Full Saturday Stakes Quotes
Race 4-$60,000 Colonel Power Stakes (4-year-olds and up, 5 ½ furlongs on turf, 24th running)
Jockey Tony Farina (Due Date, winner): “My horse was the same as he was last time. The only thing is that the turf changed a little bit. And he got a month-and-a-half off and that’s why he became a little bit tired at the end. I am sure next time he is going to be a little sharper.”
Trainer Steve Margolis (Due Date, winner): “He is really coming into himself this year. As we were joking being 6-years-old and all. Just a neat old horse. Gives it his all. Five and a half is really a great distance for him. Richard, Bert and Elaine have always done the right thing for him. He is really running great for us lately. You know when you run in a race like this you are always going to find tougher horses and he stepped up to the plate. The other horse ran a big race and give credit to them. They did a great job. Our horse just found a little more.
“These races are usually not won by big margins anyway, so he did what he had to do and we’ll give him a little rest now and probably look at something at Keeneland in the spring. We’ll talk to Richard and Bert and see what they want to do and we’ll go from there.
“Five furlongs is just too short for him as fast as the fractions are in those races these days. He needs 5 ½ or six so he can get going.”
Jockey Corey Lanerie (Strike Impact, second): Did he get timid at all trying to finish between horses? “No. Actually, I thought he was beat but he really ran hard at the end. He just wasn’t good enough today.”
Race 5-$60,000 Pan Zareta Stakes (Fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, Six furlongs, 46th running)
Jockey Julien Leparoux (Beautician, winner): “There was a lot of speed in the race so that was perfect for us. She was relaxing in back and came flying at the end.”
“There was a lot of pace in there. They went very fast the first half. I got her to relax and she came flying at the end, so that was good.”
Trainer Ken McPeek (Beautician, winner): “She’s been a top filly for a long time. We really wanted to get a stakes win under her belt. Peter Callahan is one of my favorite clients. We have had horses for him for quite a few years also he does business with Runnymede Farm. Mrs. Clay sent us a Sacred Heart badge which we slipped under the saddle towel and we are going to use it again in the Risen Star. It’s special to have good people handle these types of horses for her. She deserves to be a stakes winner. She’s been second in several Grade I’s and it was her turn.”
“I gave Julien instructions in French and he didn’t understand any of it so he usually does his own thing anyway. He’s quite a talented rider and the long stretch really helped.
“I’m probably going to search out the races here during Louisiana Derby Week. I haven’t really looked beyond today. But if there’s a race back over here for her before this meet ends I’d love to run her back here.
“All three of mine fly back on Monday but there’s the possibility that all three would come back in for Louisiana Derby weekend.”
Race 7-Grade III, $150,000 Rachel Alexandra Stakes (3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles, 30th running)
Jockey Julien Leparoux (Kathmanblu, winner): “She is very good, you know. She relaxed very nice in the first turn and she got it done. I got a clean trip and that was important.”
Trainer Ken McPeek (Kathmanblu, winner): “She’s all class. She always has been. I think she is a lot better than she ran today. We were a little conservative with her with her workouts coming into the race. There’s a lot of time between now and the Kentucky Oaks and that is obviously the bigger goal. She overcame everything. She got a little stirred up with the delay in the previous race. I guess they had trouble with the gate and my staff was bringing her over, she saw the running of the previous race and was really hard to handle in the paddock. She wasn’t her usual self but she got it done.”
What’s next for her? “It’s not decided. We have a choice between the Fair Grounds Oaks, the Gulfstream Oaks, or possibly the Ashland. We will take her back to Miami and Gulfstream. Let her settle in and take our time. We got no pressure at this point. Hopefully she will dictate where we go.”
Trainer Josie Carroll (Inglorious, second): “When she kicked in, she kicked in. The winner’s a beautiful filly. This filly’s been off for a while and I think we’ll move forward from this.”
“We knew that was the filly to beat, we took dead aim on her, was running at her, ran her race.”
“We’ll see how she comes out of the race, we’ll talk to the owners and then we’ll make the decision.”
Jockey Chantal Sutherland (Inglorious, second): “I’m really pleased. She’s kind of funny with her break, that’s just her. She missed a step but she picked herself up really well in the beginning. When I came down the lane, I feel like with that race underneath her Kathmanblu is not that far off. That’s a really nice filly and I feel like we’re competitive with her. I’m really excited for her. She didn’t mind the kickback, she’s a really nice, classy filly. That’s a long stretch you have, though, I must say.”
Jockey Jamie Theriot (Gran Lioness, third): “She relaxed very well for me today, I just think we got outrun. Last time she ran against Kathmanblu she wasn’t ratable, she wasn’t relaxed, now she’s starting to relax, she’s wanting to do things the right way, we just got outrun today.”
