BREEDERS' CUP MEDIA DAY LUNCHEON
GALLAGHER'S STEAK HOUSE
NEW YORK CITY
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2005
Contact: Breeders' Cup Notes Team (516) 328-6017
The following are selected quotes from Paul Makin, owner of Starcraft,
from today's media luncheon:
On paying the $800,000 supplement to run in the Classic:
"It's a lot of money, but I'm an old guy. It's not a dress rehearsal. If
you've got a really good horse, you should try to excel. He's won all
the races he can win in Europe. He's won five Group I's from 7 furlongs
to a mile and a half. He should be given his chance to transit from turf
to dirt. Of course, he's never been on dirt, and I'm only getting about
even money on my money. I've made a lot of money betting on horses, but
this is the worst bet I've ever made."
"I've had a terrific battle with common sense and finally stupidity
On decision to run in Classic rather than Mile:
"Luca [trainer Cumani] said we should go for the turf race since he's
already done it. But he's already won two Grade I's on the turf this
year. I'd love to go against Leroidesanimaux, but that doesn't achieve
anything for us. Winning at a mile and one quarter on dirt would be an
"He loves soft ground [turf] and would be well suited for it."
On having to tell his wife, Linda, that he was spending $800,000 to run
Starcraft in the Classic:
"We don't have such conversations. I make the decisions and she wears
the diamond rings."
On Starcraft's chances in the Classic:
"If he handles the dirt, he'll win. If he handles the dirt, he's a 5-2
On Starcraft's strategy in the Classic:
"I don't think we'll have a strategy. We have a very good jockey
[Patrick Valenzuela]. He rides forward. I expect he'll be just off the
pace, three or four lengths off the lead at the turn."
On choosing Valenzuela to ride:
"We looked up his life history on the Internet and said 'This is the guy
for us!' [laughing]. Actually Luca and I worked together on it. First we
tried to get John Velazquez, but he was booked. Then we tried to get
Jerry Bailey, but he was booked. We tried for Valenzuela third, and
we're very happy that we got a top guy."
On Starcraft's future after the Breeders' Cup:
"If he wins, I assume I'll have to retire him. Responsibility has to
take over at some point."
On Starcraft having his own personal masseuse:
"She's a lovely looking girl. I didn't think Starcraft would like a
tart. He's like a boxer-he has to be looked after."