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Author Topic: Juvenile - Interview Room Transcript  (Read 613 times)
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« on: November 04, 2006, 04:48:58 PM »

   ERIC WING:  Okay.  We are live in the interview room.  Once again, and up with us on the left there is jockey, Calvin Borel, and to his left is the owner and breeder of Street Sense, James Tafel, and Carl Nafzger will be joining us in just a moment or two.
   First of all, Calvin, congratulations.  Looked like you were shot out of a cannon there around the far turn.  You're famous for liking the rail whenever you can do so.  Tell us about your trip.
   CALVIN BOREL:  Yeah.  I had an awesome trip.  Started slow, but I was right where I wanted to be, you know, and Mr. Nafzger told me to take my time.   If you finish up like we know he can, you'll beat him.  If you can't, we won't beat {him}.  One thing about Mr. Carl, he says ride them like you see fit.  That's what I went for.
   ERIC WING:  Question for you Calvin from the press box.  As somebody who came from a small town in Louisiana, what does the victory feel like for you personally?
   CALVIN BOREL:  I like to thank my mom and dad, brother for helping me, keeping me safe and getting me here.
   I mean, it's a lot of hard work, but it pays off.
   ERIC WING:  Mr. Tafel, you've owned and bred a champion before with Banshee Breeze, 1998 champion, three‑year‑old filly.  How do your feelings today compared with her {exploits}?
   JAMES TAFEL:  Well, she is the best horse I ever had.  She was an incredible athlete, and I would say winning the Breeders' Cup after five previous tries, two of them with Banshee, who ran second, one by a nose, but this is a special moment.
   So, we're very thrilled and excited and Calvin, thanks for the great ride.  Alright.
   ERIC WING:  Carl, this is your second Breeders' Cup winning the other of course coming in 1990 with Unbridled in the Classic.
   It looked like, as you look at the racing form, it looks like you as a trainer might have made a conscious effort to get this horse to learn how to relax.  He showed a lot more speed two and three races back.  Came from out of it and at Keeneland in the end, Breeders' Futurity and the PolyTrack and flattened out some.  What was the difference in the last effort and today?
   CARL NAFZGER:  Well, I think Calvin has been riding this horse, and Mr. Tafel and I both talked.  This horse is going to take us there if he's good enough.  If he's not, we won't go.  But every race he learned more, and Calvin kept riding him more, and Calvin get off and tell us different things that we could adjust a little bit on the horse and how the horse was starting to respond to Calvin, and it just, you know, it's been a great team, Ian Wilkes, which everybody knows we're great partners, been to go for 16 years.  He's on his own now.  We work together all the time.
   It's just been a great win for the whole team.  Carlos has been with me 18 years.  Mr. Tafel 21 years, and our secondary is 25, so there's a lot of things in here, but I have to have a lot of this to Ian Wilkes and myself but Calvin Bordonaro recently is the one that kept telling us he's coming back to us, he's doing it right, and Mr. Tafel say, okay, okay, let's keep doing it.  Let's take our time because we want to come back for Saturday and money.  That's when we want to be here again.  Okay.
   ERIC WING:  I don't have to ask.  Calvin, were you behind everybody except Circular Quay early in the race.  There's a lot of separation there.  The pace was swift, also contentious.  Were you cognizant way back where you were of just how fast they were going up front?
   CALVIN BOREL:  Yes, sir.  I knew they were going a little quick.  They had a limp about it of speed in the race.  But he's a push‑button horse.  You really don't have to worry when he's right, and I asked him, he put me there.  We were going around the turn, we had a hole.  I kind of shmoozed at {him}.  I went to the hole so fast before he did, from there on I knew it was a matter of how far he had to go.  I had so much horse under me.
   ERIC WING:  Okay.  We have anybody down here is welcome to ask questions.  Just motion to Joe or myself and we'll stop over there.
   Q    This is for jockey Calvin.  Two things happened today to enable you win by ten links.  The speed backed up.  The inside opened up like the red sea parted for Charleton Heston.
   My point is if the inside had been packed and you were forced to go three and four wide coming into the final turn, do you think you would have been this effective?
   CALVIN BOREL:  No, sir.  I think I could have went around the whole field today and still beat {them}.  That's how comfortable I was.
   Q    This is for Carl as well as Calvin.  You're both basically based here.  Now, Carl you've come back a little bit in your training.  Does it mean more to you in terms of the unique circumstances to win a race like here at Churchill Downs and also the thought of what could happen next spring?  Just talk about the emotions that surround this.  It may not necessarily be the same people who are not based here.
