NTRA Communications National Media Teleconference: Past Winners of the Triple Crown teleconference, May 26, 2015
Penny Chenery – owner of Secretariat (‘73)
Ron Turcotte – jockey of Secretariat (’73)
Dr. Jim Hill – co-owner of Seattle Slew (’77)
Billy Turner – trainer of Seattle Slew (’77)
Jean Cruguet – jockey Seattle Slew (’77)
Patrice Wolfson – co-owner of Affirmed (’78)
Steve Cauthen – jockey of Affirmed (’78)
Jim Mulvihill: Thank you to all our friends in the media for joining us today. This is the first of two calls this week. Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time we’ll have our Belmont Stakes Preview with Bob Baffert, Dallas Stewart, and Kiaran McLaughlin, so I encourage you all to put that on your calendars and join us again on Thursday at 1 p.m. for the Belmont Stakes Preview.
We’re only 11 days away from the Belmont and American Pharoah’s historic attempt at a Triple Crown. By now you probably all know the most pertinent numbers. There have been 11 Triple Crown winners dating back to Sir Barton in 1919. The most recent of those was Affirmed in 1978. Since then, 13 horses have swept both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes only to be denied in or not make it to the 1.5 mile Belmont, known as the Test of the Champion. The 1970s were blessed with three Triple Crown winners, starting with the great Secretariat, who ended a 25 year drought in 1973. Then in 1977, Seattle Slew remained undefeated and virtually unchallenged through his first nine starts while taking all three Classics. In 1978, Affirmed bested his great rival Alydar in the Triple Crown races, including at Belmont where those two were never more than a half-length apart in the final seven eighths and charged down the stretch virtually in tandem.
So who would’ve guessed then that it would go this long? Thirty seven years now without another Triple Crown. None of the Triple Crown winners are with us anymore. Seattle Slew was the most recently departed in 2002. But their legends only continue to grow and their feats seem more unbelievable with each passing year and so many failed attempts at matching them.
Today, we’re very fortunate to be joined by some of the connections from all three of those Triple Crown heroes of the 1970s. Representing Secretariat, we’re delighted to have owner and first lady of thoroughbred racing Penny Chenery, as well as jockey Ron Turcotte, the winner of two Kentucky Derbys and five of six Triple Crown events between Riva Ridge in ’72 and Secretariat in ’73. Of course, we’re very happy to have Ron with us as he’s been on everyone’s minds this spring since a car accident in March, and we’re very eager to get an update on Ron’s progress.
On behalf of Seattle Slew we’re joined by co-owner Dr. Jim Hill, a partner in Tayhill Stable, as well as trainer Billy Turner and jockey Jean Cruguet.
From team Affirmed we welcome Patrice Wolfson, who co-owned the colt with her late husband Louis, racing as Harbor View Farm; and Jockey Steve Cauthen, the youngest rider ever to win the Triple Crown when he was just 18 years old.
So we’ve got a lot of ground to cover today. Let me just quickly explain to everybody how we’re going to do this. All of the guests will be on for the entirety of the call. I’m going to jump around a bit; ask a few questions to make sure we hear from everybody in the beginning. I’ll ask a few of the most obvious and pertinent questions, but then we’ll leave the second half of the call for the media. When that time comes, if you do have a question, just be sure to announce who specifically you’re addressing.
But first, I’m going to start with our owners, and we’ll bring in Ms. Chenery. We’d love to give her the first word. Ms. Chenery, thanks for joining us today. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.
Penny Chenery: Well, thank you.
Jim Mulvihill: We’ve been in this position many times before; talked to you one year ago today for the same reason. So maybe the most pressing question is American Pharoah different from some of the others that we’ve talked to you about over the past several years, and do you believe that American Pharoah can win a Triple Crown in a week and a half?
Penny Chenery: That’s a tough question. You know, I live in Colorado and I’ve not seen—well I did go to the Derby, but I’m not around these horses, so I’m dependent on the media. American Pharoah seems to have a very fluid, easy stride, and doesn’t seem to have any weakness to overcome, so it’s a question of whether he can deal with the shortened rotation of these races. We don’t train horses to do that these days. It’s unusual, and we’ll just see if he can master his mind around it and do it again.
