugel the clever · Not a chance that 3yo's will occupy all three of the top positions. · 15 hours ago
I will say AP and Beholder in a Photo, 4 lengths back Keen Ice, Tonelist and HC (if he runs) another length back to Frosted, then the rest of the scrubs. I know everyone is excited because of the top 2 entries, but the field looks week after that to me.
  • staythirtsty · WHAT THE * DID YOU SAY??? I can see why most people say American Pharoah is the best horse in the world (which means the best ever), even though he's probably not. But if you think the Whitney and Metropolitan were not sensational fields, you are CLEARLY not a horse racing fan . · 17 hours ago
  • cugel the clever · I agree with the order of finish but not your comment about the strength of the field. This is a very strong group. · 15 hours ago
Caught a glimpse of Belmont Insider, Kiaran McLaughlin tells Richard Migliore he was very proud of Ocean Knight today and said he was very pleased to see the gameness in OK. McLaughlin also made it official as long as OK comes out of the race ok, he will officially make his next start in the G3 Discovery Handicap on November 11th. Back to the stakes for Ocean Knight!!!
  • hannahWTC1 · He looked very good. That race was full of dashed Derby dreams. I believe Ocean Knight, Noble Moon, Just Call Kenny, and Face of Winner were all at one point thinking about the Derby · 16 hours ago
Ocean Knight has fight in him as shown in his stakes win through the stretch, outside all the way in that race as well and showing that same fight in this race today.
He had every right to pack it in after being wide the whole way, up close to a quick pace and showing a lot of grittiness to hold off all comers. To do what he did second off the layoff, against older is pretty awesome.
  • Jbyrnes1 · He's a good horse, I think he can win alot of races if he shows that heart every time. I love this guy!!! · 17 hours ago
Beholder, by a length. That girl is ready to beat the boys.
  • staythirtsty · The only 5 Million Dollar field horse she's ever beat was Princess of Sylmar (and maybe Close Hatches. ) Every horse in this field has won in better competition than her this year (except maybe Gleneagles ) · 17 hours ago
Covering several conversations here: 1. I can't believe people are calling the 2009 classic a weak field. I was there as Zenyatta came from far back and won going away against a very accomplished horse,Gio Ponti , who came in 2nd, as well as other highly regarded horses. You must not have seen the race to rip her on that. (Go watch it on Utube) 2. As for Beholder, I think she is the one to beat in the classic. She is tremendous & best filly since Big Z. 3. Saying the 3 year old races have the best horses is just not the case. They are the most hyped, but the older horses are the most accomplished. 4. On another topic, RA had one good year. Big Z had four or five. 5. And, finally, those best able to judge horses' abilities are the jockeys and when Mike Smith (Zenyatta) and Gary Stevens (Beholder) says those two are the best they've ridden, that's far more meaningful than what anyone is writing on this blog. Go Beholder!
  • Ferrisjso26 · Well no BCC is a weak field it's the year end championship. In the context of other recent BCC's however the 2009 one was weak. That just happened not to be the strongest year. The problem with Zenyatta was that while going unbeaten against really poor competition she was 1-1 against middle of the road to weak BCC fields. RA by comparison might have faced that same weak group but won against older males three times in addition to two thirds of the Triple Tiara. No ones disputing Zenyatta Is a great horse she's just extremely overrated (because people put her in the same sentence as Secretariat and Citation. In regards to three year old racing there's a reason it has the most hype and has had the most hype for centuries now . Horses aren't fully developed at 3 so the best horse doesn't always win some horses are early bloomers some are late. By age 4 minus handicap weights the best horse usually wins barring outside factors like a bad ride. It's a nice supplement for three year old racing but I'd rather have a three year old who retired than a four year old who missed their three year old campaign. Zenyatta while the best horse in all of her fields save one never did race at age 3. So yeh i'll take RA's really good year at 3 over Zenyatta's 3 or 4. In regards to Stevens and Smith yeh Zenyatta and Beholder might be the best horses those two rode? That doesn't change Zenyatta all time legacy and besides Jockey's are well known for not being the best analysts many times. For example I read somewhere on here VE said he thinks AP could have won if he'd set an even faster middle pace in the Travers! · 19 hours ago
  • triple_double · I totally agree Angie, Beholder is the horse to beat in the BCC. If her odss are @ 3-1 or 5-2, it will be a gift. GO BEHOLDER. · 17 hours ago
YES!!! WOW!!! Very Game!!! All heart!! 22 and 4, 45 flat, up on the pace and gets the job done, he's a fighter!! Awesome!!!
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  • reshuffler · Makes me very very happy! So glad to see him win! I can see him winning a grade one in the very near future. He is by far one of my favorite horses. · 18 hours ago
  • jockey2be. · YAY!!!Just got done with school and this was great news to come back to!!!BAM!!!OK is back! · 18 hours ago
2009 - She Digs Me (GSW) 2010 - Mylute (MGSP) 2011 - Springsteen Road (W) 2012 - Wine Train 2013 - Stageplay (runs tomorrow) 2014 - Unbridled's Song Colt 2015 - Midnight Lute ? 2016 - Candy Ride ?
After seeing Brody's Cause closing the Futurity and the way Keen Ice closing the Travers, maybe Dale Romans had found the magic button with his closers. Expect Keen Ice to be in top form heading into the BCC.
Since Keeneland is this year's host, it might be that several eventual winners might not have any Keeneland experience, since the spring and fall meet are, basically, about a month long. My question to the Horse Racing Nation staff, or readers, is there possibly one Breeders' Cup that stands out, that had the most winners that had no previous experience over the host track? I seem to have recalled, maybe, Santa Anita, that had no California winners? Maybe the year of Arcangues, Mucho Macho Man, or Fort Larned? Anyhow, I thought of this angle, as I try and prepare for the upcoming BC. Wondering if there would be any angle to those that chose not to ever try an out over the host track?
Does anyone know if she'll be in the Juvenile Fillies Turf? I'm looking forward to seeing her race there but she hasn't had a workout since before the Nunthorpe...
I'll be betting on Imflatousweet, Mirage and Optimism and Hope
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Meet Alex Fawell 

Unlike many, I did not grow up with horseracing. My first time at the races was the 2008 Kentucky Derby. I bet on Colonel John. That fall, I had the good fortune to go to England, where I visited Ascot and Kempton. When I returned to the U.S., I was hooked. I started reading handicapping books, studying historic sire lines, watching races and going to Portland Meadows regularly. While the purses there were small, I was able to be close to the action and see firsthand the day-to-day operations of an average American racetrack.


Last year I moved home to Chicago. I went to Arlington for the first time this year. In the interim, I have devoted my time to understanding all aspects of horseracing  I hope to provide unique isights on handicapping perspectives and multifaceted analyses on the state of horseracing today. I will strive to write with an open mind and a willingness to learn through the writing process. I will not claim to be an expert, but I will read thoroughly, write carefully, and be honest.


To me, the all-time greats are Kelso, John Henry, Round Table and Yeats. Horses I like because they have won me money include Raven's Pass, Alternation, and I'll Have Another. The greatest horse I have even seen live is Zenyatta. I also enjoy the Bears, the Bulls, the White Sox, the Blackhawks, Mexican food, good Bourbon, and old-time music - specifically that played on the 5-string banjo. Thanks for reading!

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