Road to the Triple Crown Teleconference transcript from April 3 2013

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Eric Wing:                             Thank you very much, Michelle, and welcome, indeed, to today’s NTRA Communications National Media Teleconference.  As usual, we’ll have both a transcript and a podcast of this call up in about 24 hours at ntra.com.

 

                                                Obviously, another big weekend of Triple Crown prep races ahead and, again, the NBC Sports Network will be bringing it to households nationwide live.  This weekend’s telecast, Saturday, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Eastern, again on NBC Sports Network, and on that program will be the live runnings of both the Wood Memorial and the Santa Anita Derby.  We’ll have guests that will discuss both of those races with us a little later in the call.  We’ll check in with Bryan Sullivan of Let’s Go Stable and that operation, along with Mr. Tabor and Mr. Magnier will be saddling the likely favorite in the Wood Memorial in Verrazano.  We’ll also focus out West later in the call and check in with Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.  He’s got the San Felipe winner, Hear the Ghost, ready for an encore in the Santa Anita Derby.

 

                                                First up, though, we’re delighted to welcome in with us David Wilkenfeld.  David races under the name Pick Six Racing, and with good reason, but David and the whole Pick Six Racing team will be saddling the undefeated Vyjack in the Wood Memorial. 

 

                                                David, it’s Eric Wing in New York.  Thanks for being on with us today.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Great, Eric.  Thanks for having me.

 

Eric Wing:                             Okay.  David, first things first – Pick Six Racing, I know that’s more than just a name; it’s a way of life for you.  Tell us about how the Pick Six has been good to you over the years.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, I think that everyone probably has read about that, and when I named the—when I bought the horse out of auction and named the stable Pick Six Racing, I didn’t really think it would, you know, end up being about my handicapping, but here we are, and I’ve had some successes over the years in playing the Pick Six, and what can I say?  I mean, I hit a few Pick Sixes, one at Santa Anita and one at Churchill Downs, and it’s something I’ve been, you know, practicing for a long time in terms of the learning curve that it takes to be a good horse handicapper and I was fortunate enough to get lucky a few times, so I thought I would hopefully bring the same good luck to the stable.

 

Eric Wing:                             Now, my idea of a big Pick Six, David, is one that, you know, is like 25,000 split two or three ways, but I know that that’s relative chicken feed compared to what you’ve done.  I’ve read at least one that you had solo for $3.3 million; is that correct?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Yes, that’s correct.  That was back in 2008.  It was a multi-day carryover at Santa Anita and that was the number.

 

Eric Wing:                             That pays for a lot of losing Pick Six tickets, obviously.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Absolutely.

 

Eric Wing:                             Well, David, clearly you’re a player, and I know you’ve played in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge as well, but there’s another aspect to your background that maybe horse players and horseracing fans can’t relate to quite as easily, and that’s your role as the head of PromGirl.com, a very successful business that specializes in mainly prom dresses but also special event wear.  How did you get into that business, which seems so disparate from your down-and-dirty horse playing?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, outside of my horse playing, I’m an entrepreneur.  I’ve had other businesses, and I still do have other businesses, but most of my time revolves around my e-commerce company which I founded in 1998, and we have two web properties; one is PromGirl.com and one is SimplyDresses.com.  I came to start that business, one, because I was dealing with another project that was dealing with streaming video and DVD, and so I became fascinated with the Internet when everything, all the streaming video was going over to the Internet and away from—and into digital platforms so—and my family, my father’s been in the garment sector for 60-plus years and I thought it was an interesting way to possibly try and sell, you know, family dresses, and that was in 19—the first season was 1999 and now the company has over 120 different vendors that we represent, and we do a very large prom business, but we specialize in all special occasion dresses for the teen market and also for an older audience.

 

Eric Wing:                             Well, it sounds like a great idea that you were probably ahead of the curve on and that is a big part of its success, so well done there.  David, I want to ask you about your horse, Vyjack.  I know the horse was named after your parents, Vivienne and Jack, but Verrazano’s not the only undefeated horse in the Wood; Vyjack’s four-for-four as well.  You’ve both come into the race, the Wood, with 50 points, so you’re both in good shape on that score.  Obviously, you want to win, but if that weren’t to happen, are you basically hoping to see your horse gaining ground late on Verrazano regardless of the result?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, obviously, you know, I go into every race with the expectation that we can win.  This race is no different.  The horse is very fit.  I’m not looking at this really as a prep race.  He’s a very durable horse.  We gave him time between the Jerome and the Gotham.  I think the Gotham was a really good learning experience for the horse.  He’s worked terrifically in between since that race and we’re expecting him to run well.  I don’t think the distance is going to be a problem, and we really have—if we don’t win, we have no excuse except that we’re beaten by a horse than ran faster than us.

 

Eric Wing:                             All right, David, I might ask you a question or two later, but we’ve got a number of media on the call with us, so for the first time today, I’m going to throw things back over to Michelle and she’ll canvass the media for whatever questions they might have.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  If you would like to ask a question, please signal by pressing the star key, followed by the digit one on your telephone keypad. 

                                                The first question comes from Danny Brewer of Rutherford Reader.  Please go ahead.

 

Danny Brewer:                    Hey, let’s talk for a second about Derby Fever and how it has gripped you.  Obviously, you’ve got a lot of background in the horse playing, but as a horse owner, is the Derby Fever a little bit different?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               I would say it’s actually a lot different.  You know, my handicapping, it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of preparation, and it’s something that is not really inclusive of friends and family, to a large degree, and this has really been a great opportunity to enjoy the experience with my parents and my extended family and my friends, and anyone that’s seen the Winner’s Circle at the Gotham could see that, you know, we’ve had a lot of people at the races with us and I think that the crowd will hopefully continue to grow and I can enjoy the experience with people that are very important in my life, so it’s been a wonderful experience to date.