Jim Mulvihill: We will indeed. Now, I want to ask you about the interest in the Triple Crown, because, you know, when we get to this time of the year the media interest is massive; the TV ratings are massive. What do you think it is about the pursuit of a Triple Crown that seems to resonate with people, even those in the public who don’t normally follow horse racing?
Penny Chenery: I guess the idea of something that has been out of reach. People like records and outstanding feats, and it just catches their eye that it’s been, what, 37 years since this has been accomplished, and they think, wow, that’s interesting. Why is that? If we had a Triple Crown winner every other year, they wouldn’t look up.
Jim Mulvihill: Very true, very true. Well, thank you for that, Ms. Chenery. We’re going to bounce around a little bit, but I’m sure we’ll be coming back to you shortly.
Now I want to check in with Patrice Wolfson. For those that don’t know, Patrice is from a leading family of the American turf. Her father was Hall of Fame Trainer Hirsch Jacobs, who won so many of the most important stakes of the mid-Twentieth Century. Affirmed was not only owned by Patrice and her husband Louis, but they also bred Affirmed as well.
So Mrs. Wolfson, thank you for being on our call.
Patrice Wolfson: I’m so pleased to be here. Thank you.
Jim Mulvihill: Excellent. Well, it’s our pleasure, of course, and I’d like to start with the same initial question that we just started with Ms. Chenery. What are your impressions of American Pharoah, and do you believe this is a horse that can get it done after 37 years?
Patrice Wolfson: I think the time has possibly come. Yes, I do. He’s just beautiful and he just does everything that they’ve asked him to do.
Jim Mulvihill: And do you…?
Patrice Wolfson: It is a difficult task as we all know, right?
Jim Mulvihill: Indeed, it is. Do you feel like—do you feel like the time has come in the sense that not necessarily specific to this horse, but in terms of the fact that this drought has just gone on long enough? Is it time for somebody new to finally win the Triple Crown already?
Patrice Wolfson: Well, I think being Two-Year-Old Champion, and the last four, I believe, horses that won the Triple Crown were all Two-Year-Old Champions, which is something in his race record, I just think the time has come. Of course, it’s going to be interesting to see how he takes to the big Belmont oval, and it’s going to be a challenge of course.
Jim Mulvihill: It will indeed, and I agree with you as far as being a Two-Year-Old Champion. I think we all like it when it’s a horse that has that back class and has shown the ability throughout his career.
Now I’d like to stick with the owners here and check in with Dr. Jim Hill. Dr. Hill, what are your thoughts on having gone through this so many times? Do you think it’s getting to a point where we need somebody to win this already, or is it better if the drought continues for the excitement?
Dr. Jim Hill: No, actually I think it would be great if we had another Triple Crown winner. It would be terrific for racing. It would stimulate a lot more interest. Certainly this colt has done everything they’ve asked of him. You know, it’s an amazing trip that he’s had. But I do think he’ll be tested. It’s not a gimme. To me, he’s going to get a—I should think that he will get a good fair pace in front, and he should be pressed because I think he likes to be near or on the lead, and if he’s good enough, it’ll be terrific for racing.
Jim Mulvihill: When you watch these Triple Crown races every year, is it natural for you to want to compare these present day horses to both your horse and the other Triple Crown winners of the ’70s, and if so, what kind of similarities do you see? What are these characteristics that you see in these great horses today relative to the Triple Crown winners of the ’70s?
Dr. Jim Hill: You know, I think it’s very difficult to compare horses of different eras, because the tracks are different, the training methods have changed somewhat, the breeding has changed. We’ve emphasized horses that tend to be sprinters, so sometimes when you’re running at a mile and a half you’re really running horses that are designed to run a mile, and so I just think it’s very difficult to compare the top horses from one age to another.
Jim Mulvihill: Very true. Well, we will find out soon if American Pharoah wants to go that mile and a half.
Now, let’s check in with Seattle Slew’s trainer, Billy Turner. Billy, thanks for joining us this morning.
Billy Turner: Thank you.
Jim Mulvihill: Now you’re the lone living Triple Crown winning trainer, and you managed Slew through not only three races in five weeks, but when you go back to his final prep in the Wood Memorial, that was four races in seven weeks. Now with American Pharoah, when you go back to the Arkansas Derby, this is going to be his fourth race in eight weeks. The spacing is not what anybody would consider ideal for horses of the 21st Century. What kind of concerns are there that the schedule will catch up to him next Saturday, and what do you think about that spacing for a potential Triple Crown winner?
