Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Teleconference – Charles Lopresti, Rosie Napravnik and Jeff Bonde

Eric Wing: Welcome to this NTRA Communications National Media teleconference. This weekend marks the first two of five, “Summer at Saratoga” television programs on the NBC family of networks, a quick start to that series with shows both Saturday and Sunday, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Eastern both days on NBC Sports Network. And on Saturday the show will focus on the Grade 2 $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap going a mile on the grass at Saratoga. And on Sunday again, NBC Sports Net from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., a pair of Grade 2, $200,000 stakes events for two-year-olds, the Adirondack Stakes and the Saratoga Special Stakes, both of course at Saratoga. A little later in the call we’ll talk to a jockey who has very live mounts in both of those Sunday two-year-old stakes, Rosie Napravnik. She’ll have the very fleet debut of Kauai Katie in the Adirondack and the stakes winning Shanghai Bobby, a perfect two for two thus far in his career, set to go in the Saratoga Special. We’ll also reach out to Jeff Bonde a little later in the call. Jeff will be saddling the diminutive but the fleet filly, I should say, Cambina who will be starting in Sunday’s Grade 2, $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes out at Del Mar on the Jimmy Durante turf course, going a mile and an eighth. First up, though we’re happy to welcome in trainer Charlie Lopresti. Charlie will saddle the very talented and versatile Wise Dan in Saturday’s Fourstardave Handicap. Charlie, its Eric Wing in New York. How are you today?

 

Charlie Lopresti: I’m doing just great. Thank you, guys for having us.

 

Eric Wing: Our pleasure, Charlie and Wise Dan, looking over his career, he’s already captured a Grade 1 on dirt. He’s won Grade 2 stakes on both turf and synthetic. How come Wise Dan is so versatile when it seems that virtually every other horse in training indicates a strong preference for one surface or another at some point?

 

Charlie Lopresti: You know, he just—he just likes to run. I think that’s the biggest thing about it. He enjoys running and I don’t think it really matters, surface-wise. We brought him up here to Saratoga and we—we brought he and Successful Dan as well, and pointed Successful Dan for the Whitney and we’re trying to keep Wise Dan separate from him. So we knew he liked the grass, so that’s why we brought him up for the Fourstardave and disappointing what happened to Successful Dan. He’s on the shelf for about 60 to 90 days now and maybe we could have run him in the Whitney but I don’t think he particularly was moving as well on the dirt as when I took him to the Saratoga turf. He’s had two very, very, very good walks on the turf at Saratoga.

 

Eric Wing: And I know you said right after the Successful Dan injury that you had been pointing Wise Dan for the Fourstardave. You had trained him to that point for that race and you were going to stay the course. Do preparations for two races like that differ in a significant way?

 

Charlie Lopresti: Well, I think in his case it did because he didn’t even get to breeze over the Saratoga dirt and, you know, it would have been very hard to change plans. You know, he’d been over to the turf twice and I thought that maybe he wasn’t moving as well over the Saratoga dirt but I can tell you over the last week or so, probably the last week he’s really shown a liking to it as well. But we’ve made this plan and I think once you make plans you stick to them. It’s just kind of hard to change in mid stream just because another horse had you alter course.

 

Jennie Rees: Hi Charlie, just looking ahead to the final in the Breeders’ Cup, with his versatility, I mean, what are your thoughts at this point as far as what race you might point him towards and how might that impact his races on average? Would you be looking at races that will win for your ends and it wouldn’t necessarily matter the surface. You thought you could win them because you can take that money towards any event, is my understanding, of entry fees.

 

Charlie Lopresti: Yes, you know, we’re just going to get through this weekend and see what happens. You know, once we see how he does up here and Mr. Fink and I will put our heads together and really talk about it. I mean, if he should really excel on grass again, then there’s the Woodbine Mile which we won with Turallure last year, so that’s an option. And then, you know, he’s been training really good on the dirt up here now. It’s taken him awhile to really get it together on it but he’s been training good so, you know, maybe we would be looking, you know, just an outside chance, maybe we would want to run him in the Woodward after this, just to prove that he’s really a good horse on any surface. And I think if you take a horse like this and if he can win the Fourstardave and he can come back and be—and win the Woodward then boy, that would really make—that would really open up a lot of options for a horse like this.

 

Jennie Rees: Yes.

 

Charlie Lopresti: And I know it’s crazy to change surfaces back and forth on a horse and you don’t like to do it but this horse has shown before that he can do whatever.

 

Jennie Rees: Where the heck do you think he gets that from because Successful Dan’s an awful nice horse but he doesn’t have that same sort of—of course he’s probably stayed in one piece long enough maybe he doesn’t show that kind of versatility.