Trainer Bret Calhoun (Gran Lioness, third): “She ran her race, we got the fractions we wanted, we got a clear lead, we had everything going our way, we just couldn’t hold off a better horse going that far. Maybe it would have been different going a shorter distance, a flat mile or something like that, but today we just got outrun by a better horse, couldn’t have asked for a better trip. I still think she’s going to win multiple stakes around two turns, probably up to a mile and a sixteenth with the right kind.”
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Bouquet Booth, fourth): “Had a good trip, I mean it went pretty slow but I didn't have an issue at all. She finished OK. I wish she would have just given me a chance earlier, if she had relaxed earlier her kick would have been stronger.”
Trainer Steve Margolis (Bouquet Booth, fourth): “"Well she had a good trip. She was maybe a little eager again, talking to Shaun, have to make a little bit of an equipment change, maybe a little bit of a stronger bridle. The water was deep and we knew it, it was a tougher race, she tried hard, and just got outrun today but it wasn’t a bad race by any means.”
“The winner was the horse to beat and we knew the one-horse and Josie’s horse was tough, too, so we’ll just regroup a little bit but, yes, certainly a good effort.”
Race 8-Grade III, $125,000 Mineshaft Handicap (4-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles, 26th running)
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Demarcation, winner): “Paul said to let him fall away and relax back there. I didn’t expect a pace that we ended up having but I could tell that they were flying up front so I wasn’t really worried about it. He kicked home hard and ran very well.
The favorite, Mission Impazible, fought back late in the stretch. “He did scare me a little bit at the end. He was fighting for the win but my horse was very game as well and I had plenty of horse left.”
Trainer Paul McGee (Demarcation, winner): “He is such a consistent horse. Every time he fires he runs his race every time. He ran really big in the Clark Handicap against a stellar field. Just freshened him up a bit and he showed up again today.”
How about the ride by Rosie? “I can’t say enough about her. She is an excellent rider and she fit this horse to a T. She let him fall out of there and let him settle wherever he was and came rolling late. She is a heck of a rider.”
“He is a sound horse. Easy to gallop in the morning and easy to be around him in the barn. He’s a class act that has won on turf, Poly and dirt.
“The timing is perfect for him to make the New Orleans Handicap.”
Jockey Rajiv Maragh (Mission Impazible, second): “Pretty good. My horse ran hard every step of the way.”
Assistant Trainer Mike McCarthy (Mission Impazible, second): “Anytime you see a horse setting fractions like that on the pace, 23, 41, on this racetrack, you know they’re going a true pace. Things might have been different had we been able to sit outside of Asmussen’s horse but the way it drew up the horse basically did all the dirty work, put in a decent run down the lane here. It looked like he was going to come back on the winner.”
Trainer Al Stall Jr. (Apart, third): “I don’t think we have any excuses. We got a good trip and he had plenty of racetrack at the quarter pole. He just didn’t go on with it.”
What do you do with him at this point? “I don’t know, it’s hard to say. I haven’t even thought about it yet.”
Jockey Jesse Campbell (Apart, third): “We talked about the race at length and it’s very rare that everything happens the way you think it’s going to and you’re where you want to be. I was very, very confident at the three-eighths pole but when I called on him he just kind of stayed instead of picking it up. He might need the race a little bit, he was blowing a bit, the horse is healthy so we’ll just regroup and move on.”
Race 9-Grade III, $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (4-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles on turf, 24th running)
Jockey Gerard Melancon (Expansion, winner): “I thought it was a really good effort. I knew I was closer than I needed to be and that told me right there that they were going absolutely too slow but he was within himself and I had a really good, clean trip.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen (Expansion, winner): “The horse has been in California. Scott [Blasi, assistant trainer] has done a great job with him out there. He worked super on the turf. Just thinking that the turf course didn’t suit him out there, they weren’t catching anybody. Gerard gave him a great trip today. He was in a perfect spot with a slow pace and we were very fortunate to win."
Did you figure that there was not going to be much of a pace? “The turf course here, a lot of the races there’s not a lot of pace because of how well they close. He was very fortunate to be an ideal spot especially with them going that slow.”
Trainer Kelly Breen (Sleepless Knight, second): “Sometime the best horse doesn’t always win, I guess, I don’t know. It was a tough race but I was glad to see the horse respond when he finally got out to make the final charge.
“He tried. It was kind of a slow pace and the first time the horse went a mile-and-an-eighth so I’m pleased. It’d be nice to have the check for finishing first but it was inevitable, what are you going to do.
We’ll see. We like to ship horses in company and he only came here because Pants On Fire was running in the Risen Star so we’ll see if we have a horse for the Louisiana Derby and if we’ll be back, I don’t know.”
Jockey Joe Bravo (Sleepless Knight, second): “I think he should have had it. I was on the best horse and we didn’t get it today. I was expecting they’d come off the fence a little bit, everybody’s going to the middle of the track. My horse was handling the course beautifully and I didn’t care what part of the track I was on. He ran hard and it’s tough to be second-best today.”
