• Harmonize comes widest of all to win the Jessamine Stakes.Posted 55 minutes ago
  • Got Lucky gets there on the wire in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland.Posted 2 days ago
  • Airoforce kicks away in the Dixiana Bourbon Stakes for hot trainer Mark Casse.Posted 3 days ago
  • Ben's Duchess takes advantage of a speed duel to win the L.A. Woman.Posted 3 days ago
  • Inheritance, a $1.9 million 2yo in training purchase, broke her maiden by 13 today at Belmont.Posted 3 days ago
  • Golden Horn wins the Arc ... Treve runs well, but settles for fourth.Posted 3 days ago
  • Wild Dude earns a Breeders' Cup berth with a Santa Anita Sprint win.Posted 3 days ago
  • Grand Arch just holds off a flying The Pizza Man to win the Shadwell Turf Mile.Posted 3 days ago
  • He repeats -- It's all Tonalist in a sloppy Jockey Club Gold Cup.Posted 4 days ago
  • Brody's Cause flies home to win the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity.Posted 4 days ago

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http://espn.go.com/horse-racing/story/_/id/13775579/beholder-one-beat-classic Bill Finley's latest column suggests that Beholder is the horse to beat going into the Breeders Cup Classic. I take issue with this and some of the points he makes. It is funny its premise is about Beholder, but American Pharoah takes center stage. 1. American Pharoah enters the race coming off a loss. So? Granted no one likes to lose a race, but American Pharoah is an intelligent enough horse that I cannot imagine that his ego is so bruised that he would shudder to take on not only three year olds, but older horses as well. Also, it is interesting that he suggests that Baffert had planned on racing him in the interim and would have plotted another prep had he won. Win or lose, the race would have taken the same amount out of him, so if he had been ready for that prep with a win, he certainly would have been ready for it with a loss. Heck, maybe he would have had to exert himself even more to get a win and the loss took less out of him. 2. American Pharoah's first start against older horses in BC Classic. Last year was Bayern's first start against older horses. How did that work out? A horse that keeps racing into the fall and is competitive has to face elders at one time or another. That is a fact. For a less intelligent and talented horse that might prove an issue, but I think its a no brainer for American Pharoah. Bob Baffert has a talented enough barn that if anyone can get a horse physically and psychologically fit for a race, it is him. Perhaps the older horses should be the ones bringing their "A" game. They will be giving weight to American Pharoah and this is the first time any of them will be facing a Treiple Crown champion. That fact that 1/3 of the BC Classics have been one by three year olds is a positive. American Pharoah is not just any three year old. 3. Beholder is heading into the BC Classic as well as she can with one of the best performances by a thoroughbred in decades. Huh? Best performance in decades? Ghostzapper looked pretty good in 2004 off lights out wins in the Iselin and Woodward Stakes recording some of the top speed figures ever recorded by a thoroughbred. That's 11 years ago. Cigar had a pretty good performance too and that was 20 years ago in the Pacific Classic, unlike Beholder, against top horses Best Pal, Tinner's Way, Urgent Request, and Concern. Zenyatta's BC Classic I would rank superior to Beholder's effort. While it was not as visually impressive as what Beholder did, Zenyatta BC Classic was against a much better field of horses. One can argue that even Rachel Alexandra's Woodward was a better performance. And then there is that of a Triple Crown winner winning the Belmont Stakes, and coming back to win the Haskell, which are two top performances in just this year. What about Honor Code's Met Mile and Whitney, another top two performances this year and those were against top competition, arguably the best fields assembled so far in open company races. What about Lady Eli's Belmont Oaks performance. So there we have at least 5 other performances just this year which Beholder's Pacific Classic win might not be superior to, and yet there is the hyperbole to suggest that its one of the best performances by a thoroughbred in decades? I was incredibly impressed with her performance. It was electric, but we need to get some perspective. There is no doubt that Beholder is heading into the race in good form, but she has never won away from home and never faced the quality of horses that she will face in the BC Classic before. To me that spell a big problem for her, but I like her and will be cheering for her to do well. What do you think?
Big news and idiotic decision by Pletcher. Liam's Map had a real chance to win the BCC.... better chance than any other runner. No other horse would have gone with him on the lead and he could have wired the field. Cowardly decision to go after the lesser purse. This moves AP's chances way up and Honor Code's chances way down. AP now will probably have a good chance to settle into his "cruising mode" on the lead and it's doubtful that anyone will have enough closing kick to get past him at the wire.
Retired From Racing
Liam's Map is running in the Dirt Mile. Things look very very good for AP now. AP will in all likelihood be able to set his own pace and I don't there's a horse in this race that can catch him in the stretch if he does this. Frosted, Tonalist and HC will no doubt give chase but I think AP wins.
Liams Map isn't running in the Classic. There will barring a horse going rouge like Frosted in the Travers no fast pace. This increases AP's chances of winning dramatically (and Beholder's a little too I guess) and makes this race a nightmare for the small army of closers that will probably be chasing them.
Check out this article on DRF plus about Ocean Knight, he is using the allowance race he's entered in on Friday as a possible prep for the G3 Discovery Handicap at Aqueduct in November. Kiaran McLaughlin says he was pleased with his run in his first start off a five month layoff in August, saying that race was used to get the rust off of him, and he expects OK to run alot better next out. Also, McLaughlin says he hopes OK can finish the year strong with hopes of having a big four year old campaign. Article on http://www.drf.com/news/preview/ocean-knight-prepping-discovery