 

Danny Brewer:                    Talk about Rudy Rodriguez and what kind of job he’s done to this point training this horse.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               I’m just thrilled.  I think I made a terrific decision in handing the horse over to Rudy.  I wanted a trainer that could be very hands-on in terms of getting on the horse in the morning because the horse was very, very difficult to train at Fair Hill.  As everyone I’m sure knows, you know, we had to geld the horse as a two-year-old and it’s something that most horse owners would prefer not to have to do, and even when he first got to Rudy, he was really difficult and, at times, he didn’t even want to go on the track and train.  So it’s been a long process.

 

                                                And the second part of that was just getting the horse to learn how to relax once he did train.  So that was always the plan, you know, to teach him how to relax because he really—you know, he’s built like a a distance horse, and when he did train, there was always the feeling that he could, you know, had the lung capacity to want to run all day, and the way he gallops, he doesn’t want to come off the track.  So, you know, the transformation from the way he ran in the Jerome and what you saw in the Gotham, I think, is a big credit to the training job that Rudy and his team have done with the horse.

 

Danny Brewer:                    Appreciate it and I certainly wish you the best of luck.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Thank you very much.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from Debbie Arrington of Sacramento Bee.  Please go ahead.

 

Debbie Arrington:              Thank you very much for coming on this morning.  We have a new system for getting horses into the Derby this year, a point system.  What do you think of the point system so far, and did it influence your decisions at all and where the horse should run?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               I think the point system seems to be working very well, and it’s really creating large fields for the prep races and it’s getting the best three-year-olds into the race.  I know a horse like Shanghai Bobby that had a terrific two-year-old campaign and is an excellent horse, but he really hasn’t proven himself to be competitive with the—you know, in the three-year-old prep races.  So I think what the intention was, was to get the best three-year-olds into the Kentucky Derby, and to that end, I think it’s working, and for the most part, I think it’s going to line up for the earnings, with a few exceptions.  So I think it’s—I have no issue with the point system.  They need to refine it a little bit as they—you know, after this year in terms of how many points are allocated to what races, but I guess that remains to be seen after all the prep races are finished with.

 

Debbie Arrington:              Did it influence any decisions with your horse at all?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Not really.  After his maiden race, you know, I kind of was thinking about the Kentucky Derby, and I just figured out a schedule with Rudy and Gustavo, his brother.  I would say no, because we ran in the Jerome which had no points and we could have waited for the Withers which did have points, so we just mapped out a schedule that made sense in terms of timing, and so far, it’s worked out well.

 

Debbie Arrington:              Very good.  Best of luck.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Thank you.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from Dick Downey of The Downey Profile.  Please go ahead.

 

Dick Downey:                      Hi.  Mr. Wilkenfeld, I was just wondering what your shipping plans to Kentucky were going to be after the Wood Memorial.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               My thoughts are to ship the horse fairly early, I would say probably at least three weeks prior to the race.  I think if—the horse hasn’t shipped before, so I think it would be good to get him settled in early, and I find that horses that have a chance to, you know, gallop over the Churchill track and train over that track tend to run better, so that’s the plan right now.  Give him probably, you know, five to seven days after the Wood and then ship him from there.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Thank you, sir.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  Ladies and gentlemen, if there are any additional questions, please press star, one at this time.  The next question comes from Ron Flatter of RSN.  Please go ahead.

 

Ron Flatter:                          Hi, David.  A question about the jockey situation.  Is Joel completely committed to you right now?  Is there any kind of flux there going forward, and what does that look like right now?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, I know he’s committed for the Wood, so past that, I haven’t had any discussion direct with him and we don’t have a multi-race commitment.  If the horse performs as I think he will, then I think it’ll make his decision very easy, and I respect the jockeys for whatever decision they make.  They’re going to obviously choose whatever horse they think gives them the best chance to win the Derby, and if he doesn’t think it’s Vyjack, then I’m sure we’ll find another capable rider, but we’re hoping that we don’t have to cross that bridge.

 

Ron Flatter:                          What did you think about—I mean, he’s had an interesting winter.  He had that two very different rides on Animal Kingdom, where he was heavily criticized, and then he goes down and wins the world’s richest race during the weekend.  What are your thoughts about how his winter has gone?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, you know, it’s easy to criticize a jockey in hindsight and—you know, first of all, I’m not one that’s in the camp of criticizing that race because it was a very good horse, Point of Entry, that was—and it was a slow-paced race.  If he didn’t challenge the front runner, they would have went slow in front of him, and I’m not sure that he would have won that race anyway, and I think he probably—you know, in getting him the race early, it probably set him up better for the race in Dubai, where he showed more pace than he usually did, and on that track, I think, you know, from that post, he had to get good position.  So it’s—I’m not going to second guess the jockey on that move, and he’s always been—I’ve been watching Joel ride from his California days and I always thought he was a top-notch jockey, and I think he’s proving that now that he’s moved to the East Coast and everyone’s getting a chance to see him.

 

Ron Flatter:                          Finally, from me too, with Verrazano liking to be out in the lead, but your horse has shown two different styles; any thoughts about how this is going to go Saturday for Vyjack?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, from the probable entries that I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a lot of pace in the race, so that probably favors Verrazano, and we’ll just have to see how the race unfolds; and if Vyjack has shown, you know, multi-dimensions in terms of running style, so I’ll leave that up to Joel to determine what the best tactic is once the race unfolds, and hopefully it’ll be an honest race track and that’s really all we can hope for, but I don’t—I’m not one to tell a jockey—to give them too many instructions because that can only tend to backfire on you.

 

Ron Flatter:                          Thank you, David.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from Jennie Rees of Louisville Courier-Journal.  Please go ahead.

 

Jennie Rees:                       Yes, David, are you greatly looking forward to taking on Verrazano and see, among the unbeatens, which is the best of the unbeatens?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Yes, I think it’s very exciting and it’s good for the sport.  I think it’s one of the top prep races, if not the top prep race, with how the field is shaping up.  You really don’t want to have too hard a race before the Derby, but it is what it is, and like I said, this horse has proven to be very durable.  His races don’t really take a lot out of him.  He ran three times, I think, within a short 57 days or something like that, his first three races, and he ran well in all three of them, so I think it’ll be a good test for both horses.  I think, obviously, Verrazano’s the best horse that we face, but I think Vyjack is also the best horse that Verrazano has faced to date, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.