 

Charlie Lopresti: Well, you know, that’s—that’s the thing. I mean, people don’t realize, Successful Dan’s a very, very fine looking horse and I know I’m pretty partial to him but he is a very talented horse and he’s had a lot of issues. So, every time one of those issues pops up you’ve got to back off and start over again but you know, Successful Dan has run on the dirt and he’s run very well on synthetic. He’s never had a chance to be—we never got to try him on the grass so I wouldn’t—I wouldn’t count it out. He’s just never had the opportunity to do that.

 

Jennie Rees: And final question, can you just evaluate the Stephen Foster when he gets beat a head by the Santa Anita Handicap winner that looking back, what are your thoughts on that race?

 

Charlie Lopresti: Yes, you know, I think he ran a really good race, Jennie and I think—I tell you, I don’t think he really handled that dirt as well as people thought. Usually he’s on the bridle down the backside. He’s pretty hard on the bridle and it took him awhile to get his feet under him and get going in that race that night and he was really, right at the end, you know, Nates Mineshaft was all over the track. He was—said he kind of drifted out on us and we had to get out and John had said, you know, he had a hard time getting by him but when he got by him, you know, he was running at his best. He said he never saw we had a horse, Ron the Greek, coming. Nothing—take nothing away from that horse, he ran a great race. So we know we’re in the right, you know, we’re in the right competition for him here and the horse came back up here and ran good the other day in the Whitney. I mean, I know we didn’t win it but he ran a good race. So, you know, it was a good race for him. I mean, he only got beat by I guess it was a neck or a head or whatever it was. So, I’m not disappointed. Yes, I’m not disappointed. Actually, I thought I won the race at first and then when I saw the slow-mo, same thing, like Turallure in the Breeders’ Cup I was like, oh no, not again.

 

Danny Brewer: How competitive is Wise Dan as a runner? I mean, because, you know, he likes to start the pace and when he gets in front he likes to stay in front. Do you think he’s got a competitive edge about him?

 

Charlie Lopresti: Well, I think he does, yes. He is pretty competitive. I think he likes to run. I think obviously surface doesn’t matter to him. Probably if you look at his numbers, his numbers are probably better on synthetic and grass. I mean his grass numbers on synthetic. And I think he’s a very competitive horse and he likes to run and he likes the game.

 

Danny Brewer: I know that Johnny V. said he didn’t see Ron the Greek coming. Do you think Wise Dan saw Ron the Greek coming in the Foster?

 

Charlie Lopresti: You know, I don’t know. That’s a hard one. I kind of like to think that he’s—that he’s like that but to say that for sure, I don’t know. I think the horse thought he won and you know, he galloped out really strong and whether they know when they get their picture taken or not, I’m not 100% sure about it but I know one thing, he came out of the race in good form and he wasn’t depressed or anything like that. You know, so I mean, he’s really competitive and whether he knows and he’d seen Ron the Greek coming, I’m just going by what Johnny said. And if you really watch the race and you realize where that horse came from, it would be hard for him to see but that horse really ran a great race, Ron the Greek. I mean, you know, he’s a good horse, too. I mean, coming out of the, you know, the Santa Anita Handicap like he did and all, I mean, it’s no disgrace to get beat to a head, get beat a head by a horse like that and that’s what happens in these big races, you know. They go back and forth and the really good ones are undefeated and there haven’t been many of those.

 

Danny Brewer: That’s exactly right. Now, as far as the distance for the Fourstardave, it’s at a mile. It cuts back a little bit. Is that any concern for you?

 

Charlie Lopresti: No because he’s won the Presque Isle Mile. Maybe I would like for it to be a mile and a sixteenth but you know, you can’t—it’s hard to pick and choose. I’m a little bit, you know, that’s going to be on the inner turf and how tight those turns are. He’s a big, long horse. It maybe is a little bit of a concern but you know, he did it up there at Presque Isle and I think he’s—I think he’s pretty versatile from a mile to a mile and eighth and no telling how much further he’ll go. You know Johnny V. told me once he thought he’d go as far as he wanted him to go.

 

Danny Brewer: And the Firecracker was at a mile, too wasn’t it?

 

Charlie Lopresti: Oh yes, I forgot about that. Yes, it was. It was. He lay on the outside. I think the thing he’s going to be post resistant, you know. It’s a leap to have a big horse like that. If you really look at him, he’s a real, big, long horse and you’d hate to have him down on the inside and have to negotiate those turns, you know. I’d rather see him to the middle, to the outside where he can just draft off of his speed and just cruise around there and once he gets in his cruising gear, he doesn’t get stopped, I think he’ll be in good shape.