   CARL NAFZGER:  There's a lot of ways to look at this.  One thing, we've got to get to the top of the deal is the two owners we're training for now is Mr. Tafel and Mr. Smith, and we've been together, Mr. Tafel and I, 21 years.
   We've had Unbridled and Banshee win, and you do not build relationships like this easy.
   We've had a great one.  We've had ‑‑ we have looked each other in the eye and said what we believed, and certainly I was right and he was wrong but ‑‑ no, I mean, it's a great deal.
   You got to remember when you're home in Churchill and you're looking at the Derby and Jim says, "Carl, if we're going to run in the Breeders' Cup, that's okay if you think we should."
   I said, "Yup."  I said, "It's our prep for the Kentucky Derby in 2007 because this horse has taken us every step and I don't know.  He's learning to run now."
Couple races with Calvin, he got the lead and just sort of came out of it.  We don't know why.
   Today he was home, and I can't ask him for any more.
   Q    Same question to Calvin.
   CALVIN BOREL:  Well, you know, like Carl was saying, we're just trying to point him in the right direction.  He was just a big colt and everything, and he did such a good job getting him ready and after ‑‑ I worked him about three days ago but, you know, just little maintenance, but the work before that was just so impressive.
   I mean, it was unbelievable.  I got back, I even told my agent, you know, you can wear your suit because we're going to get the money.  He was unbelievable.
   He worked the last quarter and a mile like 22 and 3 and galloped out ‑‑ it was unbelievable, racehorsewise.
   That's how he finished today.
   ERIC WING:  We have two questions from upstairs in the press box.  Go ahead, Laura.
   Q    Carl, congratulations.  And your relationships with your owners have always been long‑term.  I was wondering, did you lay a big kiss on Mr. Tafel like did you on Mrs. Jenter when you won the Derby?
   CARL NAFZGER:  No, but Calvin kissed me.
   Q    Another question I had, you're talking about using this as a Derby prep.  There's never been a winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile come back and win the Derby.  Some people think it's either this race or the Derby.  How do you propose to get around beating that chance?
   CARL NAFZGER:  Have the best horse, Mary Jean.  This horse has been brought here on his own.  He's learning.  He's growing, he's maturing, and he's an exceptional force if he stays sound and everything, and he's a sound colt now.
   I don't believe in anything{.}  The only problem we got with the Derby is we're only one in 18,000 now.  Okay?
   There's 18,000 other colts out there to run at us.  So you figure the odds why somebody hasn't won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and won the derby is because you've got to be ready on this Saturday and you've got to be ready on that Saturday and there's 18,000 other colts running at you, so you're 18,000 to 1 when you start.
   Q    Carl, congratulations.  I wanted to ask you the top three finishers in that race all came out of the same race at Keeneland on the PolyTrack.  Should we be starting to draw some idea of how the PolyTrack acts with these horses and what it means?
   CARL NAFZGER:  No.  I think the PolyTrack, I like it, I love it.  I like running over it but, no.
   I think those three horses that was in that race, they figured but if you look at this bunch there was about 8 or 9 horses in there that run 1, 2, 3 all the time and they kept running there.
   I thought it was a very, very competitive race.  I think any horse could have won the race, but there was 8, 9 horses in this race that have ran consistent all year.  That's what I had said earlier to John Asher.  Said Asher, he said, What do you think of this race?
   I said, it's one of the better Juveniles we've looked at in a long time because we're looking at a bunch of solid race horses that have ran consistent in every race.  They might not have won it, but they were second, third.  They didn't win a race and then get bet 15 links in the next rate and come back and win a race.
   These horses all ran 1, 2, 3, every time they ran.  If you look at their records, Great Hunter, Circular Quay and our horse, we never been worse than third, not anybody has.
   ERIC WING:  Okay.  By the way, the margin of victory was ten links, the largest ever in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.  The record previously held by Favorite Trick in 1997 who won by 5 1/2 links.
   Q    Two questions, Carl.  Will this be it for the year for him or maybe run him between?
   CARL NAFZGER:  Yes.  Won't it, Mr. Tafel?
   JAMES TAFEL:  I'm sorry?
   CARL NAFZGER:  This will be his last race for the year.
   JAMES TAFEL:  For the year, yes, sir.
   CARL NAFZGER:  I thought so.
