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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Lessons Larned

It wasn’t long ago that I wrote an article on Fort Larned titled I was slow to believe in Fort Larned. Yesterday, I believed in him, along with a few others, and watched with little surprise as the four-year-old son of E Dubai made a decisive burst as the field turned for home and effectively ended any suspense in the most important race run so far at Saratoga this year.
 
Trained by Ian Wilkes and perfectly ridden by Brian Hernandez, Fort Larned cruised home over the late running, Bill Mott duo of Ron the Greek and Flat Out to win by an impressive length-and-a-quarter in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap. What did surprise me was that he went off at a meaty 7-1 on the toteboard yesterday, but I guess not everyone believed in him before the big race at Saratoga. Just over a minute and forty seven seconds after the start, I imagine he earned a few more believers.
 
I don’t care that he was far from a world beater last year, or that this was his first win in New York, and he has never run in California. I don’t even care that yesterday was his first grade 1 victory of his career. What I am interested in is that this horse has become one of the best horses in American racing.
 
He has already won four stakes this year, and after the Whitney, now has four Beyer speed figures of 108 or more in his last five races. If the pace is fast, the Janis Whitham owned colt can sit off the early lead and pounce, as he did yesterday, and if it is not, he can take to the front and lead the field on a merry chase as he did the start before in his win in the Cornhusker Handicap. And if you still don’t believe, take one more look at yesterday’s race …
 
 

 

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Older Comments about Lessons Larned...

In his Praire Meadows race he ran his last 3f. in a smokin 35.1/5 seconds, yes the pace was slow but that is one of the fastest splits i have ever seen. Only Mineshaft's 34.7 was faster and that was a one turn Belmont romp.
He is a nice horse though juust so I didn't give the wrong impression. He looked like he had a lot more in the tank to me to get anothe 1/8. Congrats to all who had him.
I didn't like his PP outside of Trick n Dominguez, I thought he would be floated out by Dominiguez on the first turn but he got the perfect trip and a great ride.
ZATT's Star of the Week, is ... Fort Larned!
Well said, Zip. I, too, was one of his backers yesterday, and it surely paid off. At one point with roughly 15 MTP, Fort Larned was 15-1 on the tote. I was blown away that bettors gave him so little credit. His performance was a brilliant one. Having said that, I have to say I have my reservations about his ability to get an extra furlong in the Classic, even on the drag strip at Santa Anita. The speeds that will show up for that one will last longer than Trickmeister and Endorsement, namely Game On Dude. I'll worry about that in a couple months. Until then, Fort Larned has proven himself to be a top 5 horse in the country.
He got the jump on the Mott runners and kept on going. BSF of 110 is a big wow!
He was my choice, can't argue with 3, now 4 108+ Beyers. He brings his A game almost every time.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing since birth. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 
  
As Managing Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Brian also serves on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
  
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives in Suburban Chicago with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra, where he is a professional golf instructor when he is not following the horses.