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Author Topic: An interview with: CHARLES LOPRESTI, MORTON FINK  (Read 1667 times)
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« on: November 03, 2012, 07:35:15 PM »

THE MODERATOR:  Live in the interview room, we will be joined by the winning owner and breeder Morton Fink.  But we are pleased to have with us the winning trainer, of Wise Dan, Charles Lopresti.  Charlie, congratulations, an incredible ending two an incredible year for this horse.  How have you kept him at such a high level for so long, to deliver a track record performance like this?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  He is just a super horse, every time I work him, every time I do something with him, he amazes me and I've tried not to work him too often and too fast.  At Saratoga, I realized how fast he was when we started to work him on the turf, some of you have seen him work there, so we don't put a lot of works into him in between races.  Sometimes you will look at the workouts and maybe they look spotty and people will wonder what's wrong, but he's a phenomenal horse.
   That's why I ran him in the Shadwell I knew if I didn't run him in the Shadwell I would have to run him two or three times and I knew the works he was going to turn in so I knew I had to do that and it would be easier on him, I only had to do one work in between.

   Q.  You have shipped to Woodbine and New York with other horses.  Were there any other challenges involved in coming out west with your horse?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  No, because if you look at going to Woodbine it took us twelve hours to get there, we were in a stall about six hours here.  He's a good shipper.  He's a good horse.  He has a level head, easy to deal with.

   Q.  As wonderful as a Breeders' Cup victory has to be, from a trainer's standpoint, do you get an added thrill from not a Breeders' Cup record performance but a Santa Anita track record performance?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  Really hasn't hit me yet but it's an incredible accomplishment but it's really the horse.  He's an incredible horse.
   He has done things in the morning that you just don't believe.  He's just a dream come true, you work all your life to get a horse like this.

   Q.  Charlie, congratulations.  I got to ask immediately, after last year's heart breaking loss, in this race, to Court Vision, talk about that reaction and the redemption here a year later.
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  It was hard with him last year, but I wasn't disappointed in my horse, he ran a good race.  He didn't get the best trip in the world as everybody knows and to come and win this race is go be to be incredible, it eases the pain, now I'm thinking about what am I going to do next year and keep these two horses apart.

   Q.  You had Wise Dan to campaign forward and it is remarkable, given the situation that you would have a different horse this quickly and come right back to compete again.
   THE MODERATOR:  We're happy to be joined by Mr. and Mrs. Fink, the winning owners and breeders of Wise Dan.  I'm sorry, were you in the middle of a thought, Charlie.
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  I don't remember.
   THE MODERATOR:  Mr. Fink and your wife, congratulations.  As we just got through mentioning Charlie, not just a Breeders' Cup win but a track record performance, Santa Anita track record and you know this track has a lot of history behind it.  Can you discuss your feelings of accomplishment and pride in having not just owned but bred this outstanding horse?
   MORTON FINK:  It's hard to put in words, but you're in the business for forty years, and you know, you can do everything right and have the best of everything and then you get a bad trip and you lose.
   With this horse, this is crazy to say, it's almost impossible to do that to him.  As soon as he sees daylight he's gone and nobody will beat him, nobody!

   Q.  Charlie, is it fitting that the year has wound up this way?  He has been so spectacular all year long so is this a fitting end to the great story in the chapter?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  Oh, yeah, it couldn't have ended any better.  I knew he was going to run good today.  Every time he runs I know he's going to run good but I never thought he would run this good, I never exported him to break a track record.

   Q.  Gentlemen, I know you're going to savor this win for quite some time but being a gelding we don't have to worry about buys wise going off to constituted, have you contemplated 2013?
   MORTON FINK:  No, it's a long time away, right now I think it's only fair to give him a rest.  He's done more than any horse can be exported to do, he's entitled to a rest.  Can't give enough credit to Charlie.  Without Charlie we would not have this horse.  Charlie and I both believe he is entitled to a rest and we haven't gone any farther than that.  In this business it's one race at a time, no long‑range plans.
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  Mr. Fink has also said we'll take it one race at a time.