Trainer Paul McGee (Dubious Miss, third): “Corey rode a great race. He got him to the outside early and did everything but win. Just got run down, what can you say? But he ran a big race. I was happy with his effort.”
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Workin for Hops, fourth): “That horse, he handled that turf course better than any horse I’ve ever ridden on it. He ran a great race. He was sharp today and he hadn’t run in a super-long time so I’m sure he’ll be on his game next time, too.”
Trainer Mike Stidham (Workin for Hops, fourth): “I think a mile-and-an-eighth off a long layoff he probably needed the race. It is what it is.”
Trainer Mike Stidham (Gran Estreno, sixth): “I think he got shuffled back early and Rosie had slowed it down so much when he was back that far he had no shot.”
Race 10-Grade II, $300,000 Risen Star Stakes (3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, 38th running)
Jockey Rajiv Maragh (Mucho Macho Man, winner): “My horse cooperated and settled in well behind the leaders and once he settled I expected him to make a big finish and he sure did.
“In the post parade he did everything right that you would ask from a horse. He settled but he was pretty focused so he was giving me all the right signals. I had been on him already in the morning so I am a little bit familiar with the horse. I’ve seen him run many times so it wasn’t hard to get acquainted with him.”
Trainer Kathy Ritvo (Mucho Macho Man, winner): “He relaxed great today. Perfect today.
“I had a lot of confidence in Rajiv. He’s been on him before with my husband in Saratoga, when my husband trained him, and Rajiv’s a professional, a 100-percent professional. A great rider. And I want to wish Eibar Coa a speedy recovery. I’m very concerned about him and I wish him all the best.
Will you be back for the Louisiana Derby? “We could. I’m just going to go back and see how he comes back and then we’ll make our plans but he likes the track and I like it here!”
Was the shipping experience a concern for you? “It was [a concern] but it was perfect. Everyone made us feel comfortable here and it was perfect.
“We’re going to leave on Monday morning.”
Is this your biggest win as a trainer? “It is. I’m just excited because I’ve got my health back and I’m ready to go. And the horse is great, you couldn’t ask for a better horse.”
“He goes two miles like he’s out to jog. He’s just going to get better the further the distances get.”
“It’s a great accomplishment and he’s improving and he’s just got to stay going two turns.”
Jockey Mike Smith (Santiva, second): “I thought he ran dynamite. Me and the winner drew away from the field, which is pretty impressive. That’s tough to do down this long lane.
I had to be. He was a little too fresh and if I came up next to the other horses he was going to keep pulling so I kind of got him away just to get him to drop it and he did. And then I eased back down. It was either that or go the lead and I didn’t want to do that today.
Is this a Derby-caliber horse? “Without a doubt. That horse (Mucho Macho Man) is certainly headed to the Derby and next time we’re going to have a race under our belt.”
Trainer Eddie Kenneally (Santiva, second): “We’ll ship back Monday to Palm Meadows. We’ll just look at all the options then and come up with a plan as to where we should run him next. But I’m happy with the way he ran today. The winner had an edge – he’s had a race already this year and we haven’t had that. We’ll benefit from our race today and move forward, we expect. He handled the track fine and Mike said he did everything right. I think he’s an improving horse.”
Jockey Julien Leparoux (Rogue Romance, third): “He ran good for his first start back. He ran a good race, he was strong enough, it should prepare him well for the next one.”
Trainer Ken McPeek (Rogue Romance, third): “He ran good. They had him in a bit of a box there with nowhere to go and then, I don’t know, it was a good solid race. The horse ran good and he overcame some obstacles to run as well as he did. We’re happy.
“We’re going to keep all of our options open. We don’t have anything set in stone. He drank about a bucket of water coming off this race and we’re looking at this as one step of many and he’ll be fine.
“We’ll look at the horse and check all of our options. Six weeks, five weeks, four weeks, sometimes three, it just depends on the horse and the time he needs so we’ll see.”
Jockey Jamie Theriot (Machen, fourth): “It was a great trip, really had a smooth trip, I mean I’m following the winner the whole way, I’m turning for home and laid off him and I thought I could pounce on him but my horse just couldn’t get by him, I just think he got outrun today.
“He finished good. I mean, it was the first time I really had to bang on him. The other two races he did it very easy, well within himself, but he’s good, he’ll improve after this race.”
Trainer Neil Howard (Machen, fourth): “He had a good trip. I thought he ran OK. It was a tall order for a lightly raced colt. I was pleased enough.”
Do you feel like he’ll be able to run in the Louisiana Derby? “I think it’s very possible. My feelings haven’t changed about the colt at all. Its tough for a three-year-old that hasn’t raced that much as a two-year-old and I’m not trying to dwell on that too much, I thought he did fine.”
Jamie said this was the first time he really had to push him, what do you think? “Yeah, he’s only had two wins and he hasn’t really been battle-tested like the rest of these three-year-olds and I think that this race will benefit him tremendously.”