2010 Louisiana Derby Day Quotes




Race 6-$100,000 Duncan F. Kenner Stakes

Three-year-olds and up, six furlongs, 59th running

Trainer Steve Margolis (Cash Refund, winner): “He came into this race breathing fire. My assistant who gallops him has said he’s been a tiger in the mornings. We’re real, real excited.


“We’ve got the Churchill Downs (Grade II, $250,000, Kentucky Derby Day, May 1, at seven furlongs) and the Aristides (Grade III, $100,000, May 29, six furlongs). We’ve got Country Day, too, who’s coming off a big one in Hot Springs and he ran a 106 Beyer. We’ve got two horses who are both top sprinters right now.


“Our ultimate goal would be the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. It’s in our backyard this year. This horse ran a big Beyer second-time out last year and a big race in the Matt Winn. We’ve always felt he had a tremendous amount of speed.


“These horses that run this hard you have to do the right thing and not run them so often. You want them fresh so they fire every time they run.”


Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Cash Refund, winner): “He’s just naturally a fast horse. When he leaves there he leaves there on his feet and you just stay out of his way and let a good horse do what he does.


“Being on the outside of Euroears was kind of the plan just to kind of see where he would end up and he settled pretty good there for the first mile. Then it was kind of ‘game on’ and he was working it doing his job.


“Once my horse got under his weight Euroears kind of outfooted him. We just followed Kensei over and when we got to the head of the lane he just went on about his business quite easily.”


NOTE: The final time of 1:09.13 was the fastest six furlongs of the meet.



Race 7-$60,000 Crescent City Derby

Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles, 38th running


Trainer Steve Asmussen (Heavenville, winner): “We obviously wanted to route him. Shaun gave him a great trip today and he ran great.”


Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Heavenville winner): “He ran real good today. He broke and he wanted to go. When the other ones went he settled real nice. I had them at any point and he ran real good.”



Race 8-Grade II, $300,000 New Orleans Handicap

Four-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles, 85th running


Mike Dilger, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher (Battle Plan, winner): “He’s got the heart of a big galloping horse and he’s always got more than it seems. He always has a little kick left even thought it might not look like it but he always has something left in his heart. So we always know from now on that in the lead with him is OK.


“We kind of expected that he would have the lead and would be there on his own. Javier’s been doing very well lately.


“He and Johnny (Velazquez, first-call rider for Pletcher) have a good relationship and they talk a lot about the horses and how to ride them. It works well for everybody.”


Jockey Javier Castellano (Battle Plan, winner): “He was galloping very relaxed, not using much energy. He seemed to be very comfortable with the track. I’m really comfortable with the way he did it today. You know he wanted the lead … he is so comfortable in the lead just to gallop along and after that he took off.”


Trainer Tom McCarthy (General Quarters, second): “I was hoping for a little bit more pace; it was slower than we’d hoped for. I’m happy the way we finished up.”


Jockey Robby Albarado (General Quarters, second):We had a great trip, just got outrun.”


Jockey David Flores (Awesome Gem, third): “I had a good trip until I got to the quarter-pole; I got stopped right there for a couple jumps and by the time I got out the leaders were gone and it was too much to make up. When I made my run it was too much to do. It’s a long stretch but you can only make so much up, especially when they’re such good horses.”


Jockey Curt Bourque (Star Guitar, fourth): “He ran great. The pace was a little slower than I’d hoped for but when I asked him he did pick it up.”



Race 9-Grade II, $300,000 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap

Four-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles on turf, 18th running


Mike Dilger, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher (Blues Street, winner): “I was a bit worried when I saw him tuck in like that but the horse really dug in for him there at the end. Last time was his career best and this was probably equal to that today. Where he goes next is really a question for Todd.”


Jockey Javier Castellano (Blues Street, winner): “I didn’t want to change his style from the last time we were here (winning the Feb. 20 Fair Grounds Handicap). He was an off the pace horse that day and I wanted to do the same thing. That’s exactly what happened and I had a good result today.”


Jockey Miguel Mena (Transduction Gold, third): “The old horse ran a huge race today. He made a big move down the lane.”


Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Jet Propulsion, fourth): “He tried all the way. He ran a good, honest effort.”


