The Notebook September 25, 2013

Voices From The Grandstand

  • Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on his competitive edge (Philly.com):

    It is never about what you've done. It is always about what you might do next. As soon as it's over, I get a cheeseburger and glass of chocolate milk, and I'm wondering, ‘Where the hell's the next one?'

  • Country music star Toby Keith on what he enjoys most outside of performing (TobyKeith.com):

    I really just enjoy racing my horses, writing songs, playing golf and traveling around to see some stuff other than what I see when I’m working.

  • Brent Pease, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Florida Gators football team, when asked what he likes most about Lexington (the Florida Gators play the University of Kentucky Wildcats in a SEC matchup this Saturday in Lexington):

    Horse racing. Horse racing is awesome.

  • Bugler Bucky Sallee on his 51 years at Keeneland (Daily Racing Form):

    I’ve played for dukes and duchesses. Ronald Reagan, he was there one day. I blew my horn for him. I could go on and on. Mickey Rooney, he was out there one day, and we just stood by the clerk of scales talking. Can you believe that?

  • Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye joking about having a graded stakes race at Santa Anita named in his honor but not a bronze bust like his peers Laffit Pincay Jr. and Chris McCarron:

    I didn’t want one of those. Birds just poop on it. I didn’t want that. I tease McCarron about that all the time.

  • Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott on champion mare Royal Delta and her upcoming engagements in Saturday’s Grade 1 Beldame Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park and the Breeders’ Cup in November (Daily Racing Form):

    We backed off of her after the last race. We were a little bit easier on her up there [at Saratoga], just trying to preserve maybe a little bit more for the next one. We gave her a couple of pretty easy weeks up there after she ran – hope we weren’t too easy on her – just kind of looking ahead a little bit because after this, the big one’s coming.

  • Kathy Ritvo, trainer of Mucho Macho Man, among the favorites for Saturday’s Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita, on the approaching five-year anniversary of her successful heart transplant (Los Angeles Times):

    I wouldn't have my life any other way.

  • Saratoga Springs Police Department Lt. John Catone on the recent theft of five trophies from National Museum of Racing (there is a $20,000 reward for information) and its possible link to a heist at the Harness Racing Museum in December (The Saratogian):

    We believe it is the same person or persons. It fits to a ‘T.’ Everything that was done there was done here. Right now, we have no reason to believe it was done by other than one person.

  • Jockey Seth Martinez, approaching his 2,100th win, on the hours he puts into his career and the racing community, including voluntarily renovating a baseball field for the families of backstretch workers at Arlington Park:

    Work, work and more work – that’s a day in the life of Seth Martinez. … I usually get here at 6 a.m. and work a couple sets for [trainer] Hugh [Robertson] and then, depending on how many workers I have, I’ll go work in the barn, too. I’ll clean stalls for my wife who has two or three horses. … I don’t really go out much and party or hang out. I am usually in the barn working or fixing something. If it isn’t building something in the barn it’s working on mechanical things. I did two brake jobs last week trying to help other people. I also redid the ball field.

  • Peter O’Callaghan of Woods Edge Farm, consignor of the Keeneland September yearling sale’s top-priced $2.5 million yearling, on the rebounding market for Thoroughbreds:

    The depth of buyers is the encouraging factor of the sale, particularly as the sale’s gone on. I really think, comparatively, that every day’s been stronger. If you’re trying to buy what once was a $15,000 or $20,000 horse here the last few days, you’re really struggling because they’re bringing $35,000 to $50,000. Just the amount of people bidding on your horses is really great to see. We’ve been waiting for it for a while.

  • Ian Wilkes, trainer of 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned, on the potential field for this year’s Classic:

    Someone said the other day that this is probably the strongest Breeders' Cup [Classic] that we've seen in a long time. That's the way it's shaping up. You want everyone to stay sound and get there in good form. It's going to be a tremendous race.

  • Trainer Doug O’Neill on the retirement of two-time Pacific Classic winner Richard’s Kid (Daily Racing Form):

    We’ll do what is in his best interest in regards to finding him a place as a stallion.

  • Owner, trainer and breeder King Leatherbury on his charge Ben’s Cat after a neck victory in the Laurel Dash Stakes on Sept. 21 (Thoroughbred Daily News):

    That was a typical Ben’s Cat race. He wins a lot but never by much. He’s one of the most fun horses I’ve ever trained, but you just don’t know if he going to get there.

Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Kathryn Sharp, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Kathryn: "Newly imported Argentinian colt, Deselvo, was eager to show off on his first day at Fair Hill Training Center! It was a day of firsts: first bell boots, first polos, first round pen experience, and first near heart attack for those of us watching him play like a 1000 lb. toddler in a sandbox!" Want in? E-mail a .jpg with a brief caption to photos@ntra.com.

Photos of the week

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