An interview with:
CHAD C. BROWN
IRAD ORTIZ, JR.
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Phillies Turf is Lady Eli. We're joined now by, on the left, winning trainer Chad Brown; this is his third Breeders' Cup win, the second in this race; and in the middle, we have Jay Hanley, co-owner; and on the right, co-owner, Sol Kumin. So, congratulations to you all. Chad, let's start with you and get your impressions of the running of the race?
CHAD BROWN: Well, I thought she worked out a beautiful trip. I was just concerned slightly down the backside that maybe Irad would be trapped on the inside. With so much horse, it's a matter of just finding some room. And when he did, she was gone. She ran just like she trained.
THE MODERATOR: And the way she cut the corner? Quite a ride?
CHAD BROWN: She's ahead of her time, this horse. She's trained like a 3-year-old all summer, like a horse that's run 20 times already. She has that much talent. I'm just so proud she got to show everyone on the big stage.
THE MODERATOR: Your impressions of the race. Tell us what it was like to win a Breeders' Cup Race. How did you see it today?
JAY HANLEY: I think the race spoke for itself. I think Chad called it. Looked like she might have been boxed in on a little bit on the backside by Irad, but he found a pocket on the inside and cut that corner really sharp.
At that point he just had the best horse, I think. Let me just say, I want to give thanks to Chad and his staff and Chad's family. So thank you for supporting Chad. How much these guys give up to make horses like this come here is unbelievable. So what I want to say is thank you, Chad Brown; thank you, Chad Brown's family; and great thanks to all of his assistants at the barn, to everybody who has touched this horse from day one, and that would include the breeders.
Obviously, we're at the Breeders' Cup, right up through Pete Bradley, who found her at the yearling sale. These are the people that really make it happen. We don't really know what's going on. We're just happy to be here.
MICHAEL TABOR: We're faking it well, though, right?
THE MODERATOR: We'll find out. I haven't asked you a question yet.
JAY HANLEY: She's a great horse. We're lucky to have her. We're blessed to have her, and we're so happy to have Chad conditioning her.
THE MODERATOR: We'll get back to the backstory on Lady Eli. But Irad, I want you to describe the trip for us, if you would.
IRAD ORTIZ: From the start, she put me in a good position from the first part of the race. And I just followed what the trainers told me, throw some at her, she's the best filly maybe in the race, just ride her with confidence.
And I was just waiting, waiting. And at the three pole, I had a lot of horse. And I knew I had to wait a little bit, but the whole space was there, and I was going for it. I caught her a little early, but I believed in Chad, he told me she's a nice filly, so I called in early, and she take off and she don't give up. She just kept going.
THE MODERATOR: This horse was purchased for $160,000; is that right?
JAY HANLEY: Yes.
THE MODERATOR: Maybe you can tell us what attracted you to her in the first place or whoever picked her out of the sale?
JAY HANLEY: Yeah, there were a team of us picking her out. It was a 2-year-old sale, so it was a combination of her physical and also her breeze.
A couple guys, including Pete Bradley, who kind of had her, said she's a really good horse. A few people I trust took a look at her breeze, took a look at her physical, and we just said let's give it a shot.
THE MODERATOR: I read a really interesting story about how you came to be a horse owner and how you got interested in racing. So would you mind sharing that for those that haven't heard that before?
JAY HANLEY: Well, very, very quickly, my grandfather and my father, who is behind you, and my mother were all into horse racing just from a fan perspective. They lived in Saratoga, or my grandfather lived in a little town called Fort Edward, near Saratoga. I would go to the track as a kid at Saratoga.
Basically from there, I've always been sort of obsessed. Always wanted to kind of give back to my father and my mother. My mother passed away a few years ago, and we really wanted to give her a gift. So I bought a little horse. I had actually built a house for Sol in Nantucket. I'm a homebuilder. He was a client of mine. He was asked what was going on with the horses and it's all gone very well from there.
SOL KUMIN: And that was on Sheep Pond Road.
JAY HANLEY: Yeah, his house is on Sheep Pond Road; thus Sheep Pond Partners.
SOL KUMIN: It brought us all together.
THE MODERATOR: Could you tell us who the horse is named after?
