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Breeders' Cup 2017

Fair Grounds Oaks Day Quotes




Race 6-$60,000 Bienville Stakes

Fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, 5 ½ furlongs on turf, 24th running

Mike Dilger, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher (West Ocean, winner): “It’s a good start (to our weekend). We’ve got two very fast fillies in her and Starfish Bay (who defeated West Ocean while setting a Gulfstream Park course record for five furlongs on turf in last month’s $75,000 Ladies Turf Sprint Stakes) and I suppose coming here was an effort to try to separate them. I’m glad she ran as well as she did.”


Jockey Javier Castellano (West Ocean, winner): “I knew she was going really fast but I had no idea that was a track record. She rolled out of the gate and I put her in a good spot to keep track of all the other horses. Turning for home, I asked her at the eighth pole and she took off. She finished very, very well today.”


NOTE: West Ocean set a new Stall-Wilson Turf Course record for 5 ½ furlongs with a final time of 1:02.73.



Race 7-$60,000 Crescent City Oaks

Louisiana-bred 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile and 40 yards, 5th running


Trainer Pat Mouton (Daphne Angela, winner): “She gives you her best every trip. I really didn’t say anything to E.J. about how to ride the filly. Being that she was sprinting I knew she was going to have some speed so I just said to slow her down as much as possible and it worked. Those two horses went to the lead and set some pretty good fractions and we were sitting in the catbird seat.”


When did you know she was a good filly? “First time I ever worked her. They sent her to me from Texas and she started off right away doing everything like a good horse is supposed to. She won so easy the first time we ran her and then we threw her to the bears and ran her in the stake at Lone Star and she came up just a little bit short.”


“Mr. (Fred) Currie has been wanting to try her going long. Her sire won the Louisiana Derby and she’s out of a Sword Dancer mare so she’s very versatile. I could shorten her up and sprint if we need to or stretch her out and go long.”


What’s next for her? “We haven’t talked about it. Being a Louisiana-bred if we can we’ll keep her in state.”


Jockey E.J. Perrodin (Daphne Angela, winner): “Things probably worked out pretty good for us because he normally breaks slow and so I just tucked her in behind those speed horses. But then every time I put the stick to her she started drifting out a little more. Then I’d stop and when I had to do it again she would get out again, so I put my stick down. I’m just lucky she kept up.”

Owner and breeder Fred Currie (Daphne Angela, winner): “I chose this mating for the mare (Dancin’ Daphne) because I saw the sire Wimbledon win at Louisiana Downs. I enjoy doing breeding research. Today we were expecting a big race. I just knew she could handle two turns.”


Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Lunar Fest, second): “Close only counts in hand grenades.”


Jockey John Jacinto (Ladyzarbridge. third): “I think she’s a little better on the grass but she ran her race today.”


Race 8-$100,000 Bayou Handicap

Fillies and mares, 4 and up, 1 1/16 miles on turf, 42nd running


Trainer Michael Stidham (Tizaqueena, winner, and A She’s Adorable, second): “We’ll go to Churchill and we’ll nominate for (the May 1 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile) on Derby Day and there’s a lot of good grass races all summer for both of them. So were really excited about that. That was always the plan to try to come back and run in that race that she won on Derby Day again. That’s probably her next start if all is good.”


Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (A She’s Adorable, second): “Wonderful trip, very gutsy filly. The horse came on her inside and she dug in. The entrymate came on her outside and she dug in again. I was just happy she was that gutsy. When the other horse got out there it helped me a lot because once he saw that filly in front of her she dropped her guard and relaxed.”


Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Never Retreat, third): “She ran hard. She got beat by a really nice filly but my filly’s improving. Every time we ask her to do something she keeps improving.”


Race 9-Grade II, $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks

3-year-old fillies, 1 1/16 miles, 43rd running


Trainer Dale Romans (Quiet Temper, winner): “Well, they came running at her but I thought that she had a good finish to her. And Robby rode the hair off her down to the wire and it worked out well.


“We were always headed to the Kentucky Oaks. Ever since she won at Delta (in the Dec. 4 Grade III Delta Princess), we’re from Kentucky so the first thing we were thinking was Kentucky Oaks. We’ll definitely point there now.


“We found an excuse for the clunker (a fifth-place finish in a January allowance). The last race (the Feb. 20 Grade III Silverbulletday) was a good race and she was still two lengths in front of the third horse and just got nailed right on the wire. She might have let herself relax a little bit right before the wire thinking she was the winner. I think she’s one of the best fillies in the country and I think she’s been a little bit overlooked.”