 

Jennie Rees:                       Your horse has gotten a lot of attention, but no horse has probably gotten the attention that Verrazano’s gotten.  Do you feel like your horse has been slighted at all, or do you think, well, you know, when you win by 14 lengths, maybe the hype goes up a bit?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               No, I mean, I don’t feel that at all.  I mean, Verrazano has been very, very impressive and he has top level connections.  He’s run at Gulfstream, which is the premiere meet, so maybe we’re a little more blue collar.  I’m just looking forward to the race on Saturday, but it’s all positive for me.

 

Jennie Rees:                       Yes, and a final question.  I wonder if you have any thoughts or reaction to, you know, your trainer is doing a suspension for an overage of a therapeutic medication.  It was suggested on, I think the New York Times blog that maybe because of this, the horse shouldn’t be in the Derby.  I was just wondering if you happen to have an opinion on that.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, maybe that’s good for selling newspapers but I don’t know what it has to do with my horse.  I mean, hopefully, this situation can be used in an educational format and not a sensationalistic format to understand, you know, medication, performance enhancing drugs and the differential.  We all want to see the game cleaned up – I think we all agree on that – but I think the understanding—and I did my own research, you know, on Banamine and it’s a legal therapeutic anti-inflammatory.  It’s used by, I think, all trainers in the country.  It has a place to help treat horses.

 

                                                I think this is way sensationalized and, hopefully, all the facts will come out and it’ll be fairly covered by the press and not sensationalized, and maybe this will be an opportunity to educate the public and come up with some type of fair and equal standard in terms of how the game approaches medications, legal and illegal, and has a standardized way of how this is treated, and also in dealing with security issues because even with the latest infraction in question, that it was in a barn that did not have security cameras.  I know that Rudy’s been trying to get security cameras in that barn, but they don’t own the barns, and they were trying to get electricity to run there so they could have security.  The levels on this supposed positive are like 10 times the therapeutic level, so it makes no sense at all, and I think when all the facts come out, which hopefully they will, and everyone will wait for all the facts to be uncovered, and maybe this could be used as a springboard to deal with this issue in a more fair and equitable way.  We all want to see cheaters eliminated, but I think, you know, jumping to conclusions and sensationalizing a situation is not the right way to do that.

 

Jennie Rees:                       Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  There are no further questions at this time.

 

Eric Wing:                             David, as a handicapper, aside from Vyjack, who has particularly impressed you thus far among the three-year-olds?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               I would—well, I was most impressed this past Saturday by the filly actually, Dreaming of Julia.  I thought she ran a spectacular race, so I thought she was most impressive that day, and I guess Verrazano, of the colts, has been the most impressive to date.  I thought Revolutionary ran a very nice race, winning the Louisiana Derby.  The Florida Derby I thought was a little disappointing.  I thought it would be a more competitive race, and I thought the race came up a little slow; and the winner did everything he needed to do, but I thought the—I just thought—I expected more out of the group that was running in that race.  So—and I don’t think there’s any one clear-cut, except Verrazano has, I think, been the most impressive.

 

Eric Wing:                             Now, if you were to be filling out a Pick Six ticket Saturday, how deep would you go in the Wood?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, I’m always looking for a single when I play the Pick Six, so I think I would single my horse and hope for the best.

 

Eric Wing:                             And use the race as a little bit of a separator?

 

David Wilkenfeld:               I’m not sure exactly what that means.

 

Eric Wing:                             Oh, to get rid of some of the competition that are all using Verrazano.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Well, if you could beat the favorite with a single, you’ll always—that’s always a positive and that’s how you—that would be my little secret for hitting a very large Pick Six, is to single a race when no one else is singling that race, so that would be my tip of the day.

 

Eric Wing:                             Well, we always appreciate the game theory and, David, we really even moreso appreciate you taking the time to be with us today and we wish you and everybody associated with Vyjack the best of luck on Saturday in the Wood.

 

David Wilkenfeld:               Great.  I appreciate that.  Thank you very much.

 

Eric Wing:                             Thank you.  That’s David Wilkenfeld, owner of the undefeated Vyjack, four-for-four and his gelding will be looking to make it five-for-five Saturday in the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct, part of a stakes-laden card at the Big A on Saturday, and again, NBC Sports Network will have the live runnings of both the Wood and the Santa Anita Derby live from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

 

                                                And, Michelle, do we have Bryan Sullivan on board?

 

Operator:                              Yes, he is, sir.

 

Eric Wing:                             Very good.  Bryan, it’s Eric Wing.  How are you today?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   I’m doing well.  Thanks for having me.

 

Eric Wing:                             Bryan, we were just talking to David Wilkenfeld, of course, and with Verrazano, you and Vyjack both have 50 points, by the way, so you’re good in shape regardless going in, but it seems like you’re in slightly somewhat of a unique situation with your horse, and here’s what I’m getting at.  If Verrazano loses, then the racing world will be shocked, you know, oh, the super horse lost.  If he wins by too many lengths, the experts will say he did too much too soon.  Are you among those hoping to see him win by, like, that one-to-three length window?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Yes, well listen, I mean, it’s a tall task on Saturday.  I mean, you got Normandy Invasion is a really nice horse, and Vyjack and some others as well.  So, you know, I try not to get caught up in it all, and I think we’re taking the approach now that, you know, we’re just concentrating on our horse and how he’s doing.  He’s done tremendously well since the Tampa Bay Derby and we’re just going to take it one race at a time, like we have, and, you know, Johnny knows the horse well and he’ll take care of him and do whatever he can with him, and we’re just looking for a good run on Sunday—excuse me, Saturday.

 

Eric Wing:                             Bryan, what pleased you more about the Tampa Bay Derby?  Was it the fact that Verrazano successfully stretched out around the two turns, or that he overcame a couple of other bona fide stakes horses taking shots at him during the early part of the race?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   It was a probably a step up in class and the fact that he had to ship up there and handle a new surrounding and surface.  I would say that was probably what was the most pleasing.  I mean, we’ve never had a doubt that he would go two turns.  I mean, he just—if you see him train in the morning, watch him gallop out in his works, I mean, he never indicates that going two turns would be a problem.  He actually—it actually probably would benefit him.  So, to us, it was more, you know, just being able to handle the paddock scene, new surroundings and obviously stepping up into deeper water, so to speak, and this is the season where you got to keep stepping up, and you anticipate that these Grade 1s are not going to be easy, and the Wood will definitely not be that, and there’s some really nice horses in there.

 

Eric Wing:                             All right, Bryan, more I’d like to ask you later, but we’ll give the media their chance now, and once again I’ll throw things back over to Michelle and she’ll see what the writers and broadcasters have for you.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Okay.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  Once again, ladies and gentlemen, if you do have a question, please press star, one at this time.

 

                                                The first question comes from Dick Downey of The Downey Profile.  Please go ahead.

 

Dick Downey:                      Hi, Bryan.  How are you?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Good, and you?

 

Dick Downey:                      I’m doing well.  What are your plans as far as shipping Verrazano after Saturday’s race?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   If everything goes well, I think the plan is for him to hang in New York for about seven or eight days, and I believe the ship date is the 15th of April.

 

Dick Downey:                      To Churchill Downs?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Correct.

 

Dick Downey:                      Thank you, sir.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from Danny Brewer of Rutherford Reader.  Please go ahead.

 

Danny Brewer:                    Bryan, how’s it going?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   I’m doing well.  Yourself?

 

Danny Brewer:                    Great.  Is Verrazano freakishly good to the point that seasoning is not a factor for him?  Because, you know, Big Brown was kind of like that.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   You know, I think we’ll find out how good he is over the next four to six weeks kind of thing.  You know, I’ve been lucky; I mean, I’ve been around Todd and been friends with him for the last 15 or 16 years.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a horse train like him and carry the kind of condition that he does and handle things the way he does, so everything that I’ve seen from him is something I haven’t seen before.  So we just need to keep moving forward, to a certain extent, and, you know, at some point, we’re going to need some luck, but he’s a tremendous animal right now.

 

Danny Brewer:                    You know, you and Eric talked about the Tampa deal.  The shipping to Aqueduct, is that any kind of concern for you, and how do you think he’s going to handle that surface?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Yes, I think he should be fine with it.  He’s going to ship, then he’ll be at Todd’s barn at Belmont Park for two or three days before shipping over the day of the race, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Todd’s paddock schools him, but you know, he’s got a great mind and I think he gets that from More Than Ready.  He really, really takes care of himself when he’s not on the track, sleeps a lot, eats a lot in his stall and is a really, really good minded horse, and you know, that’s one of the intangibles that you need when you go down this road.  You know, outside the physical abilities that you might need on a track, you also need to care of yourself off the track, and so far, he’s done that very, very well.

 

Danny Brewer:                    How have the pins-and-needles been, because obviously, he’s very, very talented, but as we know, they’re very fragile and anything can go wrong, so are you kind of a little—is it a little bit nerve-wracking as well as enjoyable, the Derby Fever right now?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   That’s the best way to describe it.  You know, it’s both; you know, one day you’re just nervous, the next day you’re excited.  I mean, I just—I’ve got some young girls and they got two weeks off from school the past two weeks, so we all went down to Florida, so I basically spent the last two weeks with the horse.  So, you know, this is what you want to be in this position, so if you can’t be excited, you probably shouldn’t be in this business.  You know, it’s nerve-wracking, but I think at any time in any sport you get to this level, it’s going to be nerve-wracking, so you just kind of—you got to do the best you can and try to manage your horse the proper way and, hopefully, everything else takes care of itself.

 

Danny Brewer:                    Well, I do appreciate your time, and I certainly do wish you the best of luck.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   I appreciate that, thanks.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from Ron Flatter of RSN.  Please go ahead.

 

Ron Flatter:                          Bryan, what’s the commitment you have from John Velazquez, given that he’s also riding Orb?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   You know, we haven’t really gone down that road.  I think, you know, us, and I think Shug’s team, I think we’re just going to kind of let it play out.  I mean, I think if everything unfolds the way we hope it does on Saturday, I would be surprised if we did not have Johnny going forward.

 

Ron Flatter:                          So there’s no written commitment or oral commitment beyond this race?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   I think maybe Todd has spoken to Johnny.  I think we’re—you know, Johnny’s been great to Todd and us, and so I think it’s going to be one of the things that, once we come out of the race in one piece, that Johnny will, I’m assuming, be aboard us.

 

Ron Flatter:                          How do you regard the competition Verrazano has faced so far compared with the other Derby horses that are prepping?  Maybe across the Florida Derby, because it was such a big race, a loaded field among the 100 pointers, but up until this point, how do you regard his competition?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   You know, I think it’s been pretty good.  I mean, I know his maiden race that we—that we said he ran in, I mean, we were I think seven-to-two that day and, supposedly, there were five or six horses that could really, really run, and he ran great and it came back a live race and the horses came back and won right back out of it; and then he ran an allowance race, and again, there were some nice horses in there, and then one of the horses, Gunderman, who we beat, came back and won the allowance race, and you know, I guess the jury’s still out on the Tampa Bay Derby because a lot of these horses have not run back yet; but, you know, he keeps good company in the morning, I’ll tell you that.  I mean, he’s working with Discreet Dancer and Shanghai Bobby and all of Todd’s other horses that he has.  So he’s been battle-tested in the morning, believe me, but the jury’s still out in terms of the Tampa race, but I think Falling Sky and those horses are nice horses.  The one thing that Johnny told us after Tampa Bay, I mean outside, you know, it was what wanted to do getting the win, is that he never handled the track one step out of the gate.  So I think when you add all that up, and the fact that he kind of won almost in a hand ride without the handling the track, kind of tells you something.

 

Ron Flatter:                          Finally, what are your thoughts about flying in the face of history with having a horse not run as a two-year-old try to win the Derby?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   I guess we’ll approach that at some point in the next few weeks.  I mean, I—we actually—Kevin Scatuorchio, who manages the stable with me, we actually—we probably had a 45-minute conversation with Todd, I think the second week of December about that, because he was ready to run, I think the 19th or the 21st of December, I can’t really remember, and Todd just wanted to wait for the next condition book to come out because he wanted to run him seven furlongs the first time out.  So, you know, we talked about it and Todd said, “Listen, I cannot see 13 days.  I mean, is that really going to stop him from winning the Kentucky Derby, if he runs on the 20th as compared to the 1st?”  So we talked about it and, you know, at some point, it’s going to be broken and, obviously, we’d love to be the people that do it, but I don’t think that’s going to stop us.  I don’t think I’m going to point after the Kentucky Derby and say, “Geez, you know what?  The reason why we didn’t win it is because we didn’t run nine days earlier.”

 

Ron Flatter:                          All right.  Thank you, Bryan.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Thanks.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  Ladies and gentlemen, if there are any additional questions, please press star, one at this time.  The next question comes from Debbie Arrington of Sacramento Bee.  Please go ahead.

 

Debbie Arrington:              Thank you very much for coming on today.  What do you think of the new point system, and did that influence your decisions at all on the Derby trail?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   You know, I’m a fan of it.  I think it really rewards the now horses, the true two-turn horses.  I think, like anything that’s new, it probably needs to be tweaked a little bit.  I mean, everyone’s mentioning the Shanghai Bobby, the Juvenile and things like that, but I think it’s worked well.  I think it’s kept these prep races well attended and well packed in terms of the horse flesh in there.  I think everyone’s kind of feeling their way through it because it’s confusing.  I mean, we sat down after Verrazano won his maiden and Todd, Kevin and I, it took us a good hour and a half to kind of figure out exactly how this thing is going to work out, what we thought you might need to get in, and it—you know, I wouldn’t say that it affected where we run, so to speak.

 

                                                I just—I mean, the one thing that we knew is that running in the last two preps was very, very beneficial because that’s when you really get rewarded point-wise.  The early ones, you know, when you win 10 points, it really doesn’t do a lot for you.  So we kind of said, “Okay, let’s go the allowance route, as opposed to maybe putting him into a stake race right after his maiden.”  It kind of let us take our time with the horse a little bit more.

 

Debbie Arrington:              That’s really interesting because I noticed that with your horse, that you went the allowance route first, and then—you know, so you’re banking on the big paydays, you know, here getting closer.  Now, with the other horses, have you done any handicapping of the other horses that you may face on the first Saturday in May?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Yes, I’m a big handicapper, I’m a big sheets player so, yes, I’m pretty well tuned to who our competition is out there and things like that, so for sure, yes.

 

Debbie Arrington:              And so who do you like, or who do you fear?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Who would I fear?  I mean, I think there’s some nice horses out there.  I mean, my personal opinion is that the East Coast, or the Midwest/East Coast horses are stronger than the California horses this year, I mean up to this point, and that might change in the Santa Anita Derby.  I think Orb’s a really, really nice horse; I think Itsmyluckyday is a nice horse, I think we might have needed that race coming off the eight-week layoff, you know; and Vyjack and Normandy Invasion are two really, really great horses.  I’ve seen them be trained over the last two weeks as well because I’ve been at Palm Meadowns with Verrazano.  Then I think, you know, you got to look at—the Louisiana Derby was a pretty impressive win there.  I mean, it was a bit of cavalry charge.  I feel like we’re in a lucky position, that I think if our horse kind of stays where he is, I mean I wouldn’t change places with anybody, and I just think he’s doing well and I just—I feel like, you know, we’re where we want to be right now.

 

Debbie Arrington:              Very good.  Best of luck.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Thanks.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from David Grening of Daily Racing Form.  Please go ahead.

 

David Grening:                    Hi, Bryan.  Was wondering what kind of input you get from the Coolmore camp, if any, and as far as silks and stuff, will Verrazano be carrying your silks moving forward, or how has that been dealt with?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   You know what?  We keep them apprised of everything that’s going on with the horse.  They’ve got horses with Todd, so they speak to him as well, but they’re—we’ve owned horses with them and we kind of have the same mentality, that we have a really, really strong belief in Todd and Todd’s going to do what’s best for the horse.  So they have been pretty good in terms of letting us be in the ship so far but, obviously, they know what’s going on, so it’s been a good mix, and I think it’s best when you let a guy like Todd kind of have the reins, so to speak; he’s just so good at doing things and managing horses.

 

                                                As for the silks, the way it’s drawn up right now is that Verrazano will run in our silks through the Kentucky Derby, and it will rotate thereafter.

 

David Grening:                    Gotcha.  Also, was it a difficult decision to bring in them as partners, or was it easy?  I’m sure they offered a very nice price, but aside from the money, was it—you know, were you happy to bring them on board?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Yes, I mean, it was a tough decision.  It always is.  I mean, you know, for us, when we made the deal, we were kind of in between our maiden race and allowance race, and it was—he was still—I don’t want to say he was unproven, but we’ve seen so many horses run big races and not duplicate that, right, and I think what really kind of sealed the deal is that we had been partners together and we just kind of—it’s an easy transition; it’s not like, okay, we don’t know who we’re getting as a partner.  So I think it’s worked out very, very well for both of us so far and hopefully keeps continuing.

 

David Grening:                    Thank you very much and good luck.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   All right.  Thank you.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  There are no further questions at this time.

 

Eric Wing:                             Bryan, we heard earlier that Pick Six Racing and the Vyjack crew will have a big contingent out at Aqueduct.  Will you have a sizable contingent, as well, between your Let’s Go Stable partners and your other partners out at the Big A?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Yes, I think, you know, not—we only have six people that actually own a piece of Verrazano on our end, so it’s not a big group; but as I’ve been telling everybody, as this horse has gotten so much press, everybody wants to bring families and friends to the racetrack, so we’re getting bigger.  Did they give a number of how many people they were going to have?

