Miz Ida collected the fifth stakes win of her 12-race career with a 1 ¼-length victory over odds-on favorite Daisy Devine in Saturday’s 37th running of the $109,100 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
EARLY TIMES MINT JULEP HANDICAP QUOTES
Steve Margolis, trainer of Miz Ida, winner: “She ran a great race. We had enough works into her before her first start, but there’s nothing like having a race. She was a little eager in her first race in seven months, but still ran a good race.”
Were you concerned about being far back early? “Down the backside, when I saw the half in :48, I was wishing we were a little closer, but then I remembered the way she ran last year and she kicked from that far back. And (jockey) Shaun (Bridgmohan) knows the filly.
Any idea where she’ll run next? “I don’t know. There are a couple spots up at Saratoga and there is a race at Canterbury. We’ll mull it over and figure out what’s best for her.”
Shaun Bridgmohan, rider Miz Ida, winner: “Last time, I didn’t get her to relax as well as I did today and it compromised her finish. Obviously, today she showed the kind of finishing kick she can have if you get her to relax. With a race under her, she was able to relax. Steve (Margolis) has done a phenomenal job with her.”
Andrew McKeever, trainer of Daisy Devine, runner-up: “The other filly (Miz Ida) obviously has absolutely peaked at the right time and she ran a hell of a race. She looked really good as a 3-year-old. I’m just disappointed for Daisy Devine. She needs to win. She’s used to winning.
“I thought he (jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.) rode her perfect. There was a lot of speed. The other horse (Soft Whisper) was obviously sent and told to go. That didn’t help, because she (Daisy Devine) likes to be up in front. But that’s horse racing, you know? You’re not given anything.”
Brian Hernandez Jr., rider on Daisy Devine, runner-up: “We had a great trip on the outside – really smooth. We turned for home and she picked it up nicely, but the other filly (Miz Ida) just sprinted home a little faster.
"We had no trouble anywhere. The 6-horse (Soft Whisper) cleared us off right away, and we got on her outside and just kind of tracked her. She was on a long line and when I squeezed on her she picked it up nicely. But the other horse was just a little better than us today.”
Joe Rocco, Jr., rider on Colonial Flag, third: “I thought we had a good trip. We settled-in on the fence behind the speed and I was able to angle around them at the quarter pole. She put in her run, but just got tired. I think she might have needed the race coming off a layoff.”