   Q    Do you feel winning this race, it's his first stakes win.  He's done enough to be the champion, in your mind?
   CARL NAFZGER:  Hell, he was the champion before the race in my mind.
   Q    One final question.  You said going into, you thought Circular Key was absolutely the horse to beat{.}  Are you surprised that you beat him ten links?
   CARL NAFZGER:  Anytime you win a horse race by ten links, you're surprised.  I mean, that's not horseracing.
   Things have to work right.  Everything has to come together and, you know, like I tell everybody.  If you don't believe in God, study my life because it's been a miracle.
   ERIC WING:  That ten link margin, by the way, is the second largest in Breeders' Cup history, only behind Inside Information in the 1985 Distaff by 13 1/2 links.
   Question back there.
   Q    Carl, as I understood things, you were supposed to be stepping back this year.  Now all eyes are going to be on you over the winter.
   Any reservations?
   CARL NAFZGER:  No.  I'm ‑‑ I mean, I'm going to do the same thing I said I was going to do.  We started this January 1st.  All the horses are in season except Mr. Tafel and Mr. Smith, and we work together and I like it, I like seeing young people.
   You know, let's be honest about it, there's only ‑‑ the only thing they ask us in the Clips Award in 1990 they said, What {are} your goals for next year?
   Wanda spoke up and says, same as they were this year.  What's that?  How much money and Wanda says, no, we've always enjoyed watching people and horses develop to their fullest, and that's what we'll do from now on.
   Ian has been two years with Unbridled.  He trained in Australia a couple years, and he came back.  We've been together now, we're starting our 14th year, and he turned 40 last year, and on January the 1st at 12:01 a.m., he became the trainer.  Okay?
   We still train, yeah.  We're there.  But it's time for him to go on because you see what he did at Saratoga this year.  He started how many horses, had one fourth and I think we started 11, 12 horses, something like that.  We had like 1, 2, 3 every time but once, and that horse ran fourth.  I love to see people do good, and I like the see them go forward.
   ERIC WING:  Got time for two more.
   Q    Carl, I get the impression that this is not the first time you thought Kentucky Derby with this horse.  What did you see early on that you liked so much and thought he could get the first Saturday?
   CARL NAFZGER:  This time I'm going to be honest.  This horse, you know, when I talk about a horse, I hate to brag and I like to keep ‑‑ well, really, downplay them.
   I'm going to tell the truth about this horse.  First time ‑‑ this horse was a perfect weenie.  First time Mr. Tafel went out to the farm and seen him, I was with him and the farm manager Drew "Dardy" said, this horse is a perfect weenie, perfect yearling.  He's a perfect horse to break.  He's got a great mind on him.  Then you've got to see if he's going to be a great racehorse or not.  That you cannot tell until he runs.
   This horse never made ‑‑ he might have made a mistake and quit too quick in a race or done something, but he's always ‑‑ he likes people.  He's like Unbridled was.  We started this horse on his campaign.
   We thought he would break on the first trip.  He ran into Unbridled Express and got beat.  We kept going each step.
   If you'll look at the steps down on this horse, they were all laid out, and good horses will take you to where you're going.
   The first step was a maiden.  The {second} step was a maiden.  The third ‑‑ the first step was six furlongs, the second was a fourth.  The fourth step with a two turns at Keeneland.  The fifth step today was Breeders' Cup Juvenile.  And that was our plan when we started if he took us there.  Okay? 
   ERIC WING:  Last question.
   Q    Calvin, you know, Carl mentioned that in his last couple of races he might have made the lead a little too quick and kind of got to goofing off, cut the corner, was so professional and spurted away.
   Could you talk about that and also the incredible {year} you've add all year?
   CALVIN BOREL:  I got to credit, you know, my year for working hard and my agent doing a good job, you know, and people like Mr. Carl, Mr. Tafel giving me the opportunity to ride his horses.
   When I rode him at Keeneland last time, I moved him a little early and he went ‑‑ he kind of went to flying around I'd say, but today when I moved him on the fence, but he was kind of a different horse today.
   He has improved so much from the last race, it's unbelievable.
   It's not like I had to tell him to get me there.  Today he had me there wherever I wanted, you know, and I think we could have went another round today an he wouldn't have pulled up.
   ERIC WING:  Carl Nafzger, Calvin Bordonaro, and James Tafel, congratulations on what is a record setting and undoubtedly a championship performance.
   CARL NAFZGER:  Thank you very much.
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