The Notebook November 07, 2013

Voices From The Grandstand

  • Kathy Ritvo, trainer of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, who received a second chance at life with a 2008 heart transplant and on Saturday became the first female trainer to saddle the winner of North America’s richest race (The Blood-Horse):

    How about that? I hope I'm the first of many. With the heart transplant and having a second chance, it's an amazing thing. Selfless people donated their loved one's organs to give me a second chance and to be in this place; it's hard to come up with words.

  • Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens on his victory aboard Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, his first, at the age of 50:

    This was a tremendous experience to win this race at my age. I never expected to be in this situation. This is the ultimate feeling. It’s the icing on the cake of my career.

  • Mucho Macho Man co-owner Dean Reeves on his wife and co-owner Patti Reeves:

    I want to thank my wife, Patti, for allowing me to get into the horse racing business. It really knocked her out of some diamond earrings and a few other things but we've had the ride of our lives.

  • Trainer D. Wayne Lukas after his 3-year-old Will Take Charge was narrowly defeated in the Breeders’ Cup Classic to Mucho Macho Man:

    It’s just a heartbreak that he lost. He did everything right. The jump after the wire we got him.

  • Trainer Charlie LoPresti on repeat Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Wise Dan:

    He is an exceptional animal, but he's not made of iron. We just need to be a little bit more careful with him next year. But he's sound and he loves to run, and he loves to train. I know one thing about him, even in defeat, he'll give you his all.

  • Trainer Aidan O’Brien on Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Magician:

    He's by Galileo, which is just probably the most incredible stallion that we ever, ever had or probably ever will have anything to do with.

  • Trainer John Gosden on his 4-year-old filly The Fugue after she was beaten by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (TDN):

    We’ve beaten a very good Argentinean horse [Indy Point] but the form is very hard to assess as the winner [Magician] hasn’t run since June. He’s a bit of a joker in the pack [of cards].

  • Sports broadcaster Jim Rome on winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for the second straight year with Mizdirection:

    I'll say again right now what I said last year at this time, and I know I've been saying it, but outside of the day I married my wife, Janet, and the birth of my two boys, last year's win right here was the single greatest and most surreal day of my life, and today might be better. It might be better. It's that good. It is that good.

  • Trainer Sir Michael Stoute on Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Dank:

    I think she should be unbeaten this year. If he [owner James Wigan] allows us to keep her going, she'll show them how good she is.

  • Owner B. Wayne Hughes paying tribute to his filly Beholder after her win in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff over two-time defending champion Royal Delta and Kentucky Oaks heroine Princess of Sylmar, borrowing from NFL head coach Pete Carroll:

    You can’t be a champion unless you defeat champions. And today, I think we defeated two champions.

  • Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey on the retirement of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb (USA Today):

    Orb gave me a huge thrill all last winter and spring. I really, really enjoyed it. [There] really wasn't any pressure because he was sort of taking us there. To win the Kentucky Derby was the ultimate for me. You dream all your training life to win the Derby. But believe, me, it's way, way more than what you ever expected.

  • Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert recalling a conversation he had with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush about Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Secret Circle while taping a segment for NBC’s Breeders’ Cup broadcast at his barn:

    I was showing him all the horses – Game On Dude, Paynter and everything – and we’re walking around the barn. And I said, ‘If you’re back in the west in the old days and you wanted to rob a bank, this is the horse you want to get on right here.’

  • Baffert already thinking ahead to the Kentucky Derby with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day:

    Not only is it exciting to go win a Breeders' Cup race, but you know the minute he hit the wire I started thinking [about] the first Saturday in May.

  • Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin on his charge Dance Card, third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint behind champion Groupie Doll (TDN):

    You’re never just really happy when you run third, but we lost to a true champion. A special filly won it and we’re happy that we’re back along with Grade 1 fillies.

  • Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith on legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker after winning the Shoemaker Award as the leading rider at the Breeders’ Cup:

    As small as he was, he was a giant of a man on horseback and off.

  • Joe Torre, co-owner of Game On Dude, comparing the Breeders’ Cup Classic to World Series Game 7 (Associated Press):

    We know these horses are athletes. I’m looking at it like the seventh game of the World Series. You have the team you want and you hope the race goes well. Just from my conditioning from being in the postseason so often, you try to put the anxiety off until you can’t help yourself. To me, it’s very much like being in a championship game because that’s what the Breeders Cup is all about. These are horses from all over the world. If you’re going to get tested and come out on top, that will be something they can’t take away from you, so we’re looking forward to it.

Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Natasha Armstrong, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Natasha: "This is Reine Des Coeurs trying to get at the grass on the other side of her round pen." Want in? E-mail a .jpg and brief caption to photos@ntra.com!

Photos of the week

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