Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Teleconference – Dale Romans, Ian Wilkes and Bill Spawr

Eric Wing: Welcome to today’s NTRA Communications National Media Teleconference. Big weekend coming up headlined by the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Sunday. Horse Racing Radio Network coverage of the Haskell will air from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Eastern time. Two hour coverage, again of the Haskell, the Matchmaker, and the Oceanport Stakes, 4:30 to 6:30 Eastern. That will air on the Horse Racing Radio Network affiliates and also nationwide on Sirius Channel 85 and XM Channel 85. So if you can’t see it, that’s a great place to listen to it. Also a pair of $600,000 stakes at Saratoga on Saturday, the grade one Diana, and the grade two Jim Dandy Stakes. A little later in the call we’ll talk to trainer Ian Wilkes, who has one of the horse’s to beat in the Jim Dandy, that being Neck ’n Neck. We’ll also shift our sights to Del Mar later in the call and talk to Bill Spawr, who trains the defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint Champion, Amazombie. Amazombie will be seeing action Sunday in the grade one Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar going six furlongs. First up, though, we’re happy to have in with us trainer Dale Romans. Dale will have grade one action, both Saturday at Saratoga with Tapitsfly in the Diana Stakes, and on Sunday, of course, at Monmouth with Dullahan in the Haskell Invitational. Dale, it’s Eric Wing. How are you today?

 

Dale Romans: Doing well. How are you?

 

Eric Wing: I’m just fine, thank you. And Dale, in the lead-up to the Haskell there’s been a lot of waiting and seeing, I guess you could say, with connections trying to decide whether to run in the Haskell or the Jim Dandy. But you’ve been pretty up front and decisive right away in choosing the Haskell for Dullahan. What was it that pointed out the Haskell as Dullahan’s best spot for you?

 

Dale Romans: Well, you know, it was—he’s already won two great ones, both in on polytrack. Even though he had a third in the Kentucky Derby with—like—he needs to have a big win on dirt for his next career in the stud barn. And the Haskell just seemed like a logical spot.

 

Eric Wing: Is this a big race to determine for Dullahan what—on what surface his future will take place?

 

Dale Romans: Yes, I think it is. I think he needs to run at least a very game race and look like he handles the track. I mean, we’re throwing out the Belmont. It was a little bit different. It was a little—deep, heavier type race track. I don’t think he likes that. But I still think on the right dirt track he’ll run big.

 

Eric Wing: Okay, you’ve got a very talented mare racing at Saratoga on Saturday, and Tapitsfly, who was terrific on Belmont Stakes day and in the Just A Game wiring the field, winter memories among those left in her wake. Now, a couple of added variables for Saturday, Dale. One is the distance, a mile and an eighth longer than she’s run in the past. And also I suppose the possibility of some soft ground. Do either of those two possibilities, or in one case the distance is a certainty, do either of those two things worry you?

 

Dale Romans: Well, you know, ideally I’d like for them to make it a mile on a fast track but they’re not going to do it, so we’ve got to—we’ve got to play the game they’re giving us. And she’ll handle the distance. She’s plenty fit and plenty—she’s run longer distances before and run well. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. And as far as the course goes, I mean, I think she can handle it, but we’ll have to wait and find out.

 

Eric Wing: Okay, Dale. Well, as you know from past experience we’ve got some media members listening in with us, so at this point I’ll turn the call back over to Michelle and we’ll see what questions the writers and broadcasters have for you.

 

Jennie Rees: Yes, what is it about Monmouth? You said Belmont’s a little different, but what is it about Monmouth that makes you think that this could be the right dirt track for him to run big on?

 

Dale Romans: Well, I don’t think Monmouth is as near as deep and and cuppy as the racetrack at Belmont. I think it’s a little bit more like Churchill. He handled Churchill well, you know. You know, maybe it’s just me but that’s the way I feel about that course.

 

Jennie Rees: Well, I mean, he’s got—Monmouth has a reputation for speed favoring. Have you been—and I haven’t really been paying a lot of attention to the races there. Is it a deserved reputation? I mean, do you see it playing different this year?