SOL KUMIN: Yeah, it's named after my wife. My wife's name is Elizabeth. Her initials before we got married were ELI, so her nickname growing up was Eli. So we named it Lady Eli after my wife. And she's standing back there and looking beautiful as always. Just had our ten-year wedding anniversary, and very happy day for all of us.
THE MODERATOR: Chad, real quick, you had four starters in there. Could you tell us what you saw from the other three fillies?
CHAD BROWN: I'm really going to have to go back and look at the replay and talk to the jocks again this evening and go over them all. But right now, just have to get him back to the barn and look them over.
THE MODERATOR: Did you saddle all four of them in the paddock?
CHAD BROWN: I saddled three of the four. Luckily one of my assistants got the last one, so it all worked out.
THE MODERATOR: The question is do you want some champagne?
CHAD BROWN: Sure. I'm done working today.
Q. Irad, you said you called on her a little bit early. Was that maybe going into the turn? It looked like if there were any anxious moments maybe get boxed in a little bit? Did you use her a little bit to make sure that didn't happen?
IRAD ORTIZ, JR.: Yes, I have to call on her more early because the space was there. The horse got in front of me. You know, I thought he was going to stay on the rail, so I had to wait. I had nowhere to go. But I see she drifted out a little bit and it was a little early for me because I want to wait a little more, but I have to go for it, because after, there might be somebody that comes from -- I've got three horses on the outside of me, and maybe they've got a little more horse, their horse cuts in front and they're going to close the space for me.
So I felt like that's the moment. I wait a lot, all the race my filly let me know they've got a lot of horse. So I wait a lot. I said let's go a little bit, a little more early. I've got a feeling. And let's go, and that worked out for us.
Q. Chad, you talked at length about how hard it is to win Breeders' Cup Races. Last year, you had 12 starters, this year you have 11. Could you just talk about how hard it is in your mind to win races like this?
CHAD BROWN: It's incredibly difficult. You have to have a lot of things go right. First and foremost, you have to have the horse. Like we spoke about it, there are so many different ways to obtain them, and it's difficult to get your hands on the best ones. To do that, you have to have great clients like these gentlemen, and great staff behind you.
On a side note with that, to have two young guys like this getting in the game, Jay's been in it a little bit longer. Sol's in now, and before we even ran Lady Eli, he's committed to other things we're doing and put some people together. I think this is what we need on big days is guys like this having success and bringing more young people into the game. So I couldn't be more happy with the ownership that got this win today, and it's an important part to the whole process, having the clients that are willing to have the ups and downs and ride along with you, waiting for a horse like Lady Eli, so I'm happy it worked out.
Q. Chad, do you have any thought about running her on the dirt at all or will she stay on the turf?
CHAD BROWN: She'll stay on the turf. We trained her early on in Saratoga. She was training okay on the dirt, but like I told some of the reporters already, the first time I breezed this horse on the turf, she really took my breath away, and I've had some good turf horses. But what I saw that day at Oklahoma on a turf course was amazing off one work. I told these guys, I think we've got a pretty good one here.
JAY HANLEY: He said more than that. He said --
SOL KUMIN: He said this horse will win the Breeders' Cup. He said that.
JAY HANLEY: He did say that. No joke.
Q. Irad, what's this win mean to you and how does this rank in your young career?
IRAD ORTIZ, JR.: Well, it's a humbling feeling. I feel great. And thanks to Chad and the owners that that happened today, and thanks to God. That's all I can say.
SOL KUMIN: We love Irad, just so you know.
JAY HANLEY: Can I just say quickly, thank you to Irad. He has such soft hands and he's so good with the horse especially when they're not doing what he's wanting them to do. To my amateur eye, it's such a beautiful thing. Thank you.
Q. Chad, you were thinking in terms of keeping a horse at your base as long as you could, and then ship them for the big races. Is that a general philosophy or are you ready to make exceptions?
CHAD BROWN: That's a good question. It's a general philosophy. When I worked for Frankel, that was always the way he did it. He liked coming into close to the race and training at his own base wherever that was. A lot of it was here in California when I worked for him. So I've tried to maintain the same system as long as it's working and we've had a lot of success doing it this way.
So the exceptions would be if you're going to a track, particularly a dirt track, that it was really necessary to get a work over the track. Maybe the only reason I think I would go in early. But I like training at my home base at Belmont.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports