Saturday, December 14, 2013
LOUISIANA CHAMPIONS DAY STAKES QUOTES: Dec. 14
Louisiana Champions Day Lassie (R4)
Don Hargroder (owner/breeder of winner Lexi’s Love): All my Big Top Cat horses have that same drive – that determination. I’m satisfied with her and hope to get a few more out of the mom
Question: Satisfying to win a race like this with a horse you bred?
Don Hargroder: You bet.
Question: There were some tense moments down the stretch…how did you feel at the 1/16 pole?
Hargroder: I couldn’t believe that she was in so much trouble with six horses in the field. How can that happen?
Louisiana Champions Day Turf (R5)
Rosie Napravnik (jockey, winner Hud’s Rebellion): He just loped along behind the pace , keeping horses inside of us . Then he made a big run. He’s doing really well. This is a colt with a lot of class.
Andy Leggio (trainer, winner Hud’s Rebellion): We got lucky. It kind of played out the way I thought it would. I’m pretty Satisfied.
Question: Looks like you may have another nice turf horse…
Dr. Glen Warren (owner/breeder of winner Hud’s Rebellion): We hope so. Candid Glen was a great turf horse. He raced here many times and won the Explosive Bid. We trust that this one will come along and do well. One nice thing about this horse is that he can run on the dirt or the turf and it really didn’t matter to us today what surface we ran on.
Question: Was there any method in the decision to move him back to the turf in the last start and keep him there?
Warren: No. That was the nicest race that came along. We knew he could do it. So, that’s why we used whatever race comes available.
Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint (R7)
Question: Dream trip there?
Gerard Melancon (jockey, winner Guadalupe High): Yes sir. We had a perfect trip, you know. Perfect trip.
Question: Is that where you wanted to be (off the pace)?
Melancon: Pretty much. I set her up right behind the two speed horses and Mr. Ronny told me that earlier in here career she didn’t care for too many horses on the outside of her so I just kept her out there and I had a perfect trip. Great job by Mr. Ronny.
Question: She tried some tough open company earlier this year -- too deep waters for her?
Ronny Werner (trainer, part owner of winner): A little bit. We were just trying to get some graded stakes money and it helps her out as a broodmare later on. It was pretty tough going for her. She has done well with the Louisiana-breds and the money has been good.
Question: She got the trip you were hoping for?
Werner: We pretty much saw a couple of horses with speed inside of her that was good. We were hoping she would be out there by herself on the outside. It kind of worked out just right.
Brett Brinkman (trainer, beaten favorite Sittin at the Bar): She just didn’t fire today. First time she ever really hit a wet dull track, Bringing her into the race everything seemed on go. The heaviness of the track may have been a concern We’ll go home and figure it out. She certainly doesn’t owe us nothing. That’s for sure.
Louisiana Champions Day Ladies (R8)
Rosie Napravnik (jockey, winner Ladyzarbridge): When the #3 horse (Silent Legacy) didn’t go for the lead I was caught by surprise but my filly loves running on the lead, she loves this race track and she really loves this race.
Eddie Johnston (trainer, winner Ladyzarbridge): She loves this track and she likes running on the lead, so it worked out well that she wound up on top early. Rosie rides her so well, and they get along together.
Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile (R9)
Chris Rosier (jockey, winner Ide Be Cool): Ray’s done such a good job with him. He’s still learning, but he does everything – running short, running long. They give me all the tools and I’m just along for the ride. He really showed me something better today with the way he finished underneath me.
Ray Dunn (trainer, winner Ide Be Cool): He’s a natural. This kind of horse just falls out of the sky every once in a while.
Louisiana Champions Day Classic (R10)
James Graham (jockey, runner-up String King): He ran hard. He just could not quicken like he usually does on a fast track. They ran away from him but he came back again.
Charlie Smith (owner/trainer/breeder, String King): You can’t be upset with an effort like that. He spotted a little weight. We’ll have another day. You can’t fault the horse. He ran a hard race. I just hate to come out on the short end of the stick.
Question: Had to work for that in the stretch?
Richard Eramia (jockey, winner Sunbean): Yes. Yes. We were together down the stretch. This horse has a big heart and he was training very good. Thanks to Ms. Evelyn Benoit for giving me the opportunity.
Question: Did you get your trip you wanted?
Eramia: Yes. Perfect trip. I know that the one horse is going to the lead and the other would be close. Everyone was going to be close no matter how you spin the race but we got it.
Question: Did he run how you thought?
Ron Faucheux (trainer, winner Sunbean): Yeah. I mean we could not have asked for more today. He ran a big race. Richard rode him perfect. We really beat a good horse in String King and my hats off to the connections there. I just was to thank Ms. Evelyn and Richard. The whole connections. This horse has continued to progress and the way he is running now hopefully we can continue this circuit and win these races.
Question: How exciting is it to be here for a race like this.
Evelyn Benoit (owner/breeder, winner Sunbean): Very exciting. A very exciting race. I wanted to congratulate all the people that ran with me. That is a tough group of Louisiana-breds. It’s not easy to win in Louisiana no matter how it may look to some people. People see me down here but this is five generations that I have raised of this horse and I am so thrilled. He finally got what he deserved so people can understand why I thought he should have been in the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby. He showed it. He is a young horse that beat older class horses.
Question: More exciting…open lengths or on the wire like that?
Benoit: I say it’s always. This is exhilarating. It is always exciting to win a race here and all of the Louisiana tracks. I love everybody in Louisiana racing. I can’t thank my trainer for the remarkable job to take this horse where he belongs and I am so thrilled. A day I’ll never forget.
Louisiana Champions Day Sprint (R11)
Diego Saenz (jockey, winner Heitai): Big turnaround today. I didn’t think he would like the mud. He was kind of stopping at the end but we had opened up enough to win the race. The kind of hooked him at Delta in that last race and I had to grab him. Today I just let him roll.
Question: Any excuses from the last start?
Frank Rowell (owner, winner Heitai): Just better horses in the last one.
Question: By design to go to the lead?
Rowell: It’s all in the trainer. He tells us what to do and we do it.
Louisiana Champions Day Starter (R12)
Richard Eramia (jockey, winner Raiseanothergator): I used him a little bit to get to the lead early, but then I had a good hold on him. He was going to easy and he ran for me. When you get a horse like that on a lead like that, they’re tough to catch.
Read more articles in the Fair Grounds category.