 

Dale Romans: You know, I don’t think, you know, that’s the reputation of the place but you know, we came from last to run a sound last year with Shackleford. And you know, I think a big race with a lot of good horses and I think it usually plays fairly, you know, fair.

 

Jennie Rees: And you sat with Kent Desormeaux as his jockey?

 

Dale Romans: Yes. Kent’s going to be back on him.

 

Jennie Rees: Yes, okay. And then final question—

 

Dale Romans: He’s doing well and he seems like he’s doing good.

 

Jennie Rees: So final question is without some of the marquis horses from the Triple Crown, you know, much of the spring was spent talking about how deep these horses are. What about—if you could sort of talk about the second half of the season that we’re starting now with these horses and how big a gaping hole is it that we don’t have Union Rags and I’ll Have Another, or do you think people forget about those horses come fall?

 

Dale Romans: Well, nobody’s going to forget about them. They’ve accomplished too much in the first half of the year, but I think there’s some good horses left out there, like Dullahan, like Paynter. I mean, I’m a huge Paynter fan. I think he’s one of our best three year olds of the crop, and we’ve got—I don’t mean personally—I know I have O’Prado Again coming back on the scene for the last half of the year which I think was one of last year’s best two year olds. So I mean, we’ve still got a lot of exciting three year olds to run.

 

Jennie Rees: Great, thanks, Dale.

 

Lynne Snierson: Hey, Dale. I just wondered if you had any early thoughts on the field right yet – if some Paynter, Le Bernardin, Nonios Handsome Mike, and Steelcase. Any way to evaluate that at this stage?

 

Dale Romans: Well, I mean, not really. I think Paynters the horse to beat and he will be out there running in the front end like he has in all his races and we’ll just have to try to run him down. I’m not as familiar with the rest of them as I am with Painter.

 

Jennie Rees: Yes, Dale, just turning to that why you kept Dullahan at Churchill when you obviously had a lot of, you know, a major presence at—Saratoga’s a little shorter ship than Monmouth from Saratoga than Churchill.

 

Dale Romans: Well, we didn’t get to Saratoga until about 10 days ago and I didn’t see any reason to ship him here, train him on this surface, which is different than Churchill and different from Monmouth, and for 10 days, and then ship him all the way back down to Monmouth. So we just kept him on one track and then shipped him into Monmouth. He actually arrived last night.

 

Jennie Rees: And I asked you a question about Tapitsfly. Could you just sort of comment on looking long term, the rest of the season, what you might have in store for her and what kind of noise you think she can make as far as trying to make a championship bid in that division?

 

Dale Romans: Well, I think this weekend is going to answer a lot of questions. When you get to a mile and an eighth it’s going to open the door for, you know, a few other options. But I haven’t really looked past this race. I just want to see if she’ll handle the mile and an eighth and if she does, I think she will. I mean, she’s doing really well. If she does we’ll have a lot more places to look.

 

Jennie Rees: Okay. And actually I do have one more final question. What are these turf horses that are in your—even your dirt horses, people think of them sort of as turf horses that you have in your barn these days.

 

Dale Romans: Well, I think one of the reasons is we go out looking for the route pedigrees and some of the better, route pedigrees that we can afford end up being turf pedigrees also. And it’s just worked out. I mean, this year we got five that really look good and three turf horses and—but I don’t mind having them. They’re good horses to have at three.

 

Jon White: Congratulations, Dale, for your Virginia Derby win with Silver Max.

 

Dale Romans: Thank you.

 

Jon White: And with Silver Max headed to The Secretariat I was wondering what you had in mind for Cozzetti?

 

Dale Romans: Well, I think we were planning on running two of them in The Secretariat, but now I’m kind of looking around and running one of them maybe in the Hall of Fame and—or the Del Mar Derby for Cozzetti. Just haven’t nailed anything down yet. As of right now they’re both going to run as an entry in The Secretariat, but that could change.

 

Danny Brewer: Is it put up or shut up time?

 

Dale Romans: Is it put or shut up on…?

 

Danny Brewer: For Dullahan on the dirt. I mean, if he doesn’t really run well on the dirt is he going to become exclusively turf? Is it time to make that distinction here in the Haskell?

 

Dale Romans: Well, I mean, I don’t think it will be the final decision. It may be the final one for the rest of the year. I’ll leave that up to Mr. Crawford. But, you know, hopefully he’s around this year and next year and there’s a lot of time to get him grade one on the dirt. But, you know it’s a possibility he could run this weekend. If he doesn’t run well he could shoot off in the Secretariat or the Del Mar Derby, (inaudible) at the end of the year on the grass.

 

Danny Brewer: This is a different (inaudible) of sorts but what about Shackleford? He’s one of my favorites. How he’s doing right now?

 

Dale Romans: He’s training super. You know, he’s doing really well. We’re working on making the Whitney with him because he did come out of the Met Mile pretty tired and he had never been like that before. It took him a little bit while—a little while to get on his feet and—but he couldn’t be doing better right now, and we’re pointing towards the Forego.

 

Eric Wing: Dale, before we part ways, I just wanted to ask you about Silver Max’s win in the Virginia Derby. I don’t know whether you were in Virginia or watching it on television, but what were your thoughts knowing that the course had been greatly softened by rain and then to see a horse not just come alongside but pass Silver Max, whose rider had lost the irons. Did it seem like down the back stretch like this was kind of a worst case scenario unfolding?

 

Dale Romans: Yes, there were a lot of concerns. I mean, I didn’t know how he would handle the soft going. You know, how he did go a mile and a quarter. I never expected for a saddle slip-up on a horse’s neck

[Two Month’s Rent’s] and he got hooked on the backside for the first time. But he handled everything. I mean, if they didn’t beat him in that race I don’t know what it would take to beat him. He’s just doing—he’s just too much on his game right now.

 

Eric Wing: And obviously, I mean, I’m about to talk about two completely different horses, but when you see Silver Max do what he did under some adverse conditions, does it give you maybe a little extra hope that, gosh, if he can do it maybe Tapitsfly can stretch out and go longer with success as well?

 

Dale Romans: Well, sure, I hope so. I mean, I really think she can and you’re right. I’ve had a lot of those same concerns with Silver Max and at the end of the day we didn’t have anything to worry about. Hopefully the same thing will happen this weekend.

 

Eric Wing: All right. Well, Dale, indeed, good luck to you on both fronts this weekend, Saratoga in the Diana with Tapitsfly, and Sunday with Dullahan in the Haskell. As always, we appreciate your time on these calls.

 

Dale Romans: It’s always fun. Thanks.

 

Eric Wing: Thank you, Dale. That’s Dale Romans, who’s had a perfectly fine year last year. In fact, he won a Breeders’ Cup race with Court Vision in Breeders’ Cup mile, but I think you’d have to call this year something of a career year for Dale with such a breadth of grade one performers, and we’ll see a couple of them, Tapitsfly Saturday at Saratoga in the Diana, and Dullahan Sunday in the Million Dollar Haskell at Monmouth Park. Okay, our next guest will be trainer Ian Wilkes, who has got a couple of talented horses in his stable as well. A week from Saturday he’ll be running Fort Larned in the Whitney Invitational Handicap up at Saratoga. But Ian has business to attend to this Saturday with Neck ’n Neck, the winner of two in a row, trying to make it three in a row, in Saturday’s grade two $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes. I understand that Ian is kindly taking time out of his participation in a charity golf tournament up at Saratoga in order to be on the call, so perhaps Ian is lining up a shot right now. We wouldn’t want to interrupt that, but as soon as he—as soon as he gets that off maybe he can hop on and chat with us while he’s walking between holes. Leandro Goncalves, who is three for three aboard Neck ’n Neck and won each of the last two aboard Neck ’n Neck will again have the mount Saturday in the Jim Dandy Stakes, mile and an eighth, $600,000 on the main track. Among some of the horses scheduled to line up against him are Alpha, Teeth of the Dog, the Dwyer winner, and Liaison, who just had a real nice work for Bob Baffert and plans were quickly made to go after the Saratoga dough. Martin Garcia reunited, I suppose, with Baffert will come east to ride Liaison at Saratoga in the Jim Dandy Stakes. Of course, Neck ’n Neck was tangling with some of the toughies earlier in the year. Horses like Union Rags, Discreet Dancer, Take Charge Indy, with not great success, but he seems to have really turned a corner ever since the calendar flipped over to May with two daylight victories. First coming by six and a half lengths and then an allowance at Churchill, and then the grade three Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill on June 16th, which is Neck ’n Neck’s most recent performance. Ian, very happy to have you with us. It’s Eric Wing in New York, and I know you’re busy, but how is everything going with you and your horses these days?