   Q.  Mr. Fink can you speak to small breeders ever where who may not have a breeder?
   MORTON FINK:  I've been involved through Carolina Farms buying expensive horses and breeding expensive horses and in this case I paid $29,000 for the mare and I had to seed in Wiseman's Ferry, who I had a partnership when he ran and I knew he was a good horse running and nothing breeding so far as we all know.  But whoever we bred her to, the horse comes out looking like her and they all run.
   She has had three stakes winners, five horses have won over $150,000 this is from a $29,000 mare and she gives people ‑‑ you have to be lucky.  You can do things right but you have to be lucky, too.

   Q.  Charlie, in the absence of Johnny V. can you talk about Velazquez being added to the equation with Wise Dan?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  I'm sorry?

   Q.  Talk about Johnny Velazquez and his addition to the equation.
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  Julian rode the horse and he had to go to California to ride Never Retreat, he was committed to riding Never Retreat, and Mr. Fink and I talked about who to get and I said I would love to call and see if Angel Cordero would let Johnny come ride the horse and when he got off him, he said this is one of the best horses I've ever sat on and I didn't know him very well at that time.
   He thought he was just telling me that and Angel said no he's not telling me that, he means it, he said we would go to China to ride that horse, wherever he goes, we're staying' with him.  And when Graham put Animal Kingdom in this race people said I was going to lose Johnny and I called Angel and I said I'm afraid we're going to lose and you he said I told you I would go to China to ride this horse and the only reason he didn't ride him in the Shadwell it was my fault.  I was going to train him up to the Breeders' Cup and they were committed in New York and I talked to Mr. Fink and that's what good agents and jockeys do they stand behind their commitments.

   Q.  Mr. Fink, you say you can't ‑‑ Wise Dan ever being beaten, we've had a horse of a lifetime in great Britain called Frankel, how do you think you would get on against him?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  Be careful!
   MORTON FINK:  Don't worry about, I'm not going to ‑‑ what Frankel has accomplished, nobody could say anything about him, my God it's a miracle what he's done.  I'm not going to think about how he would do against Frankel.  He's the best horse in the world.  He's retired.  We're never going to get a chance to run so no point of thinking about that.
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  Let me add, anytime a horse, no matter where he runs goes undefeated, that's a really good horse.
   MORTON FINK:  Positively.

   Q.  Congratulations on keeping Wise Dan so good for so long.  You won the race in a manner that rewrote the record books in Santa Anita congratulations one more time.  With Angel's retirement you beat Excelebration, positively the top miler in Europe and Moonlight Cloud is not an ordinary filly either.  Do you have any plans of going to Dubai or putting him on the international stage next year?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  Like Mr. Fink said, we're going to enjoy this, give him some time off.  You know with horses you never know, after a race like this you go in the barn two days, three days from now, may have a problem, hopefully that's not the case, but we haven't ‑‑ we haven't even talked about it.     We want to enjoy this moment and he's entitled to some time off and you know when you travel abroad with horses like that, I think it knocks 'em out when you go to Dubai, it's going to knock him out and maybe we may want to go on and do what we did last year and stay here in the United States and go to Saratoga and Woodbine, but we will wait and see.
   It's definitely an option but we have to talk about it.
   MORTON FINK:  I second that.
   THE MODERATOR:  We have a very important race yet to be run at Santa Anita.  Do you think you're hot ‑‑ nothing is certain at this point but do you think your hat is very much in the ring for horse of the year regardless of what happens 29 minutes from now?
   CHARLES LOPRESTI:  I would think ‑‑ yeah, our hat is in the ring.  Mr. Fink?
   MORTON FINK:  I agree with that.  I think he's accomplished an awful lot on every surface you put him on.  People warned us of the dangers to come here because this track is different than he's ever ‑‑ no change of track has ever stopped him.  So we're we were not concerned about that.

   Q.  Do you think that versatility should count for something?
   MORTON FINK:  I think it should.  He's won with records over surface, there is not a lot of horses that do that.
   THE MODERATOR:  Well we will see what transpires in 28 minutes, but for certain, Wise Dan ran a terrific, historic race here at Santa Anita.  Charlie, Mr. and Mrs. Fink, thank you, and we look forward to seeing him run next year.

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