 

Jennie Rees: Yes, Charlie, how many horses do you have? Is Wise Dan your only horse at Saratoga right now?

 

Charlie Lopresti: No, no, I have five up here with me right now.

 

Jennie Rees: Okay and if you could just kind of give us an update of maybe, isn’t Turallure on the shelf, as well as Successful Dan?

 

Charlie Lopresti: Yes, yes, you know, I think were you with me when he ran in the Firecracker?

 

Jennie Rees: Right, yes (cross talking).

 

Charlie Lopresti: I think you were with me that time when I said going into the first turn that, you know, I said he’s not going to run good tonight. I could just tell the way he was climbing and a lot of people thought, well maybe it was that softer turf that night but I can tell you, after his race Derby day and that is something—the horse wasn’t the same. I mean, he was trying to kick down the lane. You know we got beat three lanes that night but I’m not taking anything away from those horses. He should have won that race. And to answer your question real quickly, we took him to Rood & Riddle and I told Dr. Bramlage, I said, just something is holding this horse back and he’s not the same horse and I can’t put my finger on it. We did a bone scan and found that he had that bruising in the cannon bones which we’re seeing a lot of this year, in a lot of good horses I’ve read about. And he should be—we go 1st of September, he’s turned out at my farm just completely turned out the first of September he gets reevaluated. Hopefully those—that bruising will be healed and we can start back.

 

Jennie Rees: Uh-huh, I mean, do you think that maybe just start diagnosing or why is it so much you do start hearing about that a lot more of these bruised cannon bones?

 

Charlie Lopresti: You know what, I wish I could tell you? I’ve had—I’ve had five of them this year and they’ve been at different levels. They’ve been Grade 1 winners to $25,000 claimers, you know. They just, I don’t know why within so much about it or maybe years ago, you know, we just worked through it, you know. We just—they moved kind of shuffle or funny but in Turallure’s case I can tell you, he never showed any of it. I mean, his breezes were good. When it showed up on him was right at—well it never showed up until I did a bone scan. I mean, the other horses I’ve had, they’d been kind of short striding, shuffling, kind of horses just didn’t look comfortable and they weren’t lame. We picked it up on those guys. But on Turallure, I guess he’s just such a good horse that when he galloped in the morning and breezed, he never gave us any indication that that was bothering him. When he ran the first time against Gotta Wink and Get Stormy at Keeneland, I mean, he got beat a head or half in length or head and neck, whatever it was. You know, I just attributed it to well, maybe he’s just, you know, been off for awhile and he needed that race but maybe after the Breeders’ Cup that started to bother him and we didn’t give him enough time. We just, you know, gave him I guess six weeks or something off and brought it back and maybe it brought it back to a head. Maybe that was lingering after the Breeders’ Cup. I’m not sure about that. I tell you one thing, when I give these horses time off again, I’ll be doing a bone scan on them to make sure there’s nothing wrong with them before I do it.

 

Jennie Rees: Yes, yes, sure. Well with Successful Dan, what is…?

 

Charlie Lopresti: Successful Dan has been plagued by suspensory injuries. I mean, he’s had three different injuries in that suspensory ligament. After he was undefeated as a three-year-old in the Northern Dancer he strained his XYZ ligament and then after those, you know, time off started back then he strained or tore a suspensory ligament. We got all that under control. It took us 17 months to get him back and this injury that he had this time was not—it was the same one that he had in ‘09 as a three-year-old. It was to his XYZ, or sesamoid ligament. He was not a bit lame on the track but he had some filling in his pastern when he came here to Saratoga. And when I got him off actually the next day after he arrived I saw that filling in his pastern but it wasn’t sore and he wasn’t sore on the track, so we were just real careful with him and we jogged him and we galloped him and we gave him a good, strong two mile gallop and the filling didn’t go away but it didn’t change him. He was still lame—I mean he was still filled and then we breezed him the next day and he breezed great. I mean, he went easy. It wasn’t like in 102. He came back and he was fine but the filling was still there and it really bothered me and I knew about the problems that he’d had and I said, boy, we better scan this thing just to make sure and thank god we did it, Jennie, because, I mean, he’s had a strained XYZ but there was some disruption to fibers there and had I run him in the Whitney, I may have torn it or pulled away from the bone and he would have been completely done and Dr. Bramlage said that there’s a very good chance that he’ll be fine, given the time.