Billy Turner: Well, I think it’s perfect for him myself. I just think that the—the way he ran in the Preakness and he did it with such ease and he was striding so easily the last part of it that the race—that race didn’t seem to take anything out of him, and I just think he’d be coming up to this race perfectly.
Jim Mulvihill: Excellent. Can you tell us, for the trainer, what are these weeks between the Preakness and Belmont like? You’ve got the pressure with the media, you’ve got the scrutiny with everybody watching your horse in the mornings. What’s it like these three weeks between these races?
Billy Turner: Well, it’s easy if your horse is doing well and you’re very confident in his condition and he doesn’t have any little things that are bothering him. But if he has little things that you’re concerned about, that makes the pressure intense. You want to see your horse put on his best performance, and any little thing that pops up is—you take very seriously.
Jim Mulvihill: Very good. I want to just ask you about the mile and a half. I mean you’re–you’ve been based in New York for a long time; you’ve seen so many Belmonts. Whether it’s a Triple Crown or not, just talk about going a mile and a half at Belmont, what kind of horse it takes to win this race, and how difficult that is especially after two previously grueling Triple Crown races?
Billy Turner: Well, it’s—Belmont Park is unique in that, well, it’s the biggest track we run on, but it becomes a rider’s race. Riders that are not used to riding on that oval tend to get a little bit anxious a little bit too soon, and they look like winners inside the eight pole but they’re not there at the wire. It’s a—it’s been proven time and time again, and Woody Stephens always said it well, I mean he won five of them in a row—or not in a row, but he won five Belmonts, and he did it with horses that they trained on the track every day, and they just—they were used to going the mile and—around that big oval there, and it does give you an edge if you’ve trained over it.
Jim Mulvihill: Very interesting considering that American Pharoah will not have a work over the track, wouldn’t you say?
Billy Turner: That was—it really, really surprised me, because that’s not—in the past, that hasn’t been Bob Baffert’s style, and the fact that he went from Pimlico back to Churchill and then he’s coming up here and whatever. I think Union Rags, wasn’t he about the first horse that didn’t train here to win the Belmont in quite awhile?
Jim Mulvihill: It seems that everybody wants to get a work over that track especially as different as it is from some of the others.
Billy Turner: Well, not only the work over the track, just galloping around a big oval, and it’s different. When you’re used to going around mile ovals, it makes a big, big difference, and thinking, and of the—for the horse and the rider I think it makes a big, big difference.
Jim Mulvihill: Sure, sure. All right, well very interesting stuff. Billy, hang on the line, we’re going to check in with our jockeys now: Ron Turcotte, Jean Cruguet, and Steve Cauthen. Gentlemen, thank you all for joining us here.
Jean Cruguet: Thank you.
Steve Cauthen: Good to be here.
Jim Mulvihill: Now, I’m going to assume that you’ve all been watching the Triple Crown races this year, so I’d just like to go down the row and ask you all to give your impressions of American Pharoah. But first, Ron, I want to check in with you, and before we get to that question, could you just tell us how you’re doing and how your spring has been? We’re all just interested in knowing how you’re doing these days.
Ron Turcotte: Well, I had a bad little spill last—this past spring or this past March, and I’ve been inside for—since then. I’ve been in hospital and then out and I’m still in casts right now. So I’m coming along. The cast is supposed to come off tomorrow, so, but I’m feeling fine.
Jim Mulvihill: Well, we’re very happy to hear that, and we appreciate you joining us today to relive some great memories. Now, did you get a chance to watch the Kentucky Derby, Ron, and the Preakness as well?
Ron Turcotte: Yes.
Jim Mulvihill: All right. Tell us what you thought?
