Saturday, October 29, 2005 Contact: Breeders’ Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017
BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC – POWERED BY DODGE QUOTES
Jerry Bailey (jockey, Saint Liam, winner) “When he broke, he broke out sharply and stayed there for 20 or 30 yards, so instead of saving ground for the first few jumps, I was losing ground. I was trying to keep him off the leaders as long as I could to leave him with a target.
(on Flower Alley fighting back in the stretch) “I knew I had that horse. You just don’t want anybody to come flying up. I knew Borrego can really come with a strong run but it was going to take a magnificent effort to beat him.
(on when he was confident he was going to run a big race) “When I turned up the backside, I was really please with how well he was traveling and where I was at.”
Richard Dutrow, Jr. (trainer, Saint Liam, winner) “This horse started in February and danced every dance, and he showed up today. In fact, I thought he’d win easier than he did. We had a plan, but you have to have the horse; it’s all about the horse. Oh my God, what a day!”
John Velazquez (jockey, Flower Alley, second) “We had a good position. I was where I wanted to be when I asked him, he responded. The winner was just a little better today.
(on whether he should be champion 3-year-old) “I think he should get it. The Breeders’ Cup is the best of the best. He ran 1 ¼ mile against older horses and almost won it.”
Todd Pletcher (trainer, Flower Alley, second) “He ran a great race. He relaxed off the two pacesetters. When it looked like he was beaten, he dug in. When Saint Liam came to him, he just kept on fighting. It doesn’t feel like a win but we are delighted with the way he ran. With a 3-year-old to run like that against older horses, we’re delighted.
“He will race again next year. I think he made a strong case as best 3-year-old in the nation because this is a different field than the Derby and Preakness.
“A lot of time when a horse gets passed, he gives up without a fight, but he kept digging in and digging in. I was hoping he would come back all the way but it’s not that often that they come back at all. I’m just delighted with the effort.”
Mark Guidry (jockey, Perfect Drift, third) “Turning for home, I said ‘I got it.’ I guess I should not have thought that. He ran a great race. He ran his heart out. No glitches, no bumps in the road. It’s a big opportunity to ride good horses like this. He keeps getting better with age.”
Murray Johnson (trainer, Perfect Drift, third) “We’re delighted. We feel like winners. It was a big effort. We’re getting closer every year. Next year we should get there: (to) Churchill Downs. He’s going to keep racing. He is a gelding.”
Eibar Coa (jockey, Super Frolic, fourth) “He stumbled a little coming out of the gate. My plan was to be close, but after that happened I had to switch to plan B. I had to use him some in the first three-quarters. I got close and in position to win, but I knew I had already used him early, and the horses on the lead weren’t backing up.”
Vladimir Cerin (trainer, Super Frolic, fourth) “I feel like we could have gotten more. We were unlucky at the start. We had planned on sitting third or fourth, and we ended up eighth. He stumbled at the start, and he’s never done that before, but those things happen. He checked a little bit on the rail, but that’s a part of racing. Really, we’re pleased with his effort. I was happy with the ride we got. We’ve been invited to the Japan Cup Dirt. I’ll have to talk to Mr. (Rolando) Parra, but it looks like a good place to go for a lot of money.”
Edgar Prado (jockey, Suave, fifth) “He ran great. He came out of the gate good and got a good spot. He fought every step of the way. He just ran into a good horse in Saint Liam.”
Paul McGee (trainer, Suave, fifth) “I feel like he ran a good race. Obviously it wasn’t good enough. I feel like he ran his race. He was right there turning for home. He just couldn’t quite outkick the winner.”
Victor Espinoza (jockey, Choctaw Nation, sixth) “I was in a good spot and he made that move for me. I thought I was going to get there, but then those other horses ran in front of me. He’s a good horse and he tried hard.”
Jeff Mullins (trainer, Choctaw Nation, sixth) “He got hung out awful wide.”
Patrick Valenzuela (jockey, Starcraft, seventh) “I thought I was going to win. I was moving strong on the turn. I started to go to the inside like I was going to go by Saint Liam but Jerry (Bailey) closed the door. So I went to the outside but he just didn’t kick the last three-sixteenths.”
Luca Cumani (trainer, Starcraft, seventh) “He crept up closer and closer, but in the straight, he didn’t find anything. I can’t really blame the draw, because the winner started from stall 13. So perhaps it was the distance. The owner is keen to keep him over here to run him in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct.”
Javier Castellano (jockey, Sir Shackleton, eighth) “I had a perfect trip. He broke good. Unfortunately the horse didn’t respond like he’s supposed to.”
Nick Zito (trainer, Sir Shackleton, eighth & Sun King, ninth) “We thought Sir Shackleton would run a little better, but it was a long year, I guess. I thought Sun King ran well. Hopefully, he will run well next year.”
Rafael Bejarano (jockey, Sun King, ninth) “The first three jumps, he broke so well, we were comfortable on the lead. After a half-mile, he switched leads and felt good. At the quarter- pole, he switched again, but the others came on too strong.”
Garrett Gomez (jockey, Borrego, 10th) “I felt a little pressure on the backside and I had to let a horse go ahead of me. But he got rolling again and I dropped him down inside on the turn. He came up firing, but then he when he was empty. I don’t know what happened; he was just flat.
Beau Greely (trainer, Borrego, 10th) “He’s a great horse and it’s been a great run. I’m really happy and it’s been wonderful. We are all still healthy and everything is well. The horse who won may be the Horse of the Year. He certainly deserves it. Mine might have been a touch over the top but that’s horse racing.”
(on if he will come back next year) “It’s a good possibility but I’m going to talk to my partners about it.”
Kieren Fallon (jockey, Oratorio, 11th ) “He was doing great for a horse who never ran on dirt, and he’s only a 3-year-old. I can only say that Johannesburg and Giant’s Causeway must have been great horses to do what they did. Like Frankie Dettori said, ‘It’s a different language (between dirt and grass).’
Frankie Dettori (jockey, Jack Sullivan, 12th) “He just didn’t get the trip. He’s a miler.”
Gerard Butler (trainer, Jack Sullivan, 12th) “Frankie (Dettori) was happy to a point. He made a little move for a furlong. Frankie said he gave him a nice feel all the way around but he just didn’t stay. In this company, with going 1 ¼ mile, it’s tough.”
Jono Jones (jockey, A Bit O’Gold, 13th) “My horse never got going on the surface.”
Catherine Day Phillips (trainer, A Bit O’Gold, 13th) “It was a sub-par performance for him. He lost his right front shoe during the race but I don’t think that was his only excuse. It just was not his day.”
* Trainer Richard Dutrow earned his second Breeders’ Cup win of the day and career. This was the third consecutive year a trainer has won at least two races on one day (Richard Mandella – 2003 & Todd Pletcher – 2004).
* Jockey Jerry Bailey got his 15th Breeders’ Cup victory and his fifth Classic victory. His other Classic victories were Black Tie Affair (1991), Arcangues (1993), Concern (1994) and Cigar (1995).