 

Ian Wilkes: Good, Eric. Very good, thank you. Couldn’t be happier. You know, touch wood, things are going good at the moment.

 

Eric Wing: And one of the horses that’s been a great cause for optimism is Neck ’n Neck, who is tangling with some of the toughies earlier in the year, but boy, the real turnaround seems to have taken place once we went into May with those two big allowance victories. What’s been the difference with Neck ’n Neck in terms of getting him over the hump?

 

Ian Wilkes: Maturity. You know, it’s just a simple thing of horses finally maturing and not making mistakes in the race, you know. That’s the biggest key with him. It’s not to make mistakes and just growing up a little.

 

Eric Wing: And Leandro Goncalves has not only been on Neck ’n Neck for these two recent wins, but he was also aboard for his one other win. So Leandro is three for three aboard your colt. Now remember, Tom Amoss just showering him with praise on one of these calls a few months ago. What is it that Goncalves brings to the table, Ian?

 

Ian Wilkes: He’s a very good young rider. He—horses seem to run for him, and he’s reading the race good, you know. He’s really getting in the comfort zone, in reading a race, and the horse’s respond to him. That’s the biggest key.

 

Jon White: Ian, I see that Neck ’n Neck has had a couple of work-outs at Saratoga, including one yesterday. What can you tell us about his work-out yesterday now he’s handling that rack?

 

Ian Wilkes: I couldn’t be happier the way he handled the track yesterday. When he broke off in the five eighths pole he actually got a couple horses coming out the gate and sort of come up behind him and sort of pushed him a little bit early. And then we come around the turn, there was a horse breezing up in front of him and he had a target. He had to go and get it. So it ended up being a little quicker than what I wanted, but he come back, good and he ate up last night, so that’s a big key. He really handled it well.

 

Jon White: Well, that’s good news. And then the other question I would have, how’s your golf game today?

 

Ian Wilkes: I need a little more practice. But being a horse trainer it’s a little hard sometimes.

 

Jon White: Don’t we all. Thank you very much, Ian.

 

Jennie Rees: Yes, Ian. Following up on Jon’s question what’s the tougher assignment, you trying to win this charity golf tournament or Neck ’n Neck trying to win the Jim Dandy?

 

Ian Wilkes: I think the golf tournament. I got a little more confidence in my horse.

 

Jennie Rees: Well, you know, (inaudible) because I’m looking at his PPs and obviously his last two races, you know, he wins by open lengths, triple digit speed figure. But he also has not faced the competition that he faced early in the year. So how do we evaluate Neck ’n Neck against the competition that he’s going to be facing Saturday at Saratoga?

 

Ian Wilkes: Yes, that’s a good question. You know, definitely best (inaudible) is the key. I was only five lengths behind him, I was five lengths behind the Belmont winner, actually four lengths in the Fountain of Youth and then finished five lengths off of him in the Derby. So the key is have I improved five lengths? I really think I have, you know. So I think he belongs and I’m going to learn a lot on Saturday.

