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Author Topic: An interview with: GARRETT GOMEZ  (Read 393 times)
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« on: November 02, 2012, 06:40:20 PM »

THE MODERATOR:  We have with us Garrett Gomez who rode Beholder in a wire‑to‑wire fashion.  Garrett, congratulations on your win and as far as the fractions that you laid down, you fought off to some degree Kauai Katie and then you got your filly into a nice rhythm.  How confident were you that you had sufficient gas left in the tank?
   GARRETT GOMEZ:  Richard did a tremendous job with her, teaching her how to relax and be a little more patient.  Today when I left the gate I didn't ask her to leave there too much because I know she is typically quick and I thought they would have trouble clearing me because she is so fast away from the gate and the idea was to get her to settle as much as possible and not get her stirred up and not to get too aggressive.
   When we got right to the point of the turn, Kauai Katie came outside and I dropped my hands and she quickened and got a length back in front of her and I kept trying to discourage the other filly by moving out a little bit and when we headed up the backside I put her on a long hold and she hit a nice stride to herself and she traveled beautifully for me.  Just the way I could have dreamed it up.
   When I got to the turn she stayed up in the bridle for me and was traveling wonderful and about the quarter pole I moved to see if she could sneak away and I could get away from them and as she started turning for home she hit the idle button for me and it popped into my head, oh no, because the more I asked her the shorter her stride got and I was getting worried and all of the sudden the horses caught up to her and when the fillies from behind started catching her, she started coming back up underneath me.
   And about the 16th pole it was like she had revived herself and she had this true grit about wanting to win and she got right back on her feet and finished up nice for me.

   Q.  Is that phenomenon that you just described, the more you asked, the less she gave, is that rare?
   GARRETT GOMEZ:  It's typical with fillies sometimes.  They take a different kind of handling sometimes than a male horse and she is a typical filly that is temperature mental about things and you have to do it her way.
   When I turned for home I just automatically told her "let's go" and when I started to tell her that, she started getting a little attitude with me and I didn't have time to start trying different things to try to get her back up on her feet.
   I gave her a couple of spanks left‑handed and by the time I got into her a couple of times and told her "let's go," her stride kept shortening.  But then all of the sudden the horses from behind started to catch up and it revived her and she quit paying attention to me and was paying to them and when she was paying attention to them her true grit of wanting to win the race, her competitiveness got back up into her bloodstream and played off.

   Q.  Were you aware That Executiveprivilege was coming?
   GARRETT GOMEZ:  I could hear Trevor, usually I can't hear Trevor, but being in front like it was, I kind of like focused on her and I was getting into her left‑handed and I buried my head and tried to pick her up and communicate with her.  I just prayed for her to stay up in the bridle and get me home.
   I just squeezed every last ounce I could get out of her and all of the sudden the other filly couldn't get to her.  But I felt her about the 16th pole, too, I felt her come back up underneath me and when she did so it was a big sigh of relief because when I felt that I said, "They can't get her now."

   Q.  Garrett, when you won the 11th race at Santa Anita in early October you hit the front and took off.  Is that a strategic that you open up and put a gap between yourself and Executiveprivilege, and made her come and catch you?  Was that your thinking going into the gate?
   GARRETT GOMEZ:  The best thing I figured out was just to try to get her to relax as much as possible and by doing so the other day even though she went 44 flat she was loose out in front and traveling really well and traveled well within herself and I was just trying to put her in a similar situation today.
   My main concern was the two turns and the mile and the 16th, and I thought if I could get away with fractions like galloping to the morning pole, I could start acting like we were going 6 if you are longs up the backside and try to stretch the field out and get them chasing me and she did a number 1 pole, which was a key to her winning the race because she was off the bridle and galloped along and all the gratitude goes to Richard Mandella because he got her to settle for me and she did what she was supposed to do out there not just go fast.

   Q.  Did you have any input into the decision on running Beholder in the Juvenile Fillies, and if not, were you surprised, pleased by the decision to run her there, which proved to be the right decision?
   GARRETT GOMEZ:  When I pulled her up, that's the first thing I said, "I'm glad they decided to run her here."  I think she would have been competitive no matter where they ran her, I think behind the key was the other race ‑‑ it wasn't a great race yet and she is great in one place already and now she is a winner and one race was $500,000 and one race was $2 million and young enough in her career where she ran a great 7/8 mile race and she didn't relax that day.
   I talked to Richard and I didn't want to be the one deciding ‑‑ I didn't want to put too much emphasis on where she ran because like I said she was questionable about the two turns, but going 6 foot longs, I didn't think she were going to let her gallop along in the lead, so it didn't matter which way he went with her, I thought if he ran her long she would get loose and hopefully hang on, worked out great for us.
   THE MODERATOR:  Worked out great and resulted in Breeders' Cup 13 for you, Garrett, congratulations, great ride on Beholder.
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