Sunday, October 06, 2013

Jamaica Handicap (G1) quotes

Malcom Pierce, winning trainer of Up With the Birds (No. 11): "[Jockey] Cornelio [Velasquez] did a fantastic job to save ground around the first turn. I was a little worried that they were going a little too slow up front, and we were eight or nine lengths out of it, but he's a nice horse and he kicked when he asked him. You've got to give the jock a lot of credit and the horse a lot of credit."

"After he won the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine, the owners all got together. This is a big step up from running against Canadian-breds in a Grade 1 in New York, but we said, 'What the heck. Let's give it a try.' He deserved this chance."

"He's run hard all year. He's going home for a rest now after this race. There's no more plans for this season. We just wanted to keep him against straight 3-year-olds and this looked like a nice spot to try. We're sure happy to be here and happy with the outcome."

"We freshened him up with this race in mind. This is his sixth start of the season, but he's run hard every race. We give him plenty of time between his races. We passed the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales, on purpose. If we'd have won the Queen's Plate, there might have been pressure to run in the Prince of Wales, but this horse has never run on dirt. It looks like his best is on turf, as we found out today."

Note: This was Malcolm Pierce's first Grade 1 win

Cornelio Velasquez, winning jockey aboard Up With the Birds (No. 11): "I wanted to try and save ground, but there was a lot of traffic on the inside. I followed [Notacatbutallama] around the turn and once I got him to the outside, he gave me a good run. The No. 1 horse [Admiral Kitten] was coming on, but my horse dug in. He's a nice horse."

Rosie Napravnik, jockey aboard runner-up Admiral Kitten (No. 1): "He ran excellent. The pace was absolutely pedestrian. He's the kind of horse that you can't change his running style. He just lags around the first turn and makes a big run. He ran huge."

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