Ron Turcotte: Well, he didn’t really impress me in the Kentucky Derby. I thought he was all out or—anyways, the jockey had to get after him pretty good, whether he was waiting on horses or whatever. But the Preakness I think the rain came just at the right time. He’s the kind of horse that (inaudible) in the mud while the other horses hold back. It reminds me of the Riva Ridge Preakness where my horse didn’t like the mud at all. He could stand up in the mud. The other horses were, you know, pretty well in the same boat, but Bee Bee Bee loved mud, because I had beat Bee Bee every time I had met him before. Anyhow, so I—it was—his race looked very, very impressive, and it if turns out muddy in the Belmont, the way he runs in the mud, he could probably (inaudible) to the Belmont.
Jim Mulvihill: Indeed, indeed. Jean Cruguet, how about you? Impressions of American Pharoah?
Jean Cruguet: Yes, what I’m seeing—seen with him (inaudible) and I’ve seen, you know, the Derby was—before the Derby after the horse (inaudible) the Triple Crown for sure, before (inaudible) I’m not so sure the Derby was not impressive at all. Then (inaudible) the Preakness he went in the (inaudible) and the (inaudible) he went (inaudible) he can move into the mud. But he’s a good horse for sure. I think he can win, but he’s going to have to, you know, he’s going to be challenged. It’s going to be, you know, it’s not going to be an easy race.
Jim Mulvihill: Excellent. Steve Cauthen, now let’s bring you and get some thoughts on American Pharoah.
Steve Cauthen: Yes, well like everyone said, you know, he was so impressive in the Arkansas Derby, and really just the way Bob Baffert was speaking about him before the Derby, I mean he wasn’t so much saying it to the press, but you could just kind of feel the undertone, you know, he really felt American Pharoah was quite a bit better than Dortmund. You know, I mean when he got the outside draw, you know, I mean he obviously—they were very careful with him. He went wide, but he did, you know, he really did have to pick him up and get after him in the Derby. The time was, you know, okay; nothing that fantastic, and, of course, he went to the Preakness, as they say, as they said, you know, he got the off track, which he obviously handled, and probably his main two competitors didn’t. But and the only thing that really kind of was concerning to me was the final three sixteenths of a mile were quite slow, but watching the race you wouldn’t know that because he just ran away from the rest of the horses in the field. But the fact is, you know, he beat a horse that, you know, the horse that was second had just broken his maiden.
Having said all that, you know, he does appear to be just a really top class horse. He’s an excellent mover, you know, beautiful confirmation, and he obviously has always been that. He was the Two-Year-Old Champion. So, you know, I think he’s going to the Belmont with a team that’s been there before; it’s nothing new for them. I think Bob’s kind of backed off, you know, taking it easy and kind of training him lightly trying to keep his energy up, you know, so he’s all ready for the Belmont, and we’ll find out if he’s the real deal, you know, if he can do the mile and a half I guess is really the question. He’s obviously the real deal. He’s the best three-year-old at this point, but the thing—the reason they call this the Test of Champions, you know, it’s a mile and a half and it’s, you know, it’s always a test, and you know, there’s some nice horses that will be testing him.
Jim Mulvihill: Absolutely. Well, all right, you guys have me very excited about this race now. Steve, hang on, I’ve got one more question for the jockeys, and maybe I’ll let you take it first and then we’ll go back to the other two. But, you know, you guys had very full careers in the sense that you won Grade 1 and Group 1 events beyond the Triple Crown; obviously several of them, but the Triple Crown Winner is a title that kind of follows you everywhere now three, four decades later. Can you just tell me what being a Triple Crown winner meant to you at the time, and now looking back what it means to your career looking back now? Steve, you can (inaudible).
Steve Cauthen: Yes, for me it was—obviously it happened to me, you know, at a young age, but everybody always asks me, you know, did you realize how important or how big a deal it was? I always say, yes, you know, I realized a) how difficult it was, and what a big deal it was. I obviously had no idea it would be 37 years before, you know, or at least, you know, until another horse maybe did it. But I’ve always felt that, you know, it would happen again, and just you need the right horse and you need everything to go your way. I mean you just can’t have things go wrong in training and the build-up to it, and obviously because it happens over a five week period, you know, you have to adjust to that, and I think the trainers have to train a little bit different, although, you know, I mean Laz, you know, he did very little fast work with Affirmed in between the Preakness and the Belmont, and I don’t think breezed him, he just gave him a lot of long slow gallops. But I remember Billy Turner saying that he had to do a lot with, you know, do more with Slew because he just—that horse wanted to—he needed some work. He was—otherwise he was going, you know, jump out of his skin. So you have to train each horse individually, and, you know, it’s always interesting to see how horses come up to the race. But as I said, you know, Bob Baffert’s been there before, so it—I think he knows, you know, I think he’s got it laid out and he’s got a game plan, and obviously going back to Churchill is a little different than I think he’s done in the past, and maybe that’s it, you know, the fact that he hasn’t won it and decided to try something different.