American Pharoah will be lone speed for the first 6F and then Beholder will loom up on his outside and the race will be on from there with the 2nd flight of closers in pursuit.
DRF is reporting that LM will head to the Dirt Mile and Private Zone to the Sprint. Castellano is currently doing handsprings.
Union Jackson has been entered in a 6F maiden special weight Saturday at Keeneland, race 5, Ricardo Santana Jr will ride.
If i am Baffert and Zayat,i am chomping at the bit as to the prjected field tat is lining up for this years Classic.Look at the field closely and you will see one glaring thing. There are only 2 legitimate pace horses in the projected field. That would be A.P. and Liam's Map. For some unknown reason to me,fans of Honor Code are all excited in that he will get a pace to run at. Neither of these 2 horses is a runawaway freak. Both have run very fast in the early stages of their prior races. But they have also been relaxed when doing so. Long as you can get a horse to relax,there is no reason for them to get away from the jock. One can never say never,but in most cases , more than 2 horses are needed to establish a suicidal speed duel in a top caliber race like this one. Liam and A.P are quality racehorse,they go fast early because they are fast horses. By that i mean ,they have the ability to run a full race and can maintain speed throughout. More than likely Liam will be setting the fractions. He will probably go in 23 and have a length lead on A.P.. Unless some jock is auditioning for the lead role in an upcoming "Ben Hur" movie. He will probably back it down to .47 ,with minimal pressure. This should be music to Bafferts ears. Not because he does not think that Liam is not a horse of quality,or that he can't get the distance. But because he knows how good his horse is,and under that scenerio. There isn't a horse in the World that will run him down. So all of those that are looking for a pace meltdown. Try watching the BC Sprint.
  • triple_double · Mr Mallios, sorry to disagree with your assessment of the BCC, but it is Beholder, not Liam's Map that the Bafferts & the Zayats have to fear most. I see this race being pace by LM, with AP & Beholder within 2 lengths of the lead. By the 1 mile post, both AP & Beholder will make their moves & fight it out for the lead & leave Liam's behind. In the end, it was Beholder's maturity & heart that will prevail over AP. · 18 hours ago
BREAKING NEWS: Rene Douglas, co owner of Private Zone, tells DRF's Mike Welsch that after briefly toying with the notion of running Private Zone in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, his connections have now all but decided on running the four-time Grade 1 winner in the Sprint, in which he is expected to be favored over Rock Fall and Runhappy. Douglas says that the purse of the race and the fact that he is better sprinting went into the decision. Article on DRF
BREAKING NEWS: Todd Pletcher tells DRF'S Jay Privman tuat Liam's Map is pointing to the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile as a opposed to the Breeders Cup Classic, saying he believes with the speed LM has, he doesn't think 10 furlongs would be up his wheelhouse, according to DRF
Anyone else find it interesting that Castellano rode Liam's Map in his workout the other day at Keeneland? Dirt mile?
  • BeastBob via Disqus · That's because he's one of Pletcher's regular jockeys. · 23 hours ago
  • Blueyedhusky via Disqus · If Liam's Map had no shot, Todd would tell Javier: "Oye, no te preocupes y anda monta a Honor Code o Keen Ice." But what he's most likely to say is: "Mira pendejo, si montas a otro caballo, conmigo te jodes." · 18 hours ago
Liam's Map will be pointing to the Dirt Mile, according to Pletcher and owners. Pletcher said if the Classic was 9F it would be a no brainer, but at 10F it's a different story.
Travers was an interesting race. I like AP since I saw his 2yo debute. Always bet against him to win money in my exotics. Finally beat him with Keen. Traverse surprisingly was very slow 24/48 and still AP was beat by a deep closer. I think he finally bounced. Had a long tough season and finally had his bad day. tmallios never mentioned Beholder. I think the mare Beholder is Baffert's worry. And again looking for speed look at Smooth Roller. Just about wired the Awsome Again and spanked Bayern. Keen Ice could be even better this trip. AP might still have another bad day but with Beholder they take most of the money at the window. Looking for a big superfecta payout here. Very anxious to see the ML.
I say he will finish no better then 4th.
Despite what Shug is saying, I think HC will opt for the BCDM. He has a better shot at winning that race than the BCC. If he does win the BCDM, he stands a better chance at getting the Eclipse Award for older male than he would if he lost the BCC. A BC win is a BC win. If LM wins the BCC, HC would have three G1's to LM's two, and he beat LM in the Whitney. But if he loses to LM in the BCC, then LM get's the Eclipse Award.
  • ruffianlover · I don't even understand how you could comprehend that- especially after he just LOST the Kelso at a mile because he was getting going too late. How can a mile be better suited for a horse who doesn't even start running until half of the race is over? · 7 hours ago
If it rains, I wish I could play 1,000,000 exacta box American pharoah with tonalist!!!!
Wow! Lots of heat in here.
Been posting on what we know now and I hope she runs the BCC as suggested. Only the trainers really know if she is up for it but since her recovery she seems to be a super horse. The way she ran past the field of boys in the last turn in the Pacific Classic together with the rest of her 2015 tour I don't think it is even a question she runs away with It. Jock might have to use his whip this time but that is my prediction.

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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, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. 

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 consults for Derby Wars, is on the the Board of Directors of ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
A graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.  

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