 

Jennie Rees: In the context of that, can you just put it in perspective when you do win a race like the Woodbine Mile or the Clark Handicap or you get beat a nose in the, you know, the Breeders’ Cup Mile or something, how hard is it to keep these horses in one piece. When it all comes together and they do win a race, have a good performance like that, as you’re seeing now, you know, we’re seeing how just difficult it is to keep horses, well, together.

 

Charlie Lopresti: Yes, people don’t realize how—well, you know because you’ve been around it. It’s a day to day battle, I mean, you know they train hard and when they run, especially in these kind of races. I mean, they run so hard, you know and it’s very tough. I mean, you’ve got to constantly be looking and watching them trot and taking them out on the road and jogging them after a race and checking their legs over. There’s so many other factors, mentally and physically. You know, you deal with horses’, you know, ulcers and blood work and making sure that they’re at the top of their game and it’s, believe me, it’s very difficult. I mean, having Successful Dan up here, I mean, the whole week that he was here I knew there was something—I mean I knew there was something there and thinking everybody’s asking me about the Whitney and how, you know, he’s going to be the favorite going in there and I’m thinking, oh god, what about that filling in his pastern, what am I going to do about that. You know, people don’t see that. People don’t know that. They see him on the track and he looks wonderful every day. They don’t think about those things. So when you do win a race like that, I mean, it is gratifying because I can tell you a lot of times it’s pretty disheartening when you go to the barn in the morning and one of your best horses, you go in the stall and he’s pulling a leg or he has some filling here or filling there and you prep him for a big race, I mean, you’re always worried about them.

 

Jennie Rees: I mean, did you ever think there’s an easier way to make a living? I mean, you could have gotten into retailing or banking?

 

Charlie Lopresti: That’s funny you say that. I tell you what, that week with Successful Dan I was pretty depressed. I moped around here, you know because I really felt like—I really felt like we had a really good horse going into the Whitney. He loves this track. Jennie, I can tell you he was just eating this place up, the atmosphere, the big turns. He just—he just was, you know, eating this thing up and I’ve got to tell you, I’m really happy for Ian Wilkes that his horse showed up and won that race because it made me feel pretty good that Successful Dan had been running with him and beat him once and then he beat him. So I think Ian, you know, did a great job with that horse and I was really happy to see that horse win that race for him and for the horse.

 

Eric Wing: And Charlie, not to belabor the bad luck with Successful Dan but he had beaten Fort Larned nicely in the Alysheba and kind of got stuck behind a slow pace in an uncontested lead by Fort Larned at Prairie Meadows. When you watched the Whitney, was it kind of—kind of one final, additional disappointment, as happy as you were for Ian Wilkes but knowing that the horse who won the Whitney so impressively was a horse that—your horse had at least handled in the past?

 

Charlie Lopresti: Yes, you know, it was really hard. I said all day that I really didn’t even want to watch the race and I just, I was pretty depressed about it because I know how good our horse is and it just—it was really a big disappointment but the fact that he’s going to be okay, you know, one way or the other, I mean. I would have felt terrible if I put him in that race and ran him and he really got hurt. And I tell you something about that horse, he’ll give you everything he has, no matter what and that’s just the way he runs. And you know, I don’t want to make any excuses for him in that race at Prairie Meadows but looking back on it, after talking to Julien Leparoux, you know, I was a little bit disturbed that we were that slowed back behind a slow pace but Julien said something to me that night and then he said something to me again after I told him about the injury that Successful Dan we were dealing with up here. He said, you know, I just thought it was really funny. He said around the turns on his left lead he said he wasn’t like he wasn’t on the bridle like he usually is. It’s only when he straightened away down the back side that he started to accelerate again. He said then when he got into the turn I thought I was going to catch that horse then he just didn’t have—he just wasn’t on the bridle until he got down the stretch he changed to his right lead again and he started running. And maybe that thing was starting to bite him a little bit in that race, so maybe that’s why he was a little bit far back but he wasn’t able to accelerate around those tighter turns and you know, it came to a head one breeze after he breezed after that race at Prairie Meadows is when we put him on a van and sent him to Saratoga. We breezed him on Thursday. He got here on Sunday and then I noticed the filling on Monday. So, you know, I’m not making excuse for him but, yes, but it was good to see that horse win because I think that’s a real—I tell you, I do think he’s the real deal and he proved that in the Whitney the other day.

 

Eric Wing: Well Charlie…

 

Charlie Lopresti: You know who I’m talking about.

 

Eric Wing: Yes, Charlie, you’re yet another living, breathing example of all the care and compassion that goes into these horses on the part of their trainers and from the looks of things with Wise Dan you’ve got Successful Dan’s half brother sitting on go for the Fourstardave. So great job erring on the side of caution with Successful Dan and we wish you the best of racing luck Saturday with Wise Dan in the Fourstardave and appreciate very much your coming on with us.

