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LCD Stakes Quotes
Race 12-$100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Sprint
Louisiana-bred fillies & mares, Three-years-old and up, six furlongs, 7th running
Jockey Diego Saenz (Harlie’s Dreams, winner): “I was on the inside and when I was ready to go they opened up for me. I had plenty of room to go. This filly ran real nice and we did it this time.”
Trainer Pat Devereaux (Harlie’s Dreams, winner): “First of all, we are really happy to be here and the Myers’ patience with these horses and me, I just can’t say enough about it. It makes horses run better, perform better. She is just a wonderful mare and she has seen fire and rain. She’s a beast.
“Diego set the great trip. It broke right and she is great big and if she gets stopped it’s not pretty. She didn’t. It was a great trip and just like we drew it up.
“Our whole crew came today from the barn and they’ve done such a great job.”
NOTE: Harlie’s Dreams won last year’s LCD Ladies for Devereaux.
Race 11-$150,000 Louisiana Champions Day Classic
Louisiana-breds, Three-years-old and up, 1 1/8 miles, 22nd running
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Heavy On Themister, winner): “He ran such a game race. He is a really neat horse and watching some of his past races he just puts out every time and it was a very game effort. Thanks to Shawn for having me up today and to all off the connections.”
“You know, I was really glad that Star Guitar didn’t have any tack on him in the paddock.”
Trainer Shawn David (Heavy On Themister, winner): “He was pretty fit coming into the last one; I think it was just the way the race set up. He got pinned down on the inside, speed was backing up, and I think it was just a combination of everything that led to him getting beat. He’s one of those horses that tries every time he goes out there. But he bounced out of it good.”
“He’s a gutsy little sucker. He’s all heart and he’s a fun horse to be around.”
“We felt very confident after the Evangeline Mile, after we ran with Star Guitar. Those are some awfully big shoes to fill but hopefully we’ll be around for a while.”
“To be honest he is a really easy horse to train. When you get a horse like that he just loves his job, you just put the tack on and we are just thrilled to have him and awfully excited about him.”
“He runs his race every time. He really didn’t handle Delta all that well last time. The mile and an eighth was a question for him but we worked him over the Fair Grounds course two days ago and the way he settled and finished up nicely we were pretty confident going into today.”
“Obviously the race at Delta, their champions day is tentatively our next stop. But, again, that hasn’t been his favorite track in the past. We are just going to have to take a hard look at it. Right now we are just going to enjoy this win and kind of take a step back and see where we go from here.”
Trainer Michelle Lovell (Watch My Smoke, second): “We got a great tracking trip. I think Brian did a great job and Rosie also did a great job. It was just a horse race. If that horse on the outside had come to us it might have pushed us a little closer at the end, but our horse ran huge and I’m very pleased.”
Race 9-$100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile
Louisiana-bred colts and geldings, Two-year-olds, six furlongs, 22nd running
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Hero Force, winner): “You know, this was a really competitive race and coming from the inside we did not have a whole lot of options so, you know, just trying to sit comfortably on the horse, he took quite a bit of encouragement down the lane. He was the best horse today and they have done a great job with him. Thankful for the connections for having me up.”
“He’s probably ideal to be sitting off but we didn’t have a lot of options coming from the inside today. I think he probably improved and showed he can be a little bit more versatile.”
Trainer Bret Calhoun (Hero Force, winner): “He got a little inexperienced and green last time and I thought he was much the best last time and got real clear and kind of got lost out there and pulled himself up late. Just made a lot of mistakes. Of course, he had a lot of company outside today to keep him busy. Rosie did a great job. It looked like he was a little intimated down there but that horse lugged out a little bit late, he got a little braver and went through.
“I think he will get better and better. I think mentally he is a little bit immature. When he gets this all figured out he is going to be a nice horse because he has got quite a bit of talent.”
Owner Robbie Norman of Thomasville, Ala. (Hero Force, winner): “My son, Nathan, wanted to name a horse ‘Hero.’ This is the one we picked to give the name to.”
“I got into horse racing (one year ago) to show my boys what it takes to win a championship. I didn’t think we would do it this quick.”
NOTE: This was Calhoun’s second win in the LCD Juvenile, having won in 2010 with Su Casa G Casa, who won the LCD Sprint earlier on today’s card.
Race 8-$100,000 LouisianaChampions Day Sprint
Louisiana-breds, Three-years-old and up, six furlongs, 22nd running
Jockey Miguel Mena (Su Casa G Casa, winner): “First, I want to give the credit to ‘Team Calhoun.’ They’ve done a great job. And when I came out to the paddock Bret told me to break good and hopefully somebody chases the one-horse (Amanecer de Oro). They did. They were going pretty quick in front. It set up pretty good for us. We were sitting chilly in fourth and turning for home I had a lot of horse and I let him run up at the three-sixteenth pole and he ran good.”
Trainer Bret Calhoun (Su Casa G Casa, winner): “He came into today with a good foundation. We have been pointing to this race for a long time. We were running out of time and Eddie Milligan Jr. did a great job at the farm getting him as far as he could. I was concerned about his fitness and I was very concerned about Amanecer de Oro getting loose on the lead. Like Miguel said, he got a little pressure and Miguel put us in a great position early and Su Casa did the rest.