 

Jennie Rees: And I know it’s a week later the Whitney, but Fort Larned, is he kind of the same situation as Neck ’n Neck in these, you know, as far as a horse that looks like he’s in good form that’s hooked some tough horses earlier but seems like he’s doing great now, and…?

 

Ian Wilkes: Yes, exactly. You know, that horse is—that horse is—he’s doing really well. I’m very pleased with him as well, and the way he’s handled the track up here, I’m very happy with him. And, (inaudible), you know, I ran against Successful Dan. I’ve competed against him. He beat me a length. I come back and beat him. And so I think I belong there with him.

 

Jennie Rees: So who would you be more—well, we don’t even know who’s in for sure the Jim Dandy versus certainly the Whitney, but is there a horse you would feel more confident Neck ’n Neck or Fort Larned? I know it’s kind of a tough question because you don’t even know who’s going in the races, so.

 

Ian Wilkes: Yes, that’s a catch 22 there. Yes. But no, I’m very—I’m happy with the way Neck ’n Neck’s doing. I’ve got a another work with Fort Larned before the race and you know, he had a nice easy breeze yesterday with Fort Larned. He’s right on where I want him. But Neck ’n Neck, I couldn’t be happier the way he’s doing. So I’m just actually very excited to get him in, to get this race going.

 

Jennie Rees: Just one final question about him. You’ve been very involved with Mr. Miles’program. Can you comment about the breeding (inaudible) out of the Storm Boot mare, Bootery by Flower Alley, who at the time, the mare would have been bred, but certainly not, you know, he was not the sire of a derby winner at that point. So are these tough, hard knocking horses. Can you talk about his pedigree?

 

Ian Wilkes: Yes, yes. The mother was a little, you know, she was—she made over $100,000 and she was a tough mare. You know, tough, hard runner but she wasn’t Stakes quality, you know. She’s actually produced a little bit of the toughness in the baby, and she produced the Flower Alley, a young mare who produced more of the classic in the horse.

 

Carol Holden: I’ve got a question sort of dealing with your Australian influence, and then combined with Carl Nafzger. Both of those tend to be people who don’t rush horses, you know. An awful lot of people get their horses to the race as two year olds, push them at three. Your horses generally seem to run better later in their career, late three year olds, four, five year old here. Can you talk about some of the influences between Carl and your Australian experience and how that relates to this?

 

Ian Wilkes: Yes. You know, the thing is, and it’s probably well documented and every time I run a first time starter it’s always zero for something. I’m not worried about the first time. My thing is sometimes if I, if I get to pushing them too much, trying to win that first time out, they’re not ready to go ahead off of that. So I like to take a more patient approach and I just love to develop horses, you know. Give them time, let them get better as they get older, and you know, horses like Fort Larned. He’s just turned four and he’s just getting good. You’re just enjoying them. They’re around for a while. It just sounds like the fly by your pants, win the first time out, and you don’t see them again.

 

Carol Holden: I know you’ve had that experience in the past and you’re right, because about three or four, five years ago at Keeneland you and Carl were winning with everything, a first time starter and when I recall none of the horses were seen or heard from after that. But anyway, thanks a lot and best of luck and see you soon.

 

Danny Brewer: Hey, Ian. What did you see in the Matt Winn that made you know Neck ’n Neck was ready for a big jump in class like the Jim Dandy?

 

Ian Wilkes: You know, in that race I thought the horse, he trained to come into that race, and I thought I could win that race but it’s a very competitive race. I think (inaudible) had a horse in there. (Inaudible) very nice horse run. And so, you know, I thought I had a great shot to be there, to be competitive and beat them. But just the way he did it and how he executed, and you know, to win by seven and beat those horses with authority, you have to go to the next level. You got to give them a shot to get against the big boys.

 

Danny Brewer: You mentioned about his maturing as the key to that. Have you continued to see that process in his training leading up to the Jim Dandy?

 

Ian Wilkes: Actually, I have. You know, and it’s scary to say that, you know. I have. It’s just even yesterday, in his work yesterday, he worked a little faster but Julian Leparoux, because Julian worked him for me, and he said as took a breather around the turn he didn’t have to—he didn’t ask him to do it, the horse did it. Took a breather, then switched leads and then went on himself.