Jim Mulvihill: Yes, and he seems very relaxed out there, and it seems to be a good place for the horse being a little bit away from the madness of New York for a little while.
Jean Cruguet, tell us what it means—what it meant to you to be a Triple Crown winner and what it means to you still today?
Jean Cruguet: Well, today it’s a big deal but during ’70 when you win, you know, it was almost (inaudible) it was not such a big deal, and we—and then before you knew it would take so long; 37 years. So now everything is, you know, I would say it’s very hard to do, but it should be (inaudible) in between. That’s, you know, (inaudible) horses that win, again, as they should. But I, you know, it’s still it’s not easy to do, so it’s a big deal of course.
Jim Mulvihill: Absolutely. Ron Turcotte, What did it mean to you to be a Triple Crown winner? I mean you got to ride one of the greats of all time, but also just the title of Triple Crown Winner, how did it separate you as a jockey and how does it continue to separate you from some of your peers today?
Ron Turcotte: Well, I had a pretty good career before then. I had won the Belmont the year before; I had won the Derby. But I think it was the icing on the cake. Riding Secretariat, I think the greatest horse that ever lived, he—but for him he needed a lot of work, and that’s what we (inaudible) all the way. We worked him hard for the Derby, we worked him hard for the Preakness, and we worked him hard for—double hard for the Belmont. I mean he worked a mile in 1:34, and pulled up to a mile and a quarter in 1:59 (phon) a couple weeks before, and so he was a different kind of horse.
Now when you look back at the—in 1972 when I rode Riva Ridge, so you had to be a good judge of pace when you’re riding the mile and a half. But regardless, Ridge, you’re right, and are you going to be a good jockey and have a good judge of pace. Riva Ridge was a different horse, a different kind of horse, where he didn’t need as much work, and—but we’d still done a fair amount of work, but it seemed (phon) that he just could not run in the mud because it would’ve been two Triple Crowns in a row because in the Belmont he just galloped the Belmont and won by seven lengths. It was just the matter of going a mile and a half, like I had intended to run half a mile in 48, two quarters of a mile in 1:12, (inaudible) and that’s what we had trained him for, and it just turned out that we didn’t get chased to run any faster, and I had plenty of horse when I turned for home.
Jim Mulvihill: I would say so.
Ron Turcotte: With Secretariat it was a different story. I had plenty of horse when I left the gate, so plenty of gas in the tank right then. Turning for home I still had plenty of gas in the tank, and—but then I can’t compare him to any other horse.
Jim Mulvihill: Sure, sure. All right, well, I appreciate everybody’s comments to this point. We’re joined by several of the connections of the three Triple Crown winners of the 1970s. We’ve got two of the leading ladies of the American turf in Penny Chenery and Patrice Wolfson, and we’re also joined by Jim Hill, co-owner of Seattle Slew, Billy Turner, the trainer of Seattle Slew, and the three Triple Crown winning jockeys of the ’70s, Ron Turcotte, Jean Cruguet, and Steve Cauthen. I’m going to turn it over to Michelle to check with the media and see what questions they have for our distinguished guests here.
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. If you are using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment. If you have signaled for a question prior to hearing these instructions on today’s call, please repeat the process now by pressing star, one again to ensure our equipment has captured your signal. We’ll pause for just a moment to allow everyone the opportunity to signal for questions.
We’ll now take our first question from Danny Brewer of Rutherford Reader. Please go ahead.
Danny Brewer: Yes, my question is for Ron Turcotte. Ron, some things that you do in life just kind of stick with you and it seems like yesterday even though it may be 42 years ago. When you were going up the back stretch with Secretariat and Sham is right there, did you like kind of nudge him and hit the clutch and down shift, or was that all him? What perpetuated him just pulling away and running like a train off the track? What happened there?
