Saturday, November 07, 2009


Quotes for the Breeders’ Cup Classic


Mike Smith (jockey, Zenyatta, 1st) – “I still never got to the bottom of her. That’s the amazing thing. She still had run left. She’s incredible. She’s sent from heaven. She’s gods horse. I was able to cut the corner with her off the turn, and that made the difference right there. When we loaded the second time, she sure stood there when the gates opened. I needed to help her out of there, but once I got out of there, she settled into stride really well. She started to get to them in the stretch, and the crowd started screaming. Then she started looking at the crowd, so I had to get after her a little bit, but she still won within herself.”

John Shirreffs (trainer, Zenyatta, 1st) – “There are tears coming to my eyes. I can’t believe it. She is a great, great filly. She is all heart. The way the crowd took to her was just amazing. They cheered for her, they clapped for her; they love her. What a wonderful relationship.


When asked if she is Horse of the Year “You tell me.”

Ramon Dominguez (jockey, Gio Ponti, 2nd) – “He ran so awesome. He split horses like a champion inside the sixteenth-pole and just took off when he got clear. That filly's just an extremely nice filly and I am so pleased and so happy with the way my horse ran. He did everything good. It's not like the race set up for him and he got lucky... every step of the way I knew I had that much horse, and he just did everything like a very nice horse."

Christophe Clement (trainer, Gio Ponti, 2nd) – ““The horse ran a great race but he couldn’t beat the winner. She’s a freak. What can I say? She’s a freak. I’m thrilled with his race. This proved it was the right decision to run in the Classic and not the Turf. This is a very good horse. I will talk with the owner to see what he wants to do in the future, but I hope to have the horse back in the barn and hope to try again next year.”

Thomas Queally (jockey, Twice Over, 3rd) – "On the whole it was fantastic. He ran well and obviously the filly (Filly & Mare Turf winner Midday) ran a blinder yesterday and won, so this trip has been more than worthwhile. We ran a cracker. My horse probably didn't handle the home turn too cute, but I don't think we would have beaten Zenyatta in a million years and hats off to her. She's an exceptional, exceptional filly."

Henry Cecil (trainer, Twice Over, 3rd) – “He ran a great race but was beaten by a very good animal. He probably ran the best race of his life.”

Kent Desormeaux (jockey, Summer Bird, 4th) – "Synthetic tracks are more conducive to horses with turn of foot and stone closers. He (Summer Bird) is an obvious stayer. He needs to pick it up a little quicker. You need that quick turn of foot. Not the best finish for him, but he still ran an awesome race. He gutted it out - fourth best in the world."

Tim Ice (trainer, Summer Bird, 4th) – “He had to wait a while for some room. He's a one- pace horse, and he's got to keep going. It looked like he had to wait, wait, wait, and by the time he got his momentum going, the filly was already gone."

Garrett Gomez (jockey, Colonel John, 5th) – "When we got to the top of the lane we were good, but he didn't kick on. He just gave me a little bit of a run, but not enough. He acted so well today, all that stuff going on (at the gate), he never moved, he didn't even break a sweat.”

Eoin Harty (trainer, Colonel John, 5th) – “Garrett Gomez gave him a great ride. He rode him to win, but we got beat by better horses. There are no excuses.”

Alex Solis (jockey, Richard’s Kid, 6th) – “Got going good, but then we were in tight quarters at the five-sixteenths. He got bounced around a little and he didn’t do much after that.”

Bob Baffert (trainer, Richard’s Kid, 6th) – “Alex (Solis) told my assistant (Jim Barnes) that he got bumped on the turn. I was disappointed that he didn’t run better, but what a thrill seeing history being made by Zenyatta. It was the only time in horse racing that I didn’t mind getting beat in a big race. If they don’t reward her with Horse of the Year, it would be a travesty, or at least co-horses of the year (with Rachel Alexandra). Zenyatta made the Breeders’ Cup. And the way she won! I’ve never seen a crowd so captivated. It felt like a horse winning the third leg of the Triple Crown.”

About Zensational in the Sprint: “He had trouble at the start and got pinched. He had never been put in that position before and just couldn’t get his rhythm.”

David Flores (jockey, Awesome Gem, 7th) – “I had a great trip, there just wasn’t enough in the tank.”

Craig Dollase (trainer, Awesome Gem, 7th) – “We were right next to the big mare. He ran his hair out.”

Saeed bin Suroor (trainer, Regal Ransom, 8th and Girolamo, 12th) – “Both were in good position all the way. When it came to the last two furlongs they had to give everything and they got beat from there. No excuses.

When asked to comment on Zenyatta: “She’s a different class. By far. By millions.”

Richard Migliore (jockey, Regal Ransom, 8th) – “I was very comfortable out there on the lead. He settled really well and about the half-mile I began to think that I might have a chance. But he emptied out on me when he hit the quarter-pole. And that’s quite a mare we were running against and it was a privilege for me to be in a competitive race with a mare like that.

Calvin Borel (jockey, Mine That Bird, 9th) – “It's been a phenomenal ride (with this horse). He needs to get a little rest, and then get back on the dirt. I had a clean trip. About the three-eighths pole I saw Zenyatta going. I tried to follow her because I didn't want her to get away from me, but he couldn't do it."

Chip Woolley (trainer, Mine That Bird, 9th) – “I’m kind of disappointed. I thought we were in great shape when they went by the grandstand for the first time; he looked comfortable. Going into the first turn he still looked good. But down the backstretch, when Zenyatta kicked on by us, he just didn’t snap up and go. Calvin said when he asked him, he made a run, but he couldn’t sustain it. He’s travelled seven thousand miles this year and that takes a lot out of a horse.”

John Murtagh (jockey, Rip Van Winkle, 10th) – “He sat off them just fine but when I got to the three-eighths pole he emptied out pretty quick. He warmed up well. I suppose the big delay at the start might not have helped him, but really no excuse today; it’s after having a long season in Europe and maybe this race was just one race too many."

Aidan O’Brien (trainer, Rip Van Winkle, 10th) – "(Jockey) John (Murtagh) said he felt tired. Maybe one race too many this year."

Julien Leparoux (jockey, Einstein, 11th) – “No excuse. I don’t know why he didn’t show up today. I got a good trip, he broke good, and I had good position. It just wasn’t his day; an off day I guess.”

Helen Pitts-Blasi (trainer, Einstein, 11th) – “Julien said he just didn’t give him that usual kick. I don’t know, he certainly didn’t run to the way he has been training. That filly is unreal. Those are hard to come by.”

Alan Garcia (jockey, Girolamo, 12th) – “I think he’s better than that. He was fine going into the race but he wasn’t himself today. He didn’t have any trouble. No excuse.”


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