 

Eric Wing: Ian, one more from me before we send you back to the links. The Haskell’s grade one and a $1 million, the Jim Dandy’s grade two $600,000. There’ve been some dissections from the three year old ranks lately. And yet the Jim Dandy is coming up like still a fairly salty race with Alpha, Teeth of the Dog, Liaison, maybe Gemologist. Are you surprised that Jim Dandy is coming up as tough on paper as it is thus far?

 

Ian Wilkes: Not really because I think a lot of people want him to run in the same bed as me. You want to run out the track, see where you belong for the Travers, you know, because the Travers holds a lot of prestige and (inaudible). But you’re running over this track and I think that’s an advantage sometimes by getting a race over it.

 

Eric Wing: Ian, it’s awfully kind of you to take time out of your golf game to speak with us about your horses. Best of luck to you on Saturday with Neck ’n Neck and knock ’em dead out on the course.

 

Ian Wilkes: Thanks, mate. Appreciate it.

 

Eric Wing: Thank you, Ian. That’s Ian Wilkes who has got a pair of aces in this barn with, Neck ’n Neck who will certain be one of the horses to beat in the Jim Dandy Stakes. And also a week from Saturday Fort Larned, who will be one of the horses to beat in the Whitney Invitational Handicap. Fort Larned, of course, coming off the win over Successful Dan at Prairie Meadows in the Cornhusker Handicap a few weeks ago. Okay, that will take us to our third and final guest today. He trains the defending Breeders’ Cup sprint champion and the defending Eclipse Award winning sprinter, I might add, Amazombie. And Amazombie will be seeing action on Sunday in the grade one $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes going six furlongs out at Del Mar. And that’s trainer Bill Spawr. Bill, it’s Eric Wing in New York. How are you today?

 

Bill Spawr: Fine, Eric. How are you? Thanks for having me.

 

Eric Wing: My pleasure. Thanks for hopping aboard. Bill, Amazombie hasn’t raced since Derby day in the Churchill Downs Stakes, and that was a fine effort for sure, and that effort maybe looks even finer given what his conqueror that day, Shackleford, did in the Met Mile. But do you feel that cutting back from seven furlongs that day to six furlongs in the Bing Crosby may actually play further to Amazombie’s strengths?

 

Bill Spawr: Absolutely, I sure do.

 

Eric Wing: And what is it about Amazombie that six furlongs kind of hits him between the eyes?

 

Bill Spawr: I think one thing is you have more speed that comes back to him. That certainly helps. But I hate to make six and a half but when you—he’s actually won a seven and a half, but it’s seven eighths. He gets a little weak there in the last sixteenth of a mile especially when you’re running against horses like Shackleford.

 

Eric Wing: Yes, well I guess a lot of them have gotten weak trying to run Shackleford down too. Bill, looking ahead to Sunday, it’s shaping up like a very good field, but a small field. I know Bob Baffert is planning to enter a couple in The Factor and also Capital Account, who comes out of a very impressive victory. Is that small field a good thing or a bad thing for Amazombie in your eyes?

 

Bill Spawr: It’s not a good thing because there’s a lack of speed. You know, if The Factor, again, if he’s going to have a soft pace, he keeps going. He did that last year in the Bing Crosby. There was absolutely no speed and we were actually forced to put our horse in that race a little further than we wanted to, to try to compromise him. It sure didn’t work out. So the Churchill, on Churchill days, when he ran against Shackleford. We thought there’d be two speed horses and nobody wins, so we were forced to go and put a little pressure on him and it sure didn’t work out.

 

Danny Brewer: Sixteen straight races he’s been in the top three, but for some reason people don’t always think about Amazombie as one of the top horses. Is this race a little bit about vindication for him especially since he got beat out there last year?

 

Bill Spawr: It is, it is. It really is.