Ron Turcotte: Well, when you drive a car, I mean you’re controlling the car. Anybody driving a car whether you’re just (inaudible) or flying the plane, you’re going to be flying (inaudible) under your—unless you can put it on cruise. Well, Secretariat cruised pretty good, but I was still controlling him. I always rode my horse according to the way he was going, the way he was really under me and if he was handling himself very good, and Secretariat was in a league of his own.
Danny Brewer: Does it seem like just yesterday for you? I mean is it still real vivid in your memory as far as what happened on that day at Belmont?
Ron Turcotte: Oh, yes, I still get goose pimples when I see the race, I mean on the tape or on films that we had of him.
Danny Brewer: As far as do you think you were more passenger or pilot that day on him?
Ron Turcotte: I believe I was a pilot all the time whenever I rode on him or whatever horse it was.
Danny Brewer: Thanks, Ron. I appreciate it and I wish you the best of luck.
Ron Turcotte: Thank you very much.
Operator: Thank you. Our next question comes from Debbie Arrington of Sacramento Bee. Please go ahead.
Debbie Arrington: Hi. Thank you very much for all of you coming on today. It seems like just yesterday that we were having a very similar conversation. After last year’s defeat of California Chrome in the Belmont, his co-owner, Steve Coburn, kind of went off on the ideas that all these fresh horses, you know, had lined up against them at the Belmont. We have a similar situation this year where American Pharoah is going into the Belmont and he’ll be the only horse that has run in all three legs of the Triple Crown. Do you think that there should be any adjustments to the system where maybe to encourage horses to run in more legs and not have so many fresh horses in the Belmont? This is just open to anybody who would like to answer this.
Jim Mulvihill: Let’s maybe go with the owners on that one. So, Ms. Chenery, could you comment on the ways to encourage more horses to participate in all three legs, and whether we need any changes along those lines.
Penny Chenery: Well, I hope they don’t change the format. It’s been this way for so long and all our records and statistics are based on this. But I don’t think the issue of fresh horses is such a big deal. The trainer knows how to get his horse at the peak for the last challenge. With Secretariat, of course, the more work we threw at him the stronger he got. This is horse racing. If you make it too easy then we’ll have more Triple Crown winners and it will lose its validity.
Jim Mulvihill: Can’t argue with that. Ms. Wolfson, how about you?
Patrice Wolfson: No, I think it has to stay just as it is. Steve, I think you’ll agree with me, Alydar was almost a fresh horse at the Belmont, wasn’t he?
Steve Cauthen: Oh, he was a tough horse, no question about that. Yes, he never gave up, and that was the toughest of the three races. But, you know, I mean a lot of people have said, you know, I don’t think that was necessarily Affirmed’s best distance, you know, but his heart and determination and desire to win got him through it. So, you know, it’s a tough series and it’s supposed to be.
Jim Mulvihill: Dr. Hill, how about you? Any thoughts on incentivizing more horses to participate in all three legs, and do there need to be any changes to the format?
Dr. Jim Hill: No, I don’t think there should be any changes. It’s supposed to be a tough thing to do, and I think each race stands on its own. You might say that the Derby has too many horses in it when you have a field of 20. Some horses don’t have an opportunity to show their best. So I don’t think any change is needed—need to be made at all.
Jim Mulvihill: When Steve Coburn said that horses that didn’t participate in the first two legs shouldn’t be able to jump in in the third, I think a lot of racing people might’ve rolled their eyes at that, or did you have any specific response or reaction to that when you heard that statement?
Dr. Jim Hill: Yes, I did. It might not have been too politically correct, but I said, well, this guy hadn’t been 100 yards out of the cow pasture, and so, you know, he just didn’t understand about what racing was all about. That was just—that was my immediate reaction to when I heard what he had said.
Jim Mulvihill: Very good. Debbie?
Debbie Arrington: That’s very good. Thank you very much.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com. Please go ahead.
Dana O’Neil: Thank you. This question is I guess for each of the owners, if I may, please. You know, as your horses were going through the process, it really captured the nation’s attention from the racing fan to the common man. If you could each explain, first of all, what was that—what that was like, and is it necessary to get a Triple Crown winner to kind of restore that luster beyond just horse racing fans to the general public I guess is the question?