 

Eric Wing:                             No, not a precise number.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Yes, I mean, we’re not—I think we’re going to be about 25, maybe 30, which is a decent size but it’s not crazy big, so most of it’s family and friends.  You know, my father owns a piece of the horse, and Kevin and I, and Kevin’s father owns a piece of the horse, and one of my good friends growing up owns a piece of the horse, so it’s kind of a close-knit family.  So we’re excited and looking forward to having a good time on Saturday.

 

Eric Wing:                             And, Bryan, forget the Kentucky Derby for the time being.  What would a Grade 1 win mean to you and your partners in terms of future value for the horse?

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   You know, I mean, obviously, it’s what every stud farm and standing horse is what you need; you need that Grade 1.  I mean, just to take a step back, for Let’s Go and for myself, it would be huge.  You know, we formed Let’s Go in 2006 and have come close.  Ready’s Echo almost got one in the Breeders’ Cup and we—hit the board in the Belmont.  So we have not won a Grade 1 at Let’s Go so far, so it would mean a tremendous amount to Kevin and I, and to Let’s Go and the partners, and it would be something that we would cherish.  You know, obviously, any time you can win a Grade 1 with this kind of horse, that’s already kind of created a little cult following or buzz, you know, it would be a huge bonus.

 

Eric Wing:                             All right.  Well, Bryan, it’ll certainly be exciting to watch your undefeated horse go up against Vyjack, Normandy Invasion and the others.  We thank you for again coming on our call, and we wish and your whole crew the best of luck Saturday.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Oh, I appreciate that and I’d just like to wish everybody else who’s racing on Saturday the best of luck too.

 

Eric Wing:                             Thanks, Bryan.

 

Bryan Sullivan:                   Take care, guys.

 

Eric Wing:                             You too.  That’s Bryan Sullivan, principal of Let’s Go Stable, and his colors will be worn by John Velazquez atop Verrazano Saturday in the Wood Memorial; again, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30, the live telecast on NBC Sports Network; as Verrazano, who’s already got 50 points, he looks to add to that total and take the next step on the road to Louisville and the Kentucky Derby.

 

                                                Our third and final guest today is a Hall of Fame trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, and Jerry will be saddling the San Felipe winner Hear the Ghost in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby, and we understand he may also be saddling a nice sprinter in the Carter Handicap.

 

                                                Jerry, it’s Eric Wing in New York.  Thanks for being with us today.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, thank you.  I can’t saddle both of them, but we’re going to try to run both of them.

 

Eric Wing:                             Okay.  So Sahara Sky is coming for the Carter?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            He is coming and he’s going to fly out tomorrow and will stay with our good friend, Tony Dutrow.

 

Eric Wing:                             Oh, okay.  So, you won’t be making the trip, Jerry, and Tony will be—how is it going to work?  Are you coming to New York for the Wood or will Tony be doing the saddling?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            No, we’re coming for the Carter.  It’s where Sahara Sky will run, and either Tony will saddle the horse or…

 

Eric Wing:                             Oh, I’m sorry.  I’m all confused.  I’m sorry.  Jerry, I apologize.  I’m…

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Oh, that’s okay…Tony or his assistant will probably saddle the horse, and we’re sending our man with the horse, so we’re going to do that, and then Dan and I are staying here.  We have plenty of action here on the West Coast.

 

Eric Wing:                             You sure do and I apologize for having Aqueduct on my brain after talking to the connections of Verrazano and Vyjack.  Anyway, Jerry, thanks for your patience with me.  In Hear the Ghost’s two sprints, he really looked like he was gobbling up ground late, in a way that you don’t often see horses do.  Were you surprised at all in the San Filipe that he was able to do much the same thing, stretching out to two turns, giving off that same impression that he’s just taking one stride for the other horses’ two late?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, you know, we thought we had a really nice horse when he closed off ground in the San Pedro and, you know, actually, he kind of surprised us when he won his first out.  He didn’t show that he would be like that in the mornings.  But we still liked him, so that’s why we ran him maiden special weight, and then he ran in the San Pedro and ran well, and has continued to take strides forward in the San Filipe, and we’ll see if he can keep doing that in the Santa Anita Derby.

 

Eric Wing:                             Well, as you know, Jerry, even when you win these Triple Crown preps, sometimes people like to point out the flaws or the shortcomings even amongst the winners, and as you’ve heard undoubtedly many times, people have noticed that the pace was very hot in the San Filipe, and if the jockeys in the Santa Anita Derby compensate in the other direction and really slow it down, do you think your horse will be fine in that scenario?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, he can be a lot more tactical than he was in his last race.  He can late closer if we have to, and we have Nakatani riding our horse.  He’s won many big races for me and I have total confidence that he’ll adjust to any pace scenario that happens.  You know, I hate to forecast how the pace is going to be until I see everybody that’s going to be in there, but you know, there’ll still be some pace in the race no matter what.

 

Eric Wing:                             All right, Jerry, sounds good, and now I’ll give the media their opportunity to ask you a question or two, so one last time today, let’s throw things back over to Michelle and check in with the media questions.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ask a question, please press star, one on your touchtone phone at this time.

 

                                                The first question comes from Danny Brewer of Rutherford Reader.  Please go ahead.

 

Danny Brewer:                    Mr. Hollendorfer, how’s it going today?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Good.  Good morning to you.  How are you?

 

Danny Brewer:                    Fantastic.  Hear the Ghost came thundering down the stretch in the San Felipe.  Do you think he’s going to sneak up on anybody this time, or do you think that the other entrants will kind of know he’s back there?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, I don’t know.  You know, it’s hard to answer that question.  I’m sure everybody’s going to know something about everybody else’s horses, especially learning something out of the last race, but I mean, pace is going to make the race and a post is going to be an important consideration in this race.  It’s probably going to be eight horses in our race and we expect our horse to run well no matter where he draws.

