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Stakes Quotes from Road to the Derby Kickoff Day
Race 1-$60,000 F.W. Gaudin Memorial Stakes (4-year-olds and up, Six furlongs, 26th running)
Trainer Steve Margolis (Early Return, winner): “He is a very versatile horse, as you saw last time in the Bonapaw when he came from last. He’s won at Hoosier on the lead. He’s won close to the lead. He is a neat horse; he’ll do whatever you need him to do and has a lot of class. He really tries hard every time.”
Were you pretty confident leading into this race? “He’s trained really good. Me and Richard (Klein, co-owner) spoke. He’s run on the turf. He’s a versatile horse. We nominated after his big second in the Bonapaw. Cash Refund, his one-year-younger brother, won an allowance race a couple of weeks ago. So we decided to run Early Return in this spot.
“We were fortunate it was a small field. Shaun did a great job; the horse dug in when he asked him to go.”
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Early Return, winner): “I wanted to get away from the gate quick so I asked him away form the gate and he just kept going.”
Race 6-$60,000 Louisiana Handicap (4-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles, 65th running)
Jockey Jamie Theriot (Recapturetheglory, winner): “I told Mr. Louie and Mr. Ronnie that he was short and next time he would run he would get the job done.”
At what point in the race did you thing you had it? “At the three-eighths pole the horse laying third was starting fading away and gave me a seam with the two in front of me and it was all over from there.
Co-Owner Ronnie Lamarque (Recapturetheglory, winner): [joking] “Louie kinda lays in the stall with him at night. He sleeps with him. He really has a pillow and really has been getting that rapport with the horse.”
[singing] “Start spreading the news. Recapturetheglory is in town.”
“One last thing is that Jaime Theriot is an excellent jockey and did a wonderful job of kindly rating him and he was so confident on the horse and the horse was confident with Jamie and you see the winning results. Praise God. Praise God.”
Jockey Garrett Gomez (Apart, second): “He stumbled a little bit. Really wasn’t too helpful early on. I was hoping they were going faster than I thought they were. He never came with a solid run until about the last 60 yards. Knocked some of the rust off of him and hopefully he’ll get back on track and get ready to run.
Race 7-$60,000 Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial Stakes (Fillies & mares, 4-year-olds and up, About 5 ½ furlongs on turf, 24th running)
Trainer Jeff Thornbury (Wild About Marie, winner): “She’s been very honest. She is a nice filly. We were kinda taking a little shot here and it worked out very well.
“There wasn’t any speed. The way that this thing plays it’s hard to go to the front and do that. We had mixed feelings about it and we did it and Richard rode a great race.”
Were you pretty confident when she was turning for home? “Yes. Until the other horse came up and went by us. And she dug back in. She is really nice.”
Next start? “That’s a good question. We don’t know yet.”
Jockey Richard Eramia (Wild About Marie, winner): “She is very nice. She is very relaxed on the lead. I think she finished good.”
Did you see Chantilly Nayla coming? “I saw her the last 50 yards but my filly she saw the other horse and she started to run again.”
Race 8-$100,000 Silverbulletday Stakes (3-year-old fillies, One mile and 40 yards, 19th running)
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Bouquet Booth, winner): Did you expect to be on the front? “Not at all. But the time in between races obviously done her some good and she was real sharp today. Steve had her ready to go and she was real sharp so she broke good and dragged me out there.
“She’s a fighter. They came up to her and she got a little tired at the end but she knew what she was doing and she gutted it out.
Trainer Steve Margolis (Bouquet Booth, winner): “On paper, we thought the one, two, and five would go and having the six-hole was the perfect stalking trip. Like Shaun said, he’s been working her in the morning and she has been posting some really positive bullet works and she was sharp. She’s got a lot of class. She showed a lot of determination because the other horse had just won over the track. We were coming off of a two-month semi-layoff by design. She showed the grit and the multi-dimensional way about this filly.
“Danny and the group will sit down. Our main goal is the (Kentucky) Oaks in May at Churchill in their hometown. We don’t want to make any decisions right now. There is the Fair Grounds Oaks which is our main goal. The Rachel Alexandra comes back in five weeks. We will sit back and enjoy the win and talk to the folks and enjoy the day.”
Managing Partner Dan Glick of Right Time Racing (Bouquet Booth, winner): “She has an effortless action is the main reason we liked her. She does everything so easy. Look at her today. We didn’t anticipate she would go out on the lead. I was a little concerned until I saw the fractions. Shaun’s a world-class rider. It was in his hands.”
