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Jan. 26 Stakes Quotes
Race 9-Grade III, $125,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap
4-year-olds and up, About 1 1/16 miles on turf, 27th running
Jockey Jon Court(Optimizer, winner):“I thought he handled it real well and I knew he should run really good today and I was counting on it. Mr. Lukas is having some luck there at Oaklawn so I wanted to make sure I could bring some of the luck with Optimizer here today.
“I was watching the races earlier and it seemed to be pretty honest and, actually, some of the horses that were handling it were handling it very well and their footing seemed pretty sure so that was a big boost of confidence for me. So going into the race everything worked out pretty much orderly other than he finished on the left lead but he finished with a powerful punch so, happy with that.
“I think he likes these distances. If the race sets up I think he’s capable of going a mile, a mile-and-a-quarter, he’s got that in him, but it’s a matter of how things set up. He can handle it, especially on the grass. Anything over a mile is in his favor.”
Race 8-$75,000 F.W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes
4-year-olds and up, Six furlongs, 28th running
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Delaunay, winner):“He’s pretty professional. He broke pretty good today and I just stayed out of his way and let him do his thing. Tom had him great and ready to go and he showed it.”
Trainer Tom Amoss (Delaunay, winner):“Delaunay is a horse that really doesn’t like the rail, which was his post position today, so Shaun had a tough decision to make and he broke very sharp and the decision was to try to run them off of their feet and go very, very fast and just kind of coast home at the end. Delaunay won the race in the first five-eighths of a mile. The last eighth of a mile he was getting a little tired but so was everybody else, fortunately. We beat a good group, including Gantry, today. He’s a very good horse and you know he is going to turn the table one of these days but he didn’t do it today.
“Maggi and I will talk. We always do. She is very involved. She was involved in picking this horse out when we claimed it and, you know, if I had my druthers we’d stay right here. We’ll look for the Duncan Kenner which is the big sprint race at the end of the meet here.”
Owner Maggi Moss (Delaunay, winner): You claimed this horse? “We both (Amoss and Moss) loved the horse but when he came to the paddock (the day they claimed him at Churchill Downs) we were concerned because he didn’t have weight. I said, ‘This one we’ll give a lot of time.’ I wish I could do the before and after picture. When horses change barns that many times it’s hard on them. He’s probably 100 pounds heavier now and he doesn’t even look like the same horse. If you’re good to them, they’re good to you. It’s that simple.”
Race 7-$75,000 Van Berg Stakes
3-year-olds, 5 ½ furlongs on turf, inaugural running
Shaun Bridgmohan (Animal Style, winner): “I thought he ran great. I got him to the outside and found some good footing for him and he put in a magnificent run down the lane.
“He had two horses beat early on but he was down in the inside and I didn’t think he was traveling very comfortably down there, so I opted to tip him to the outside and I think that’s when he got his feet under him and he, obviously, had a big turn of foot.”
Joe Sharp, assistant to trainer Mike Maker (Animal Style, winner):“I was really impressed. It was his first turf effort here and, you know, the race set up well for him today. A lot of speed and Shaun did a good job saving ground and swinging him out and getting him up on time.”
Race 3-$75,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial Stakes
4-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles on turf, 18th running
Jockey James Graham (Daisy Devine, winner):“She got across it fine. It is still a little bit soft out there, but she’s run good on it before. The day she won the Grade I at Keeneland was a little tacky like it is out there today. Other than that she is a good horse to ride and I’m a good passenger. As long as she was happy I was going to be happy too.”
Trainer Andy McKeever (Daisy Devine, winner):“She ran on a soft turf course when she won the Pago Hop so I wasn’t too concerned and she won on a soft turf at Keeneland so I was confident that she would handle it.
“We will look at the Bayou (Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Feb. 23) possibly and go from there. The Jenny Wiley is our main goal for the year.”