Jim Mulvihill: Ms. Chenery, would you like to take that first? The connection that Secretariat had with the fans, what was it like to go through that and does the sport need a Triple Crown winner to reignite some of those passions?
Penny Chenery: I’m sure a Triple Crown winner would raise our profile temporarily, but the Triple Crown brings out the instinct to root for something that hasn’t been done, and so we get temporarily a lot of attention. But the—for me, the weeks between the last two races were just impossible, because Secretariat was a very charismatic horse, and he kept the public’s attention, and I’m not shy, and we did in depth interviews for three magazines because he was on the cover of three magazines that week, and it was just hell week. I loved it, but it was a lot of work.
Jim Mulvihill: I’ll bet. Ms. Wolfson, there are people that suggest that if a Triple Crown is won that in subsequent years it wouldn’t get as much attention. But you won the Triple Crown a year after the previous one. Can you talk to us about the attention that still permeated the Triple Crown even when it was two years in a row?
Patrice Wolfson: Yes, but I also think that we had an extraordinary set of circumstances. Little Steve was magic around New York at that time, and coming against Calumet, so it was a really very special time, and…Yes?
Jim Mulvihill: So it’s really more about the story lines and the horse itself than necessarily just the drought or just the feat of winning the Triple Crown? People get attached to the personality and the tenaciousness of the particular horses as well.
Patrice Wolfson: Right, because we were coming out of California for that particular spring and Alydar was training in Florida, and it was really just a battle between the two of them. So I think that’s where the real interest was; a great rivalry that went right to the Belmont and beyond.
Jim Mulvihill: Yes. Dr. Hill, can you talk about the connection that Seattle Slew had with his fans and what that time was like?
Dr. Jim Hill: Well, it was certainly an amazing time. It—everybody connected with him and had a lot of fun, and I think he was a favorite of a lot of fans, particularly in New York. You know, looking back on it, I remember with three Triple Crown winners coming so close from Secretariat to Slew to Affirmed, and all of a sudden you got the feeling, well, this isn’t so hard; we’re going to have more Triple Crown winners. How did it take 25 years? Then to—now as you look back on it and you really put it into perspective, I mean you not only have to have a superior horse, a good horse, you have to have him managed well, and you have to have no bad luck, and you do need a little bit of good racing luck. So it is an amazing event, and I’m all for it. Hopefully we’ll have another one pretty quick.
Jim Mulvihill: And continuing in that vein, Billy Turner, does racing need a Triple Crown winner to connect with mainstream fans who don’t follow the sport? Does that make a big difference in the popularity of the sport going forward?
Billy Turner: Oh, I don’t think there’s any question about it. You’d be—it’s the major event that we have to offer, and it—the Triple Crown catches the public’s eye, and the public draws a—a Triple Crown winner will develop new fans for life in the industry. There’s no question about it.
Jim Mulvihill: All right. Are we good on that question? Michelle?
Dana O’Neil: Yes. Thank you very much.
Jim Mulvihill: All right.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Don Jensen of Tampa Bay Times. Please go ahead.
Don Jensen: Yes, I want to thank everyone for being on this conference call. It’s a great tradition. This question is for Steve Cauthen. Steve, someone already mentioned about this possibly being a rider’s race. Can you talk about that situation a little bit being everything equal?
Steve Cauthen: Well, I think like was mentioned before, I think it certainly helps to, you know, spend some time riding around Belmont, because it is just a unique track being a mile and a half in circumference, and, you know, it is so easy for guys that don’t ride there regularly to, you know, move a little bit prematurely. You know, when you’re at the half mile pole at Belmont and you feel like you’re at the three eighths pole on a normal track or, you know, it just easy to make a mistake if you don’t ride there regularly. But, you know, Victor Espinoza’s obviously—although he’s not a regular at Belmont he’s ridden in the Belmont, so I think he’s got his perspective well there, and it’s just a question of, you know, pace in the race. As Ronnie was saying, you know, every good jockey is usually a good judge of pace, and obviously Victor’s won enough races to do it. I don’t really think that there’s any disadvantage. I think they’re going into the race with every chance, but as you say, you know, there are people lining up. Nobody’s going to give it to him, and they’re not supposed to. You know, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. You know, it’s a huge race to win. You know, it’s a classic race, so everybody—there are a lot of guys that never won a classic that’ll be trying to win it, and there’s some talented horses that are going to be taking him on. So if he wins it he’ll obviously prove that he’s a true and deserving champion and a rightful Triple Crown winner.