“Obviously there is a nice series between here and Delta for Louisiana-breds and we will keep him in these races for now.”
“He had some bone bruising in his distal cannon bones, bottom, and it took a long time off to get him healed. He wasn’t going the best so we stopped on him and we couldn’t figure out what it was. It took a while to identify the problem, we turned him out and gave him plenty of time and he responded well to it. It was kind of tight getting him back for this race but he’s doing very good, training tremendously well in the mornings; my only concern was fitness today.”
Owner Thomas Gavin (Su Casa G Casa, winner): “He’s had some physical issues. I made some mistakes with him and we worked through those but he still wasn’t quite right. I just finally decided to take our time with him and do what it takes to get him back to his old self. Sometimes the solution with these horses is just being patient.”
NOTE: Su Casa G Casa won the Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile for Calhoun in 2010.
Race 7-$100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Lassie
Louisiana-bred fillies, Two-year-olds, six furlongs, 22nd running
Jockey Mark Guidry (Sittin At the Bar, winner): “She impressed me a whole lot the first time I rode her and today, you know, I think that the track is a little bit biased and she ran against the bias real good today and she accelerated nicely off the turn, had plenty in the tank. Brett’s team always does a great job and I am just grateful to be here today.”
Trainer Brett Brinkman (Sittin At the Bar, winner): Did she benefit cutting back from a mile to six furlongs? “It made it easier to bring her to the race. Actually, I didn’t have to do as much with her. She came out of that race in good order and we were undecided and then as we progressed along, she made us more confident. She is a classy filly.”
Owner Dale Ladner of Carencro, La. (Sittin At the Bar, winner): "Brett picker her out on paper and picked her out physically at the sale in Monroe. My only contribution to the acquisition was putting in at least one bid after we had reached our limit.”
NOTE: Brinkman won this race last year with Izzie’s Gold.
Race 5-$100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Turf
Louisiana-breds, Three-years-old and up, 1 1/16 miles on turf, 22nd running
Jockey James Graham (String King, winner): “No, I’d rather be a little bit closer but he wasn’t in move with the soft ground and had to struggle a little bit around the turn but once we got to the front side he picked it up willingly and finished it off well.
“I was thinking that I wasn’t going to catch him (Lovely Vin) because he spurted away from us real quick and I was hopeful that when he finally got into gear and he did around the eighth-pole and showed that he caught a little bit of a turn of foot and it worked out well again today.”
“This horse has an answer for pressure. The more you ask the more you are going to find. It’s a little on the soft side out there today and that hindered his ability to quicken a little bit, but once I got into hi into fourth- and fifth-gear he was rolling.”
Owner-Trainer-Breeder Charles Charlie Smith (String King, winner): “It’s all horse. It’s all horse. I am just along for the ride.
“I don’t know that we’ll go in the next one but we may try and go in the Costa Rising on the main track a little bit later during the year.”
“This mare had Quill in her bottom side and his stallion had Quill in his top side. I said, heck, let’s put them together. And it was Northern Dancer on top, Northern Dancer on bottom, so I didn’t figure I could go wrong. But I figured with those foundation mares on top – Quill was by Princequillo and shows up on top and bottom four or five generations back – and I wanted an inbred Northern Dancer, too, so that’s what I did.
“He’s sounder than I am, I can tell you that. I’m no spring chicken anymore but he’s sound as a dollar and I try to keep him that way. I don’t over-train him, I don’t train him when the track’s bad or anything; I’d rather walk. One day isn’t going to make any difference. And I just try not to take any chances with him.”
NOTE:String King won this race last year, also with Graham aboard for Smith.
Race 4-$100,000 Louisiana Champions Day Ladies
Louisiana-bred fillies & mares, Three-years-old and up,1 1/16 miles, 22nd running
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Ladyzarbridge, winner): “I guess it didn’t really matter what the plan was at the break because we didn’t break very well but it ended up working out. You know, she ran just like last year. She ran great on the lead. This filly is what really got me started at Fair Grounds and her connections so I am really thankful for her and all of the connections. Great to be back in the Winner’s Circle.”
Trainer Eddie Johnston (Ladyzarbridge, winner):“Well, she hurt herself in a trailer shipping to Delta and we had to work on it and it took us about a year to get it right. Once we got her right we got her back to training good and here she is.”
“She hurt her foot in the trailer. It was the balls of her feet she hurt so it took us a while to get her right. She was going to Delta, the time when she got beat 27 lengths (Feb. 5, 2011). She hurt herself and we didn’t even know it and we actually thought she broke down in the race. Rosie was on her. We had to let the foot just about completely grow out so she took about a year off and her she’s back and doing good.”
“She is going to Delta to run in the Delta Ladies up there and we will take another shot at that. Then whatever comes available here. If nothing, then we will just rest her.”
“She has quite a physical presence and is going to make a beautiful broodmare when she finishes racing. Her mare (Ballsbridge) has produced a lot of winners.”
NOTE: Ladyzarbridge won the 2010 running of this race, also with Napravnik aboard for Johnston.