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Zipse At The Track

Welcome Back, Nehro!

Nehro is back, and on his birthday no less!


Last spring’s favorite bridesmaid returned today at the Fair Grounds in style, with an overpowering win in a one mile and 70 yards allowance affair. Sent off as a 2-5 favorite in the field of six, he did nothing to disappoint his many backers. Away from the gate sharply, Nehro was content to bide his time early as second favorite Majestic Harbor set a moderate early pace. Nehro hung back in fourth until given his cue by rider Shaun Bridgmohan, and when the strapping son of Mindshaft got the word to go, the contest was all but over. Quickly collaring his main foe, Nehro gained command and widened his advantage effortlessly to the wire. Final time over the fast track for the Steve Asmussen charge was a solid 1:41.88. Majestic Harbor hung on for second, but was 7 ¼ lengths behind the classy winner. It was a strong return to the races after more than eight months away for a horse that was one of the best three-year-olds in the country for the first half of last year.
When last seen, Nehro was finishing fourth in a sloppy edition of the Belmont Stakes.  That disappointing outcome broke a streak in which Nehro finished second in a trio of America’s most important Derbies. It started at the Fair Grounds when Nehro announced himself in the Louisiana Derby.  The recent maiden winner rallied strongly on the rail at 36/1 to narrowly miss the win by a neck. In his next race he made an even stronger rally, this time on the outside, to once again fall a neck shy, this time in the Arkansas Derby. In the biggest Derby of them all, Nehro was kept much closer to the pace from his #18 post position in the 2011 Kentucky Derby. Briefly in the stretch it looked like he may end up with the roses, but succumbed late to the powerful charge of Animal Kingdom. Last year may have proved close, but no cigar, but this is a new year, full of new opportunities for the major talent.
Today’s victory marked only the second career victory out of eight starts for the Zayat Stables’ star, although with all of those fine performances last year, Nehro inched ever closer to the million dollar mark in earnings.  If today’s strong performance is any indication, he looks ready to break his stakes maiden sooner rather than later. Next for Nehro will be the New Orleans Handicap over this same track on April 1.  After that, the sky is the limit for the birthday boy.


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Older Comments about Welcome Back, Nehro!...

I'm SO happy that Nehro is back! He was one of my favorites last year. And I agree with Scott, the handicap division looks great!
He really looked great today...I look forward to watching him this year. For 2011 to have been so short for 3 yo standouts, we suddenly have several holdovers from that era that seem destined to give us a great year for older horses!
This horse has some serious talent.. Unlike last year the older division looks fantastic!!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. 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. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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