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Author Topic: An Interview with: MIKE SMITH, ALEX SOLIS, JIM ROME, MIKE PUYPE, BILL STRAUSS  (Read 1551 times)
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« on: November 03, 2012, 05:13:18 PM »

THE MODERATOR:  We're set with the winning connections of Mizdirection, winners of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.  Clearly the interview room has turned into the jungle.  We have Mike Smith , Alex Solis, Jr., Jim Rome who is obviously very well known television sports and radio commentator and talk show host and a very happy guy I have to imagine right now.  Next is trainer Mike Puype and one of the other owners, Mr. Strauss.
   Jim, you make no bones about your passion for thoroughbred racing on your various programs, but this has to be topped by quite a distance anything you have achieved or experienced up to now.  What are you feeling as you sit here basking in the victory?
   JIM ROME:  I'm numb.  Having a hard time believing that that happened and she came back and won that race and I said that to Alex and he said, "Why are you so surprised?"
   I talked to Bobby Flay on my show earlier in the week and I said you've been there before, you know what it's like.  And he said outside of the birth of my daughter it was the most exhilarating feeling in his life.  I would say the same, but I'm too numb to know how it feels.  If you would ask me tomorrow I would have a better idea.  I've got a feeling my answer might be close to his.

   Q.  Mike, the downhill races are always a scramble but this seemed more than normal.  It seemed like you kept her forward and turning for home she swung out and lost a couple of spots and came on like a locomotive late.  Could you take us through the trip?
   MIKE SMITH:  She broke really well and then the race was on.  It's the Breeders' Cup and everyone goes.  We were heading over to the right and everyone picked it up at that point and as we headed back over to the left they hit another gear and at that point they got away from me and I was concerned and I kept telling myself they got to go going to quick, they got to be going to quick.
   She gathered herself up and hit the dirt running.  I think that was a big key, a lot of times they hit the dirt and scramble, she got the dirt and she was in her best stride at the wire, to be honest, she could have went a mile today.

   Q.  Mike, it was apparent from reading the past performances that Mizdirection enjoyed racing down the hill here, 5 and a half month layoff, stepping up against top company and against males, what was your confidence level going in and what if any were the challenges in getting her up to the race?
   MIKE PUYPE:  We weren't quite sure.  We had talked and Alex pushed me a month ago, or a little more than that, he said all the good colts out here in California were getting hurt and we need to do start thinking about this race and that's all I needed to get her in gear.
   A prep race wasn't in my mind.  I have had good luck and good owners that let me take my time to get a horse ready.  It's the easiest thing in the world when you're pointing for a race and you know when you're running, so I have an assortment of owners and they have let me do what I needed to do.  And I was content not having the layoff race and bring her straight into this race she would run well with the rest.
   They say 2 for 2 on the course.  When I saw the sheet numbers today, I looked at the race and she is the fastest horse on paper.  She has 4s on the sheet three times in a row and she was just faster.  It's a question of if she would get a trip and not get stopped and Mike rode her great.

   Q.  Alex, tell us the odyssey of Mizdirection from the time you first laid eyes on her?
   ALEX SOLIS:  The first time I saw her was in Keeneland in September and I liked her, but my partner Jason Litt, deserves the credit, I thought she was heavy in the shoulder, and I said let's buy her for someone else.
   Jason said I'm going to go ahead and buy her and it worked out and the ownership that had her were getting a horse, they put her through a sale and I told Jason, I'm going to buy her back and I was with Puype and I told Puype, we got her at $50,000.
   She had no reason to go to the 2 year old sale, so she wasn't prepped.  I bought her from Justin Casse back and we sent her to California the next day and she broke her maiden the second time‑out impressively and Mike called Jim and said you need to buy a piece of this filly and the rest is history.

   Q.  Mike, did your familiarity with this horse help as far as this race is concerned?
   MIKE SMITH:  It certainly does.  It's tricky.  But to be honest with you, Mike left it up to me today.  He didn't put no pressure on me and whatever I decided to do, he said if you lead that's fine with me.  If you come from last, that's fine with me.  If you want to go around, that's fine with me.  Do what you do.  And that allowed me to have the confidence in her and not have to worry about where I was at.
   I was comfortable with where I was at, to be honest.  Looking at it you think, how could you comfortable there, but she was moving really well and I felt great and my hats off to Mike.  He did a tremendous job getting her ready for this race.

   Q.  Jim, when your horse was there in the ‑‑ lined up next to Corporate Jungle, did that signal an omen for you?
   JIM ROME:  When our horse lined up?  No, the great thing about this horse is she is so honest and so tough.  And like everybody said in a race like that coming down that hill where it's a free for all you hope to get a good break, a good racing lock.
   But at the end of the day I had concerns as to whether or not she was good enough.  She was so tough and honest.  I wasn't concerned on who was on the other either side.  We wanted to get her in and get her out clean.

   Q.  This horse is 20‑1, Morning Line was 7‑1.  Did you hammer her at the windows and do you have a lot of tickets to cash?
   JIM ROME:  I love my clones, but they don't roll like that.  I don't think they can get 20‑1 down to 5‑1.  I love 'em and they have my back, but they don't roll like this.  I got a feel that people knew she was not a 20‑1 horse and she knew she was live.

   Q.  Jim, other on the other side of the microphone now, what about that?
   JIM ROME:  Weird, man, weird!  Really weird but it feels really, really good.  Really good, it's a great, great day and I'm really happy for Mike and for Mike and for Alex and my partner Bill Strauss.  We're all in love with the horse.  It's great to see her run like that and make up the ground she did, it feels great.  And I'm happy for everybody that put her in a position for success.  It's an awesome, awesome day.

   Q.  Bill, as a celebrity, Jim obviously gets the preponderance of the questions.
   BILL STRAUSS:  I hadn't noticed.  I thought I was just a pretty face up here.

   Q.  How does it feel to have a horse like Mizdirection perform like that?
   BILL STRAUSS:  It's an amazing feeling and ‑‑ it's just an amazing feeling.  My voice is gone I was tired, sweating I felt like I rode the horse and won the race myself it's an exhausting feeling but there is no feeling like it for that exact second.  Will say greater moments in your life like when you marry your wife or the birth of my child, but in that instant when that horse crosses that finish line in front and the way she did it you don't know until the last jump, there is no immediate feeling in the world like that.

   Q.  I don't know who to direct this question to, but Mizdirection is only 4.  She is worth ‑‑
   BILL STRAUSS:  She's coming back.  I want this feeling again and again and again!
   ALEX SOLIS:  Back here again next year.
   THE MODERATOR:  Well, just a terrific moment among many terrific moments this weekend, Mike Smith, Alex Solis, Jr., Jim Rome, Mike Puype and Bill Strauss.  Thank you for your time and congratulations on your great win. 

      FastScripts by ASAP Sports
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