• La Coronel (5-1) leads them all the way in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.Posted 2 days ago
  • Rubilinda (6-5) finds the wire just in time to take the Pebbles Stakes.Posted 2 days ago
  • Engage (1-2) rolls home from last to win the Grade 3 Futurity Stakes.Posted 2 days ago
  • Bolt d'Oro is the 12-1 favorite in the current Las Vegas line for Kentucky Derby 2018.Posted 5 days ago
  • Romantic Vision (6-1) takes the sloppy Spinster (G1) at Keeneland.Posted 8 days ago
  • Unique Bella (1-5) returns with a clear victory in the L. A. Woman (G3) at Santa Anita.Posted 8 days ago
  • Flameaway (5-1) wins a three-horse photo finish in the Dixiana Bourbon (G3) at a wet Keeneland.Posted 8 days ago
  • War Flag (9-1) wins the stretch battle in Belmont's Flower Bowl (G1).Posted 8 days ago
  • Separationofpowers (9-5) impresses in the Frizette at Belmont Park.Posted 8 days ago
  • Roy H (4-5) lives up to favoritism in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.Posted 9 days ago
HRN Original Blog:
Race Talk with the Girl Next Door

Random Thoughts

This week I thought I would try something different and ‘dial in’ with a few random thoughts that I have so buckle up and enjoy the roller coaster ride.
Since I went through my Derby list last week I want to start it off on a good note, Julien Leparoux. This is an A+ jockey. We hear his name repeatedly, picking up a few Eclipse Awards, riding titles and Breeder’s Cups. We have not had the pleasure of hearing his name after the words “Derby winning jockey” though. This year may change that all. Leparoux, as far as I can see, is in a perfect spot. He is the man aboard Kathmanblu and Dialed In. This means he has the potential to win not only the Kentucky Oaks but the Derby as well. I know that Uncle Mo is the favorite, but don’t forget what an impressive 3-year old Dialed In is turning out to be. He was undefeated up until last week and even his loss helped the horse. We all know that Dialed In needs a better pace and Uncle Mo will provide that; not to mention the fact that Dialed In was able to get those ‘two turns’ in, making his next start more familiar to him. Kathmanblu is just a force to be reckoned with and I am not sure if any filly out there will catch her. I am not saying that she is going to win by 19 ½ lengths the way Rachel did, but the way I figure “catch her if you can”!
Next up, I wanted to comment on the John Velazquez accusations. I remember standing there, at the Breeders Cup and watching Life at Ten NOT cross the finish line first. I kept wondering if something had happened, but I wasn’t sure because it was freezing and the large crowd of people made it almost impossible to see. I followed the incident closely the days after and when I returned to sunny Florida after leaving Kentucky, I watched the taped races to see what all the fuss was about. Shortly before the Lady’s Classic, Johnny V was on talking about how Life at Ten was not warming up like normal, I witnessed as the station notified the stewards and so forth. I am not a lawyer or have anything to do with the law and to tell the truth, I don’t know the charges brought up against Velazquez. That is what I don’t know, now on to what I know. I know that John Velazquez is one of the greatest riders of our time, always classy, always talking to the media if asked and a spokesman for the Jockey’s Guild. I know that he has crossed the finish line first many times in his career. He has won riding titles, awards, George Woolf Awards and the respect of his peers and the respect of the horse lovers that put him aboard their beloved horses. I do know that the report keeps mentioning that he did not notify the vets, but I also know that he told the millions of people that were watching the race. Doesn’t seem to me that he was hiding anything. I don’t know how things are going to go for Johnny V, but I support him and the decisions that he made.
Horse racing is such a roller coaster ride of emotion, up and down, up and down. It is this way for those involved in the business and also for those of us at home. We the fans, pick our favorites, make connections to the horse or jockey, we watch their every move. We anxiously await their next start, the next time we will see ‘our horse’ race again. We wait for that moment when the horse is given their recognition. That is the kind of fan I am. I wait for the next race; I wait for that big break, for that race that is going to give this horse real international recognition.
That being said, Chamberlain Bridge (one of those ‘my horse’ horses) was scheduled to go to Dubai following his spectacular victory at the Breeders Cup. His Dubai plans have been squashed, but I have to tip my imaginary hat to Bret Calhoun. It was very admirable of him to decide to sit this race out because the shipping would be too much on the horse. These are the type of people that I hear about in horse racing. They put their horse first; after all, they are the star.  Props to you Mr. Calhoun, I will anxiously be waiting for ‘my horses’ next start.


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Older Comments about Random Thoughts...

Sure, I praise Leparoux and Velasquez because I like to watch them ride. I enjoy watching Leparoux sit patiently and then attacking. I like that Velasquez makes it looks so easy even though we know it is not. I also put Garrett Gomez and Jamie Theriot on my list of favorites. I like to watch how athletic GoGo is on the track. Theriot I like because he gets the job done without being a horseracing household name. I don't know if I would say any of them are above the others, but they are my favorites.
Angela, After reading your March 17th blog earlier today I have a question for you. You offered some vey high praise for two riders, namely Leparoux and Velasquez. Would you please explain what it is about these riders that you feel puts them above the others.
Julien is awesome!
BridgetLind--you are absolutly right about Mike Smith, I am a big fan of his. I think Smith's accomplishments go without saying, he is a hall of famer and based on what I have seen, a world class person. Do you know of any potential Derby mounts for him? I must admit I pay closer attention to east coast racing so I tend to comment more about it. Let me know about Mike's Derby prospect. I am glad you commented on the blog, I was hoping that making those random thoughts would generate some comments to discuss further.
We are both very proud of your knowledge of horse racing and your writting skills. Giving a different view of horse racing and the passion of the race and not just the end result of winning.
I think Mike Smith deserves mention here also. You don't hear much about him, but he is up there with the likes of Julien Leparoux. Also, you made no mention of the Mosses who have recently won many awards and are one of the examples of "putting the horse first". Just saying, giving credit where credit is due.
Calhoun is a superb horseman, and Chamberlain Bridge is a star ... hoping for another great year for both of them, in the good ole U S of A!

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Meet Angela D'Amico
My horseracing journey and my quest to learn more about it has brought me to the University of Louisville Equine Program, but it began before I was born. My parents met when their parents shared ownership in a few racehorses. Although they did not own any horses when I was growing up, my grandfather still took me to the racetrack all throughout my childhood. In 2007, my stepfather introduced me to different racetracks and handicapping techniques, but it was not until the 2009 Preakness that I was really hooked.
A filly, Rachel Alexandra, venturing into a man’s world caught my eye and I fell in love with her completely. This was when my life changed. When it comes to racing and choosing my favorite horses, I have always seen perfection in what others would characterize as flaws. With this blog, I hope to show everyone that horseracing is not just a gamble, it is a passion.

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