 

Charlie Lopresti: Well, thank you guys for having me and hope Wise Dan can pull it off. It will be—it will take a little of the sting away.

 

Eric Wing: Very good. Thank you, Charlie.

 

Charlie Lopresti: Thank you. Bye.

 

Eric Wing: That’s Charlie Lopresti, trainer of the Dan’s. Successful Dan who will be recuperating and hopefully back with us racing next year and his half brother Wise Dan who is extremely talented in his own right, as we said earlier, a Grade 1 winner on dirt having captured the Clark last year. He’s a Grade 2 winner on both turf and synthetic and he’ll look to add another Grade 2 to his turf resume Saturday in the Fourstardave with Wise Dan. And that race again will be on NBC Sports Net from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. A key figure in the NBC Sports Net show on Sunday will be Jockey Rosie Napravnik. She is on two very live and exciting two-year-olds, one Shanghai Bobby in the Saratoga Special, the race for boys and then the Adirondack Stakes for two-year-old fillies. She’ll be aboard the ultra impressive maiden winner, Kauai Katie and Rosie joins us now. Rosie, it’s Eric Wing in New York City. How are you today?

 

Rosie Napravnik: I’m great. How are you guys?

 

Eric Wing: We’re fine, thank you and Rosie, as mentioned, you’ve got two very nice mounts coming up on Sunday. You also won the Sanford on the first weekend of the Saratoga meet with Bern Identity. What has been your overall impression thus far of your first Saratoga meeting?

 

Rosie Napravnik: You know it couldn’t have started out better. Winning the first race of the meet was, you know, excellent and coming in and counting on the Sanford that weekend was just, you know, extremely exciting and I’ve been really lucky to get on some really talented two-year-olds, you know, in the late spring and the summer and it’s extremely exciting. I was just talking with my agent this morning about how we’ve got two of the three—two of the top five two-year-old boys, one of the top five two-year-old fillies. Now we’ve got a winner of top handicap horses and, you know, everything’s just sort of looking great at this point. And Saratoga is just as exciting as it can get with all the, you know, the new two-year-olds coming out of the woodwork every weekend, you know, after that the meet and all the, you know, the stakes and historical races and it’s all been very exciting, and you know I’m glad I’m a part of most of them.

 

Eric Wing: And Rosie, I know your agent Matt Muzikar does a terrific job. Regardless of where you are riding, Saratoga or someplace less prestigious, it’s got to be such a great accomplishment for a jockey to break into Todd Pletcher’s riding rotation as you’ve done with Shanghai Bobby, Kauai Katie and some others. How did that all come about?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Well, I actually rode for Todd quite a bit at Delaware back in 2009 and also in the two winters (inaudible), so. You know, just those—both those things really go into, you know, just the fact that Todd and I worked together for one of my races before and he actually does a lot off business with Matt, my agent. So, I mean, it’s a great, great outfit, obviously one of the best outfits to have and I’ve gotten really lucky to get on some of those nice two-year-olds.

 

Eric Wing: And Rosie, I know it hasn’t all been fun and games at Saratoga. You did hurt your toe a couple of weeks ago. How is that doing? Are you feeling healthy?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Yes, I feel perfectly fine. The toe is, you know, it hurt so bad when it happened but it really—it bothered me maybe for two days and it’s, you know, until I bash it into the gate again, which I do probably once a week, it really doesn’t hurt me at all. I mean, when I hit it on something it’s painful but it really hasn’t been a factor at all.

 

Eric Wing: Did you break it or is it just badly bruised or whatnot?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Fracture in the toe but I mean it’s—I honestly don’t even really notice it.

 

Jon White: Hi Rosie. I’m assuming you had gotten on Kauai Katie in the morning before her race, is that right?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Before her winning run, yes and actually I breezed her yesterday as well.

 

Jon White: And what was she like before her race?

 

Rosie Napravnik: I believe I breezed her two times before she got on. The breeze just before her race was excellent. It was out of the gate she broke from the inside. She broke very sharp and just, you know, (inaudible) quite sharp and they made me work and they did it so easily (inaudible), you know, (inaudible), so we just cruised around and I think we went around 50 and it was a perfect (inaudible) to set her up but she did everything so easily and she’s a very, very professional filly and which she also showed in her race.

 

Jon White: And what can you tell me about her breeze yesterday?

 

Rosie Napravnik: She was excellent yesterday. She feels fantastic, you know, like I said, she’s a straightforward filly and she’s very professional, so it looks like she’s trained extremely well to the race.