How does this race set her up for the Kentucky Oaks? “It’s perfect. We’re five weeks out and we’ll give her plenty of time, go back to our home track, and I think she’ll come into it perfect. This is a great race for any filly’s resume and we have to prove it for the Kentucky Oaks, and I think we’ll go in there as one of the favorites now.”


When will she ship to Churchill Downs? “She’ll probably go on Monday.”


Jockey Robby Albarado (Quiet Temper, winner): “This feels great. I’ve won just about every other stakes race (at Fair Grounds). I’ve been very lucky. But I’ve been plagued with seconds in the Fair Grounds Oaks. I rode a great filly and I’m proud of her. And they have done a great job with her.


“She’s been getting better and better. There were a few sprinters in there and that helped, no doubt, but I think she would have settled on her own if she had to be out there.

“Today was the day and the best horse won. I knew she had this ability but everything had to go right and she had to be healthy and she showed it today.”


Owner Mark Stanley (Quiet Temper, winner): “She is undefeated when racing on a Friday. Two-for-two. She likes to stretch her legs out. She doesn’t have to have the lead. She has an extremely long stride and I think that comes from her rear engine but nobody has ever asked my opinion about conformation.”


Trainer Eric Guillot (Champagne d’Oro, second): “The post position cost us the race. I knew she was kind of a speed horse but when you look at the statistics from the 10-hole it’s about half of what the inside posts are. I think if she comes back good she’s deserving of going to the Oaks. This year there’s not any superstars, by any means. We will take a chance in the Kentucky Oaks just for the hell of it.


“That was the plan of running here in the first place was to get enough money (if necessary to get into the Kentucky Oaks field) and to see if she can route. She’d never really routed. In the Breeders’ Cup she had a pulled stifle and it took two months to lick our wounds. I wasn’t sure if she could route but coming off a layoff I thought she ran pretty dynamite. Coming off a four-month layoff with one six-furlong race and back in a month—I think it was a masterful performance.


When will she ship to Churchill Downs? “I’ve been working hard so I’m going to take a week’s vacation to Las Vegas with my kids, take a break. I’m going to move my stable up to Louisiana Downs and as soon as I get back from vacation I’ll fly her to Kentucky.”


Jockey John Jacinto (Champagne d’Oro, second): “She’s not easy to ride. She’s very difficult to ride. She gave me all she can and I think she will be tough next out. If we had been on the inside I think we win this race. I was way outside and had to rush her a little bit just to get in a good spot.”


Trainer Dallas Stewart (Seeking the Title, dead-heat for third): “She ran good, tried hard, came flying at the end. We’ll take her back home to Churchill and get ready for the (Kentucky) Oaks.”


Jockey Kent Desormeaux (Seeking the Title, dead-heat for third): “She scrambled away from there and kind of had happy feet in the gate. I elected to let her get balanced. I think I ended up two flights too far back. I ran out of racetrack. She went under the wire full of run. We dead-heated for third but I hope to see her many more times again because she’s a nice filly. I think I should have won. She might have missed the Fair Grounds Oaks but maybe the Kentucky Oaks will be her next stop.”


Trainer Bernie Flint (Sheer Beauty, dead-heat for third): “She was coming at the end—that’s all that counts. She proved she could do it.”


NOTE: Flint indicated that Sheer Beauty will be pointed to the Kentucky Oaks.


Jockey James Graham (Sheer Beauty, dead-heat for third): “(Trainer) Bernie (Flint) told me, ‘We’re 56-to-1. Keep out of everybody’s way and make a little run so we can pick up something.’  I wanted to take back, suck in and wait and make my run anyway. We were a little further back than I wanted to be but it happened. It was the best thing that might have happened to her because she came flying and I galloped out in front of everybody.”


David Cohen (Mambo Fever, fifth): “We had a really nice trip right behind the front runners. They kind of ran away from me at the top of the lane. My filly just kept gathered and really got to them at the very last part. It was a little too late.”


Javier Castellano (Ailalea, sixth): “The post, I don’t think it helped too much. I had to go wide into the first turn and couldn’t save ground. Down the backside she was perfect, grabbed the bridle and was very comfortable. Turning for home she was more kind of even. She didn’t kick.” 


Trainer Bret Calhoun (Jody Slew, seventh): “We’re not really surprised (about the loss after winning the first two legs of the filly series). We missed some training with her (after she got cast in her stall and got bruised about a week ago) and she wasn’t quite ready today. We just wanted to keep her on schedule and we did that today. We’ll take a look at her for the next couple of days and hopefully continue to move forward with her.”


Jockey Miguel Mena (Jody Slew, seventh): “She felt good. She was sound and everything. She was just empty late. She made a little move and then by the sixteenth pole she was tiring. She had a hard race (last time out) and had a couple of problems but she’ll be a different horse in the Kentucky Oaks.”




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