Trainer Andrew McKeever (Daisy Devine, second): “Little green. Still got some learning to do. We’ll just see what happens. Hope she comes out of the race good and go from there.”
Jockey James Graham (Daisy Devine, second): “She’s still kind of green. I know she’s had three runs, but she just tries her heart out every time. Can’t ask for any more.”
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Little Miss Holly, third): “I think she was a little bit intimidated on the inside but she ran a very good race against some quality fillies and she’s really stepped it up since she won her maiden. She’s going to be a nice filly.”
Margolis (Little Miss Holly, third): “She got a little intimidated but for breaking her maiden we were very pleased with her race. I know she’s got the pedigree and the ability to move forward off this and maybe we’ll run her back in the next one.”
Jockey Garrett Gomez (Aide, fifth): “It was her first out for a while since Churchill and she relaxed a little bit better than she did in the past but she still didn’t settle real well. If she wants to be a good horse she’s going to have to learn to do so. She knows she’s supposed to go around there and be competitive, she’s just over-competitive right now.”
Race 9-Grade III, $100,000 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap (4-year-olds and up, About 1 1/16 miles on turf, 25th running)
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Gran Estreno, winner): “He settled in a good spot. I didn’t think we were going too slow to make up any ground and he’s just a great horse to ride and a very cool ride and fired when I asked him.
“I have never been on him before but I’ve seen him go all the time and I always wanted to breeze him or ride him because he looks like a cool horse. He was everything that I thought he’d be.”
Trainer Mike Stidham (Gran Estreno, winner): “He’s really adaptable. He can be on the front end or sit right off. I talked to Rosie and she watched the films on him. Basically said just sit where he is comfortable and he will have one good kick for you.
“Rosie was riding for us this summer at Delaware and she was the leading rider there. We knew she’s got a tremendous amount of ability and she fits our horses well. She works with us in the morning and it’s a good combination.
“I got to say one thing that Marty (Nixon, owner) is in Chicago. He’s the best owner a guy could have so I want to congratulate Marty.”
Jockey Corey Lanerie (Dubious Miss, second): “He gave me everything he had; just second-best today.”
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Joinem, third): “I thought he ran pretty good. He got bumped around a little bit at the top of the stretch but for this first stakes attempt against proven quality horses I thought he handled himself.”
Jockey Miguel Mena (Strike Again, fifth): “No pace. We had a good trip but nothing, empty.”
Race 10-Grade III, $100,000 Lecomte Stakes (3-year-olds, One mile and 40 yards, 67th running)
Jockey Garrett Gomez (Wilkinson, winner): “I thought I was in a really good spot. I felt that he didn’t really want me to be on the fence and when you turn for home you usually float off the fence anyway. I’ve been down there the whole trip. Going into the race he told me that he had a lot of confidence in the horseand he was right.
“I thought four or five times he was going to go by and tightened it up a couple of times on him just to have him look a little bit. That’s a young 3-year-old. That’s what they do. They are still learning how to run. When they get to certain situations they seem to really pay attention to some things. Once he got his head in front you can see him accelerate right away. I thought 4 or 5 times down the lane he was going to do that. It took him a while but he finally got by the horse and got it done.”
Trainer Neil Howard (Wilkinson, winner): “I think he was a little bit flat in his last race but nonetheless ran well. Then he seemed like he had a lot of spring in his step couple of days after that race and his breezes were letter perfect. He came to the race in great shape. Weight was good and his coat was good.
“I trained him as if we were going to the race. I didn’t want to train him any lighter or differently. I figured if we were going to make the decision to go to the race I figured he needed to train in a normal pattern.
“Unfortunately, as you know, Robby (Albarado) got hurt but we were very fortunate to get Garrett.
So is he officially pointing to the Louisiana Derby? “I think all of us with these 3-year-olds are thinking about those races. If the colt keeps doing well I am sure we would like to. I’d say we are pointing to it but I will talk with Mr. Gaylord and we’ll figure out what we want to do.”
Jockey Joe Bravo (Pants On Fire, second): “We had a really nice first turn and it set up good. I was really happy to see Asmussen’s horse not going with us into the first turn and he kind of used his horse to get up with us on the backside. Honestly I take my hat off to Garett Gomez’s horse. That was a lot of effort. My horse was there and he ran hard. It was a great horse race. I hate to be the guy who got beat but, you know, this was the horse’s first time here, coming into town. This is a nice horse.
Did he tire at all at the finish? “He was giving it all. He had his ears pinned and he was trying.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen (Justin Phillip, fifth): What did Shaun tell you? “He said he didn’t break and then he just ran off from there. He hasn’t gotten away from there cleanly since his first race.”