 

Jon White: And what can you tell me about the race itself, you know, just kind of take it right from the start?

 

Rosie Napravnik: You mean the main race or the (inaudible)?

 

Jon White: The main race.

 

Rosie Napravnik: Well actually, she stumbled a little bit at the start and I think that’s something that, you know, a lot of two-year-olds can do when they’re trying to race too fast for their own good. So she stumbled a little bit out of the one hole and luckily for me as soon as the two or three horses (inaudible). So we were slowly able to (inaudible) so easily, got the lead so easily and those ears perked just sort of waiting on my queue and she followed down the lane and galloped that really well. So it was an excellent race for her, you know, for (inaudible). You know, I’m really looking forward to the Adirondack (inaudible). I’m sure it’s not going to be an easy race but she’s definitely going to be one of the top fillies in there.

 

Jon White: Well, how do you feel about her prospects of, you know, stretching out?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Well as I said, she handled that race extremely well and galloped that well, so I’m sure she’s not limited to six and a half or, you know, she’ll probably, you know, give anybody a better idea of that after the Adirondack, which I believe is six and a half furlongs but I don’t think she’ll have any problems going even further.

 

Danny Brewer: You’ve been in the spotlight a little bit more because of the success you’ve enjoyed on the track. How has life been in the spotlight now?

 

Rosie Napravnik: You know, I think a lot—mostly jockeys are in the spotlight here in Saratoga. Everyone is just very focused on the jockeys, you know, a lot of fans are, you know really interested in getting to know all the jockeys, so you know, I don’t feel like I’m any more in the spotlight than anybody else around here. You know, everybody is in the jockey (inaudible) is extremely talented but you know, we’ve done very, very well at Saratoga. But I always know that I could be doing better. So, you know, I’m just (inaudible) all the positive things that have been going on and, you know, the good horses I’ve been riding to create momentum and keep on moving in a positive way, you know, for the rest of the meet.

 

Danny Brewer: So, when you’re going into a big race like the Adirondack or the Saratoga Special, do you ever think about gender, hey it’s me against the boys, or is that just something that guys like me cook up?

 

Rosie Napravnik: No, you’re just in the kitchen because I don’t think about that at all. You’re just cooking that up.

 

Danny Brewer: Okay, well that’s good. Actually, I’m a pretty good cook so but anyway, anything that you plan on doing or not doing besides winning in these two races?

 

Rosie Napravnik: I’m sorry, say that again?

 

Danny Brewer: Is there anything (inaudible) you’re looking to do besides win in these two races with these horses because I know they’re two-year-olds and they’re looking to mature. So is there anything as a jockey that you feel you need to do or not do in this race besides win?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Well no, actually you know, both horses I’m on, Shanghai Bobby and Kauai Katie are pretty professional and Shanghai Bobby himself really matured (inaudible). I think he still has more training to come. He is, you know, I think his last race, he had a (inaudible) he was just out there kind of lingering by himself until the very end of the race and (inaudible) figured out exactly as he’s doing. That’s part of the reason I’m very excited about him because I think there’s a lot—there’s a lot more to come for him. And Kauai Katie, you know, she’s run races. I’m sure she’s going to move forward (inaudible). You know, just I’m focused on winning and you know we’ll do whatever we have to do to get there.

 

Danny Brewer: Thanks Rosie. I appreciate it and I’m going to stay in the kitchen, okay.

 

Rosie Napravnik: Okay.

 

Ed McNamara: Hi Rosie. You have a unique situation in that you’re married to an assistant trainer you work and compete with. How do you and Joe deal with that?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Well, you know, we compete, work together. Often when we compete against each other and at first we competed against each other, you know, when we’re in a race together, you know, I’m riding a horse that’s not one of Mike Maker’s, we’re just opponents and that’s pretty much all it comes down to. When we work together, you know, we—I would say from when we started dating and working together we had to, you know, figure out how to do that a mature way. You know, we work very well together and we’ve had a lot of success together, so you know, other than winning races for anybody it’s much more—it’s a lot of fun winning them together.

 

Ed McNamara: No question. Now, you’re doing a lot better (inaudible) Saratoga than Mike Maker’s boy. Has that created any conversation issues at the dinner table?

 

Rosie Napravnik: No. That’s sort of a funny question but no. I mean, in that respect, you know, we’re sort of, I mean, that’s nothing that we really compare to each other’s success at all, so. No.