 

Danny Brewer:                    You talked earlier about his versatility and that you don’t necessarily think he has to be way off and it has to be a super hot pace, so do you think this is going to be another chance for him to demonstrate his versatility and what kind of horse he really is?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, I don’t know.  You know, it’s hard for me to predict without seeing the Form and where everybody’s going to be in the race.  Sometimes your post dictates what you have to do, so I mean, if there’s some speed outside, they might have to use their speed early to get at a good position.  So a lot of it in these big races is—I call them riders’ races, and you have to use a good rider because they know the decisions to make when they have to make them.

 

Danny Brewer:                    As far as your rider, are you fully confident in who you’ve got in the irons and ready to roll with him?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Yes, I am.  He won two Kentucky Oaks for me.  I think Corey will do just fine.

 

Danny Brewer:                    I appreciate your time, and I wish you the best of luck.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Thank you very much.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from Debbie Arrington of Sacramento Bee.  Please go ahead.

 

Debbie Arrington:              Hi, Jerry.  Thanks a lot for coming on this morning, and it’s been very exciting to see this horse develop so quickly.  How does he compare to other horses you’ve had on the Derby trail over the years?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, I don’t know.  You know, I hate to try to compare horses.  I had a really nice colt one time, Event of the Year, that I think would have had a chance to win the Derby but he got injured before the Derby.  So, you know, my theory on running in the Derby is a horse has to take you there and you can’t take them there.  So if he wins the Santa Anita Derby or runs well, then he’ll probably take us to Kentucky, and if not, then we’ll make another plan.

 

Debbie Arrington:              And how has he matured this spring?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, he’s matured very well and, you know, for a relatively—well, he is a lively racehorse, not relatively, so—but he is a lively racehorse but he’s very—has a very professional attitude about him and things don’t bother him very much, and I think even if he’s back in the pack or getting dirt on him or whatever, I think he’ll handle it just fine.

 

Debbie Arrington:              And was there anything—was his two-year-old season why he didn’t debut until December?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, he had a little bit of problems with shins and, you know, we like to work on those and give him plenty of time to get over those, but he had a little shins and a little tiny splint on the outside of the right front, and just little nagging things and we didn’t want to run him until he was perfect, so we waited and he rewarded us for that.

 

Debbie Arrington:              With this new point system, what do you think about it, and did it influence your decisions at all about where to run?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            No, it didn’t and, personally, I didn’t see anything wrong with the old way that they did things, but I mean, I don’t see anybody really—the way they presented it in the Racing Form the other day, I didn’t really see anybody being excluded that should be in the race.  So I mean, I think you have plenty of time to prove that your horse belongs and get enough points, so you know, they want to do the point system, that’s fine with me.

 

Debbie Arrington:              Very good.  Best of luck.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            All right.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from Larry Stewart of Los Angeles Newspaper Group.  Please go ahead.

 

Larry Stewart:                     Yes, hey, Jerry.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Good morning.

 

Larry Stewart:                     Good morning.  How are you?  Good luck.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Thanks.

 

Larry Stewart:                     Hate to ask you this but it’s a—I don’t know if this is a major controversy or not, but Golden Eagle Farm is trying to—I don’t know if they’ve succeeded—extend the security, will have a security guard at the stalls of the horses in the Santa Anita Derby to 72 hours.  Are you familiar with this, and just wondered if you had an opinion one way or another on this situation?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Yes, you know, I’m familiar with it.  I haven’t been told anything about it by anybody official, that’s official and has the power to make that ruling.  I think it’s a rather ridiculous notion considering that they didn’t put that in the rules for the beginning of the meet or for any of our races at Santa Anita.  Things have gone just fine having the security guards on starting the morning of the race.  So I suppose, you know, I’m particularly opposed to it because my horse is stabled at Hollywood and I don’t plan to bring him over to Santa Anita until the day before the race, so I do not want to disrupt his training program and what we have planned for him because somebody else thinks that they have a problem with what everybody else is doing in the race.

 

Larry Stewart:                     Thank you very much.  Good.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            All right.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from John Forbes of The New York Racing Association.  Please go ahead.

 

John Forbes:                       All right.  Well, Sahara Sky, five years old, for the longest time, he competed primarily in optional claiming races.  First of all, I want to ask you what inspired you to take a shot at the Palos Verdes, and also what you think might have made him improve so much during his five-year-old season that he’s now won a pair of graded stakes?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, as a trainer, I like to think that I’m learning more as time goes along, so when this horse showed us that he needed a little time off, we gave it to him every time, and he’s rewarded us for doing that for him.  Last summer, he got real body sore down at Del Mar and we just gave him a little time out, and he came back running for us and then won two big races in a row for us at Santa Anita.  So we’ve learned with him to space his races out and when he needs time, to give him the time.  He’s a lovely horse and I’m looking forward to running him in New York, although I think that’s going to be a pretty tough race, in my opinion.

 

John Forbes:                       You said that you wanted to give him plenty of time between his races, so is timing the primary reason why you decided to send him across the country for a race like the Carter instead of keeping him and having him make his next start in California?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, you know, the Carter, it’s such a bigger purse than the next race coming up at Santa Anita, and our judgment was that the race for $150,000 at Santa Anita could potentially be tougher than the race for $400,000 in New York, although I’ve never found anything to be anywhere near easy in New York; but we thought that we might have a chance to win that race back there, and we’re going to ride Joel Rosario, who’s a pretty hot rider right now and who’s ridden a lot of races for me in the past, both in Northern California and in Southern California, and we just love his riding.  So he wants to ride our horse and we’re going to let him do that, and we’re going to give it a shot; we’ll give it our best and see what happens.

 

John Forbes:                       All right.  Thanks so much and best of luck in Saturday’s races.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Thank you.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  The next question comes from David Grening of Daily Racing Form.  Please go ahead.

 

David Grening:                    Hi, Jerry, one additional question on Sahara Sky would be how reliant, or how necessary is a hot pace for him to be successful? I know he got some sub :44 half miles in those two races in California?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            I don’t know.  You know, you always ask questions that I can never answer, David.  Anyway, I don’t know.  We’re just going to go there and see what happens.  If he needs to lay a little closer on a slower pace, then I think that Joel will be able to figure that out.  That’s why he’s doing so well everywhere; he seems to be able to figure out where he should be at the right time, and so that’s my thinking on that.  You know, I wasn’t hundred percent convinced that I should do this, but after talking it over with all my assistants and with Ronnie Anderson, and Joel wanting to ride the horse, then I thought we should give it a try anyway.