Trainer Ralph Nicks (El Caballo, sixth): “It was a dull effort today. To me he was never taking him at any point. I don’t know. He trained good going into it and seemed fine; today we just got a dull effort. Beyond that he just didn’t show up, which is abnormal for him.”




Race 10-Grade II, $750,000 Louisiana Derby

Three-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles, 97th running


Trainer Todd Pletcher (Mission Impazible, winner): “That was kind of the way we had talked about it. We wanted to secure a little bit of position from the inside and hopefully come away stalking the leaders and he was able to maneuver exactly the trip that we were hoping for and then he was able to find a little more down the lane.”


“We’ll take him back to Palm Meadows and see how he comes out of it but that’s why we were there today (to earn a spot in the Kentucky Derby).”


Jockey Rajiv Maragh (Mission Impazible, winner): “It was very ideal for me the way it played out. Todd really didn’t give a lot of instructions but he did say not to get tangled up with Discreetly Mine on the front end. ‘Whatever you guys do don’t wear each other out.’ Everything worked out. The horse was always there for me, always willing to go, and that made my ride much easier.


“The horse broke sharply. He had natural speed so he was always in contention off the leaders. Fortunately the two horses that were battling for the lead were the first choice and the [third] choice so I always feel comfortable following horses like that. When they made their move coming off the turn I just followed them and angled out and my horse really finished up strong and ran by the leader.


“It was a good trip. My horse was always in contention and always tracking comfortably. He finished strongly and pulled away at the end. It’s good to have this opportunity . . . hopefully. I hope all goes well. It’s always good to have prospects rather than to have none. We got the money today. I don’t want to think too far ahead.”


“He’s a talented horse and he had some finish down the lane. He just exploded.”


Is this your first time to New Orleans? “Yes … and I’m coming back again!”


Can you talk about the feeling of winning a major Kentucky Derby prep race? “This gives you a prospect that gives you a shot at going to the Derby and a good shot of winning it when you have a horse that wins a top Derby prep like this. He’s got to be ranked among the top three-year-olds now with this victory so it’s very inspiring. There was a lot left in the tank, there definitely was. He didn’t seem worn out after the race. He had a lot of energy and he was real happy.”


Steve Davidson (of Ruston, La.), majority owner and managing partner of Twin Creek Racing (Mission Impazible, winner): “I had a good feeling that he would run well, but this is by far the biggest race we’ve ever won so there’s some surprise. He’s a horse we’ve had a lot of confidence in ever since we bought him at the yearling sale. I think his previous race at Oaklawn, the Rebel, was a sneaky-good race. It was a really wide trip and a torrid pace; he never really was able to get comfortable.


“I thought (at 1 1/8 miles) he would be able to settle into a rhythm today and have a better kick and that’s what happened.”


Trainer Anthony Dutrow (A Little Warm, second): “I’m very excited. First time stretching out so he was in uncharted waters. He answered that question very well. I’m very, very happy with his stretch out, absolutely.


“I think the horse gave everything he possibly could. He fought hard. David kept needing him and he kept giving. I thought the horse gave it all he had. I was very, very proud of his effort.


“Going back to Palm Meadows and I’ll hear from Mr. Evans what his intentions are from here. I don’t know what Mr. Evans will want to do going forward. I don’t know.


“I thought that David rode the horse very well. I thought the race went very well for our horse.


He’s a Virginia-bred, right?  “Secretariat was one, too, and I hope we follow suit.”


Jockey David Cohen (A Little Warm, second): “You know, my horse ran huge. It was his first time going two turns. I had pressure the whole way. Obviously the horse proved he can run with this type of company. With this underneath his belt, you can imagine how fit he could be going a distance next time. I look forward to riding him against these kind of horses again. I’ve ridden the horse before and I was confident when we were running in sprints that he could go two turns. Tony Dutrow is not going to bring a horse he doesn’t think is prepared for this type of race. He already proved that he could run with this type of company, finishing second to D’ Funnybone. He showed he has the talent.


“I’m very pleased for it being his first time stretching out. Mr. Dutrow had him really ready today. I got a hot pace and we never got a break. He belongs with this group.”


Jockey Kent Desormeaux (Drosselmeyer, third): “I had tons of trouble. I think I was the best. Now I might not even get him into the Derby. If I get through I win by three and we’re the favorite for the Kentucky Derby. Instead, now I won’t even get to ride him. Tough beat.”