 

Ed McNamara: Okay and what is it like for him? I mean, he’s not on his own yet. I’m sure he’s a good horseman if he’s working with somebody as good as Maker but what is it for him to have a wife who’s so successful and so well publicized at such a young age in the same business he’s in?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Yes, he’s just really supportive. I mean, he’s been a big part of, you know, my success for the last two or three years. I mean, I got into riding, into the (inaudible) outfit when we first met and we had a lot of success together there. You know, I rode e) for Maker for them so we’ve done a lot of it together. So, you know, he’s saddled me on some of them (inaudible) for each other.

 

Eric Wing: Rosie, in the Track Barron Stakes with Shanghai Bobby, it did look in mid-stretch as if Shanghai Bobby might be in danger to get swallowed up by Handsome Jack. And just when things looked their most dire, Shanghai Bobby edged away again from him. Is that what you were talking about, maybe some, I don’t know if you’d call it immaturity or lack of professionalism but is that why you think Shanghai Bobby has some upside?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Yes, you know, I am absolutely impressed with him as far as, you know, he’s—when Todd—I spoke to Todd before he approached (inaudible). Todd had said to me that he was a little immature and he’s very (inaudible), you know, he wasn’t as comfortable around horses. He was a little bit immature. And in that race we actually came from off the pacing four and a half (inaudible) to do, especially you know, those first two-year-old races and we ran well that day. Now, in the stakes he—when you look at (inaudible) we were on the lead which was different than the race before and down the lane he sort of, you know, kind of, I guess he, you know, he just didn’t realize that he (inaudible) competition (inaudible) on himself. And when the horse came up to us he turned on so fast like a lot of horses just absolutely cannot do. So that was impressive about that race to me and (inaudible) I think he just wasn’t anywhere near the bottom.

 

Eric Wing: Interesting. And lastly, Rosie, any idea where we might see you and Bern Identity next?

 

Rosie Napravnik: Yes, I just spoke with Kelly Breen this morning (inaudible). And he told me I think they’re going to have for the Hopeful.

 

Eric Wing: Okay, so you know, just at the rate you’re picking up fast two-year-olds, Rosie, you might be putting—giving yourself a nice problem to have down the line but I guess you cross that bridge when you get to it.

 

Rosie Napravnik: Yes, exactly and we were actually discussing this morning. Kelly was asking me about Shanghai Bobby and if he was running in the Saratoga Special and when I told him that he was, he said well that’s good because you keep those two separate for awhile. So, you know if it comes down to those two running against each other, it will be a good problem to have. They’re both very nice colts but for now, you know, they’re racing in separate races and hopefully they’ll stay that way for awhile.

 

Eric Wing: Exactly. All right, Rosie, very nice having you on the call again. And we wish you the best of everything with both of your fast two-year-olds, Shanghai Bobby in the Saratoga Special and Kauai Katie in the Adirondack. We’ll be watching on Sunday.

 

Rosie Napravnik: Thanks a lot guys.

 

Eric Wing: Thank you. That’s Rosie Napravnik. As she mentioned earlier, she won the very first race of the Saratoga meeting. She won a stake on opening weekend, the Sanford with Bern Identity and she’s well positioned to make some noise Sunday in the pair of Grade 2, $200,000 stakes races for two-year-olds, the Adirondack Stakes for fillies and the Saratoga Special, both of those races at six and a half furlongs on the main track at Saratoga. Okay and that will bring us now to our third and final guest of the session and it’s trainer Jeff Bonde. Jeff will saddle the diminutive daughter of Hawk Wing, Cambina in Sunday’s Grade 2 $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes, a mile and an eighth over the Jimmy Durante turf course at Del Mar. And Jeff, it’s Eric Wing in New York. How are you today?

 

Jeff Bonde: I’m doing very well. How are you?

 

Eric Wing: I’m fine thank you and Cambina, to me, Jeff, is always a fun horse to watch, kind of a tough luck second last time after Capital Plan in the Beverly Hills. That race featured very slow fractions. Do you think the Mabee is possibly another race that it’s going to ultimately come down to trips?

 

Jeff Bonde: There is one, that horse—that’s a long way off—is a speed horse. A couple others have positioned themselves maybe a little better at least than the prior race. But she’s got a history of locking in the pace to the steel and has (inaudible).

 

Eric Wing: Now, she has had a couple of races with rapid paces. I mean, she was in a race with Summer Soiree and whenever that horse is in you can almost guarantee, you know, 46 and change or whatnot. Is it possible Cambina could be a horse that she’s got that run in her and she can unleash it under almost any circumstance?

 

Jeff Bonde: That’s the type of horse typical European horse that I see covered up nice long shot.

 

Eric Wing: And it’s I know Garrett Gomez rode last time. Is he signed up for Sunday?

 

Jeff Bonde: Yes, he seems to do the best for that filly and so we’re trying to favor that.