 

David Grening:                    One other thing, Jerry, if I may.  John Shirreffs recently announced that he was going to send a string to New York, I guess part of that given the uncertainty with the future of Hollywood Park.  Have you thought about doing the same, just sending maybe a small string to New York for Belmont or Saratoga?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            I don’t know.  You know, some people have been asking me to do that for a long time.  It’s very difficult to go somewhere else and it takes a while to learn the ropes and what you should do in a different place.  You know, I don’t know as I have the ambition to do that.  I might like to try something like that some day, but I haven’t put that into any active plans at this time.  But I think that the New York guys will like to have John Shirreffs there and he’ll run some good horses there, so I think that’ll be very interesting for John and for the New York horseman.

 

David Grening:                    Okay, Thanks and good luck, Jerry.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Okay.

 

Operator:                              The next question comes from Dick Downey of The Downey Profile.  Please go ahead.

 

Dick Downey:                      Jerry, assuming Hear the Ghost does all right in the Santa Anita Derby, do you have shipping plans to get him to Churchill Downs?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            I haven’t made those plans in advance, no, but I mean, I’ve done this a number of different times.  There’s always—there’s no problem with logistics on moving horses around at Derby time.  There’s plenty of rides and plenty of ways to get there, and so if we think that we should be there, we won’t have a problem making any arrangements.

 

Dick Downey:                      Have you thought about how far in advance you would want him to be there?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Yes, I—you know, I’ve tried it both ways.  I generally like to come in more on top of the race than far out.  I know Bob Baffert likes to go early, I know some guys like to go early.  John Shirreffs took a horse there one time two days before the race and won it, so I’d probably come in three or four or five days before.

 

Dick Downey:                      Thank you, sir.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Thank you.

 

Operator:                              Thank you.  There are no further questions at this time.  I’d like to turn the call back to Mr. Wing.

 

Eric Wing:                             Jerry, one more from me before we say goodbye.  The good news is you’re the trainer and part owner of a very good Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby prospect.  The bad news is he’s a gelding.  Can you tell us about the decision to geld this horse, or how that came about, and did some of the Coronado’s Quest come out in him at some point?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, you know, he was getting to be difficult to handle and so, you know, we didn’t really want to geld him and we gave him a lot of time to try to figure that out, and then basically I made the decision, after consulting with my partner, Ted Aroney, and we decided to go ahead and geld him.  You know, you can—there’s two sides of an argument; you can say, oh, you made a mistake, here was a great stallion prospect, and the other side of argument is that probably he wouldn’t have or maybe he wouldn’t have gotten to where he is right now if we hadn’t have gelded him.  It’s always a hard decision to make when you have a nice horse, so you know, we made the decision and we stand by it.

 

Eric Wing:                             Okay, thanks, Jerry.  And, Michelle, I understand we have one more question in the queue.

 

Operator:                              We do.  The next question comes from Jay Privman of Daily Racing Form.  Please go ahead.

 

Jay Privman:                       Just getting back to Hear the Ghost, I just had one question regarding, you know, you and Nakatani.  Obviously, you’ve had a lot of success with him over the years, but specifically for this horse, was there anything about him that you thought would be a good match with Nakatani being on him?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, you know, I guess the way that it turned out, Jay, is that—you know, we were wanting to use Corey on some horses and we get along well with him and also with his agent, Brian Beach, and so during the course of working horses, you know, Corey was asked to come and work this horse and that horse, and so he ended up working Hear the Ghost and he liked him, and so he ended up riding him like that.

 

Jay Privman:                       Was there anything about his style that you thought would be a good match for that horse, or do you do think he matches everything?

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            I don’t know.  You know, I think Corey can ride anything.  He rides speed well.  You know, he rides—he always comes through in the big races, and he’s a superb turf rider, so I mean, that’s why we’re interested in using his skill on a few different horses.

 

Jay Privman:                       Okay, great.  Thank you and good luck Saturday.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Thank you.

 

Eric Wing:                             And barring any further questions coming from Michelle’s way, Jerry, I want to thank you very much for taking the time to talk about both your horses, Sahara Sky, who will be out here in the East in the Carter, and of course back West, Hear the Ghost in the Santa Anita Derby.  We wish you the best with both, and we’ll be watching on NBC, and thanks again and best of luck to your whole team.

 

Jerry Hollendorfer:            Well, okay.  Well, thank you and thanks to your fans for your interest in what our barn’s trying to accomplish.  Thank you.

 

Eric Wing:                             That’s Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.  He’ll have bi-coastal action.  Both races—well, no, actually, just the Santa Derby will be on NBC, but if you have a simulcast signal at your disposal, you can watch Sahara Sky in the Carter at Aqueduct; that’s a Grade 1 sprint going seven furlongs, and of course, the one that Jerry will be staying home for is Hear the Ghost, the San Filipe winner, in the Santa Anita Derby.  A hundred points will be bestowed upon the winner of that one, as is the case with the Wood Memorial.

 

                                                Well, that’ll bring an end to today’s call.  I want to thank all three of our guests, David Wilkenfeld, Bryan Sullivan and Jerry Hollendorfer.  I also want to thank our announcer, Michelle, and also Tracey there working hard behind the scenes, and of course Joan Lawrence as well, we always appreciate her efforts; and I want to remind everybody about the transcript and podcast of this call.  It’ll be up in about 24 hours at ntra.com, and again, the NBC Sports Network telecast from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 Eastern, live runnings of both the Wood Memorial and the Santa Anita Derby.

 

                                                We’ll be with you again with another NTRA National Media Teleconference a week from today, Tuesday, April 9th, same time, 1:00 p.m. Eastern, same dial-in number, and at that time, we’ll take a look at races, including the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes and the Arkansas Derby.  So very glad you could be with us today and hope you can be with us again next Tuesday.  Thank you.

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