Trainer Todd Pletcher (Discreetly Mine, fourth): “I thought he ran real well. I haven’ had an opportunity to talk to Javier and the guys back at the barn yet but it looked like maybe the track was just cupping away from him a little bit. I thought he ran a big race and he kept trying, kept digging in down the lane.


“I thought it was a good effort, maybe not his best. Hopefully he’ll come out of it well and make a step forward off of it.”



Jockey Javier Castellano (Discreetly Mine, fourth): “Perfect trip. We just wanted to target somebody. He ran a good race. Turning for home, I thought the race was between me and [A Little Warm] but he didn’t punch.”


Trainer Steve Margolis (Stay Put, fifth): “He got shuffled. He had a little bit of trouble going into the first turn and that didn’t help, but we’re not going to sit here and make excuses. The horse ran a legitimate race and came running at the end. He ran fifth and didn’t disgrace himself. Unfortunately we’ve run out of time for the Derby but it shows he can just keep running on. Jamie said the horse tried and gave his all and a little further would probably be better for him. We’ll just go back to the drawing board and find something for him down the road.”


Jockey Jamie Theriot (Stay Put, fifth): “I had a good trip. We got bumped around a little bit in the first turn but I don’t think it cost us the win or anything. Other than that, I had a great trip.”


Trainer Tom Amoss (Ron the Greek, sixth): “I thought we had pretty good position to be quite honest with you, based on what was going on up front. I do think that the track was pretty quick today. I was expecting a little more kick from my horse at the end and he just didn’t get there today. I really don’t have any excuse.”


Jockey James Graham (Ron the Greek, sixth): “Perfect trip. No horse.”


Jockey Corey Nakatani (The Program, seventh): “We tried to sit back behind the front runners. They slowed it down but he really wasn’t relaxing for me. I thought he was going to; he started to go, then he stopped.”


Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan (Mister Mardi Gras, eighth): “He ran pretty good. You know, my horse just broke his maiden and he tried all the way.”


Tim Poole, assistant to trainer Nick Zito (Fly Down, ninth): “I’ve got to watch the replay to really dissect it. Around the turn at about the half-mile pole he just wouldn’t kick on. I don’t know what it was. The winner was up close, wasn’t he? That pace didn’t really unfold. That’s what we really needed was a more hotly contested pace and we didn’t get it. He was closing ground but the race was over with.”


Jockey Jose Lezcano (Fly Down, ninth): “He broke a little slow. I think we had good position. He only went about a half mile and then he started pulling in. He wasn’t comfortable and was lugging in. At the head of the stretch, he was lugging in and one horse came in and another went out and we had to check a little bit. He lost a lot of lengths when that happened. It wasn’t his day.”


Jockey John Jacinto (Wow Wow Wow, 10th): “My horse is a speed horse who wants to go. He didn’t break great so I kind of let him sit behind the speed horses. I tried to relax him but he wants to go early. On the turn for home, he gave me a little kick but he wasn’t good enough to go with these horses. He might be better going a little shorter.”


Jockey Patrick Husbands (Hotep, 11th): “I went into the first turn second to last. By the three-quarter pole I moved up. I had to keep smirking at him. Every time I smirked at him I got horse; I’d leave him alone for two strides and then he’d drop back. He’s young and a little lost. It was a good learning experience. He’ll go back to Toronto and learn a little bit more up there.”


Jockey Robby Albarado (Island Soul, 12th) was unavailable for comment.


Jockey Shane Sellers (Backtrack, 13th): “My horse ran twice coming off a pair of sprints. We eased him but I still think he’s a nice horse. He laid third and was in the race all the way to the quarter pole. When he emptied out, he emptied out. I wasn’t going to beat up on him. It won’t look like it on paper but I still think he’s a nice horse.”



Race 11-The Grindstone Stakes

Three-year-olds, 7 ½ furlongs on turf, 3rd running


Trainer Mike Stidham (Workin For Hops, winner): “I am very pleased. He just keeps on getting a little better and better.”


Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Workin For Hops, winner): “I was getting banged around pretty good and decided to move a little earlier to get him in the clear. He’s a real nice horse.”



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