 

Danny Brewer: What’s your thoughts on the Del Mar turf course, the Jimmy Durante and how this horse is going to handle it?

 

Jeff Bonde: This filly has worked over the track brilliantly the other day with (inaudible) but for that particular filly, it should be very good.

 

Danny Brewer: It’s been probably a little over a year since he’s made it to the winner’s circle. Why is this race going to be different (inaudible) going to get back there?

 

Jeff Bonde: Well, for me training her she seems to be at her apex (inaudible) much firmer, quicker horse and this is a more fair playing turf course than, you know, a little softer than Hollywood would be one reason but she seems to be, you know, giving her best right now, I think.

 

Eric Wing: Jeff, I have to confess that whenever I think of Cambina I also think of Star Billing and Nereid who the three of them put on a number of good shows last year in particular and I believe Nereid, however it’s pronounced, is going to run against you on Sunday. Star Billing just ran last weekend in the Clement L. Hirsch. I’m sure you won’t miss seeing her on Sunday but who do you see as the main horses to beat in the Mabee?

 

Jeff Bonde: I don’t know how excited (inaudible) will have his fillies but she’s coming up a long way off and she’s going to be lone speed in the race so that’s always a danger. The All Star horse is another horse that’s been running well that could be a factor.

 

Eric Wing: All Star Heart?

 

Jeff Bonde: Yes.

 

Eric Wing: And that’s Ron McAnally’s filly, I believe.

 

Jeff Bonde: Yes, exactly.

 

Marc Doche: Just want to get a quick update on some of your sprinters, starting off with Amarish. How did he come out of the dust pile from Sunday?

 

Jeff Bonde: Well, he ran a five lane race. That horse, he ran it clear and he’s been loose to the bridle for the second race. We’ve done a bunch of tests and can’t really come up with anything medically. I think we’re just going to see if his race further this time I don’t have any other answers (inaudible).

 

Marc Doche: And then what about Smiling Tiger and Izzy Rules? Are they going to get back onto the workout track any time soon?

 

Jeff Bonde: Izzy Rules, we’re skipping Del Mar where she excels on the dirt. The best race is La Brea at Santa Anita, so she’ll show up there. She’s at our base in Washington training right now. Smiling Tiger is at Del Mar and he’ll show up at Oak Tree also.

 

Marc Doche: And then can you talk about your relationship with Edwin Maldonado. You guys have had a lot of success together. Why do you think he’s been able to excel on your horses in the short time here in Southern California?

 

Jeff Bonde: He came in here a low profile rider and it’s very difficult to break in to any track if you don’t have some history, so to speak, with the people around there and he worked really hard at our barn through the course of Santa Anita and Hollywood Park and he breezes a lot of our horses in the morning have given him an edge. Knowing the horses and you know, being able to get the most out of the horses.

 

Marc Doche: And then finally you have Fighting Mean Mad going up to Santa Rosa to run in the Wine Country Debutante. Why did you elect to go up there with her instead of staying at Del Mar?

 

Jeff Bonde: She was nominated the Sorrento and that race. I just bought her. I’m not even sure she’ll go to Santa Rosa. I may run that other horse, Unusual Way instead. But she hasn’t been out since early June and on a horse with three quarters and a horse that needs a lot more work, so I might be looking for an alternative race for her.

 

Eric Wing: All right, well Jeff, we really appreciate you taking the time to join us on your dark Tuesday and talk about Cambina and some of your other horses and we wish you the best of luck Sunday in the Mabee.

 

Jeff Bonde: Thank you very much.

 

Eric Wing: Thank you. That’s trainer Jeff Bonde. As mentioned in the last question, he knows his way around a good sprinter but he also can train a good turf horse and he’s got one in Cambina, a diminutive filly but one who packs a strong closing punch and I feel safe in saying that she will be coming hard at the end in the John C. Mabee stakes at Del Mar on Sunday, a mile and an eighth on the turf, a great two for $250,000. And this will bring an end to today’s call. I want to thank all three of our guests, Charlie Lopresti, Rosie Napravnik, and Jeff Bonde. Again, don’t forget about the transcript and the podcast at NTRA.com of this call that will available tomorrow. Also again, the NBC Sports Network with double barrel action this Saturday and Sunday, both shows airing from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. It will be the Fourstardave Handicap with Wise Dan and on Saturday and Sunday the Adirondack Stakes and the Saratoga Special Stakes, both with fast Todd Pletcher two-year-olds, ridden by Rosie Napravnik.

2016-12-14T16:10:25+00:00 August 8th, 2012|Categories: Teleconferences|
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