 

Danny Brewer: Are you going to do—given the fact that The Factor won it last year and he’s out there again, are you changing anything that you’re doing or you just got to be Amazombie?

 

Bill Spawr: Well, we’re not going to change what we did, but last year we were compromised because we ran in the Triple Bend three weeks before and our really goal was the Ancient Title. It was a win and you’re in and that would put us in the Breeders’ Cup. And we felt if we didn’t win the Ancient Title we really couldn’t afford to go into the Breeders’ Cup. So really, our primary goal was the Ancient Title, and I won’t say last year in the Bing Crosby we gave him one, but I really didn’t train him much for that race. I just wanted to get another race in him because I knew I had over two months between that and the Ancient Title. So although we were serious, we weren’t, like, full—we weren’t fully, like fully prepared last year. But this year we are.

 

Danny Brewer: Yes, he hasn’t—you touched on this. He hasn’t run as much this year as he did last year. Is that by design or were you just picking and choosing his spots?

 

Bill Spawr: By design. Here again the Ancient Title and the Breeders’ Cup are our home base, and so that’s our goal. Being at home I think we need to concentrate on that and we just keep him fresh. The Churchill, the race against Shackleford really knocked him out. It’s the first time I could really say that he was really, like, tired and he lost some weight. So we did freshen him up and he’s gained a lot of weight and I have no excuses.

 

Danny Brewer: Depending on how he handles the Del Mar surface could he run again at the Del Mar meet later?

 

Bill Spawr: No, we won’t do that. We’ll do the same program. This will be the prep for the Ancient Title. He won’t run until the Ancient Title.

 

Jon White: Bill, I see that Amazombie had a work-out at Del Mar of one thirteen and change. What can you tell us about that work-out?

 

Bill Spawr: It was what we wanted and we did it right at 4:30 when the track opened and it was a good work. He galloped out in: 27 and he’ll come back on this Thursday and work a half mile. Mike’s going to come out and work him at 5 in the morning and that will be it. He’ll be all set from there.

 

Jon White: How is he—the polytrack at Del Mar, how does he handle that?

 

Bill Spawr: He’s okay on it but he’s better on dirt. Mike always says he feels different getting over dirt than he does this. But we’re not going to make any excuses for him. We won’t make any excuses for him and we’ll do our best again on the polytrack.

 

Eric Wing: Bill, I feel compelled to point out that you’ll actually be, if you follow the same pattern as last year, this year you will be running in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship, not the Ancient Title. That’s the new name of the race, yes.

 

Bill Spawr: I forgot. Excuse me.

 

Eric Wing: There’ll be a few of those to get straight coming up at Santa Anita. Bill, before we say goodbye I want to just kind of follow-up on something Danny Brewer asked earlier, or referred to earlier. Sixteen consecutive races on the board. That’s very nice, perhaps not unprecedented among stake sources, many of whom are very consistent. But I’m curious, to me if anything it’s more impressive when you’re talking about a sprinter. Just given how hard those races are for everybody concerned, is it hard to keep a sprinter that consistent and that sound compared to a longer distance horse?

 

Bill Spawr: It is. Sprinters run the whole race their full horse, so it’s harder because they have to run full speed all the way. But then there’s Amazombie who’s a little different. He’s a very sound horse and kind of saves himself for that last quarter of a mile.

 

Eric Wing: All right, well one thing, Amazombie, I was going to say win, lose, or draw. I guess I should say, win, place, or show. He always puts on a good show and we’re really looking forward to watching him again in the Bing Crosby on Sunday, Bill, and we thank you very much for coming on the media call with us, and wish you the best on Sunday.

 

Bill Spawr: Thank you for having me.

 

Eric Wing: Thank you. That’s trainer Bill Spawr, the conditioner of champion Amazombie, and we’ll be treated to Amazombie’s next race if all goes well between now and then, this Sunday in the grade one $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes out at Del Mar. Of course, TVG will have all the television coverage of the Bing Crosby on a national basis here.

2016-12-14T16:10:26+00:00 July 24th, 2012|Categories: Teleconferences|
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