Don Jensen: Thank you, Steve.
Jim Mulvihill: Along those lines, I’m wondering if our other jockeys can talk about going into the Belmont and being a target. Is it different when you get to the Belmont and sometimes you watch this race and it almost feels like the other riders are conspiring against the Derby and Preakness winner? Either of you guys (inaudible)?
Steve Cauthen: They’re always—you know, they’re never—you know, the best horse has always been conspired against because everybody’s trying to figure out how they can beat him, so that’s normal in any race, but particularly in the Belmont. But if you’re good enough usually you can overcome.
Jim Mulvihill: Jean, did you feel like you had a target on your back in the Belmont?
Jean Cruguet: Yes, I thought my horse would win. I was not too concerned about that. I had the speed and just had to go, and I was never too worried about it. You know, nobody pays attention, you know, in the Derby with 20 horses, a big field, and then you come to the Belmont and it’s a kind of small field, and then you can watch most everyone. You know, I mean you have to worry about (inaudible) leave it most of the time you come from behind, and then you can keep an eye on them when it’s a small field.
Jim Mulvihill: Exactly. Sometimes it’s harder to get a good trip on a small field because everyone’s riding against one another. Michelle, do you want to see what other questions we have?
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Ted Sobel of KFWB The Beast 980 Radio. Please go ahead.
Ted Sobel: Yes, thanks very much for a fantastic conference call today, folks. Penny and Ron, it’s always enjoyable to chat with you, and I would love to get your feelings on the stretch drive of winning the Belmont with Secretariat. It’s great to tell the casual fan how special that stretch run was and how amazing, because everybody knows how difficult it is to win the Triple Crown. So Ron and Penny, what were the deep down feelings when you’re heading down the stretch and you end up winning by 31 lengths?
Penny Chenery: Well, let me jump in and say I was just watching in awe. Ronnie can tell you how it was.
Ron Turcotte: Yes, I was—I guess I was the coolest one of them all, because I knew what I had under me. I can understand people in the stands and the owner and the trainer worrying that I tried to get him to give too much, and even though I wasn’t riding him—asking him to run, I was just letting him coast along, and you had it right when you said it the second time, first, she said that drive from the stretch, but I would say that run through the stretch (inaudible) because there wasn’t much of a drive.
Jim Mulvihill: Well, Ron, is it crazy to ask then if you could’ve—could you have gone a few ticks faster?
Ron Turcotte: Yes. I talk about winning the Belmont judging—judgement and all that. Myself, I blew a Belmont when I rode Tom Rolfe. Tom Rolfe was getting better all the time. He finished third at the Derby and won the Preakness. Coming into the—did he finish third in the Derby? Yes, and won the Preakness, but coming to the Belmont we didn’t miss our work with him, but I knew that I still didn’t use good judgement because I (inaudible) too soon, too fast, and made a premature move. I told the trainer when I got off the horse, I said the horse didn’t lose the race; I lost it. Mr. Whitely said, well, he said, it’s not very often I hear a jockey get off and say he blew the race. But I did, and I’ve seen others doing the same thing many times.
Jim Mulvihill: For sure, for sure. Ted?
Ted Sobel: Yes, Penny, I wanted to get a little deeper into that from reaction to remembering what the crowd was like leading into that stretch and just as Secretariat started to draw. Do you remember what the feel was in the stands at that time?
Penny Chenery: Well, I had cameras on me, so I was not tuned into the fans. Of course, the noise was terrific. But Lucien was also miked, and so we had to keep responding and the (inaudible) is the horse was cruising home as he pleased, and so Lucien and (inaudible) don’t fall off, Ronnie; just don’t fall off, as if that would be the only thing that would defeat him. The fans were ecstatic and the sense of euphoria, and the horse came back sound, and Ronnie did the—did a great job, it was just—I’d say the Belmont was the thrill of a lifetime.
Ted Sobel: Could I get one more question in for Mr. Turner, please?
Jim Mulvihill: Go for it.
Ted Sobel: Yes, I just want to know if you feel that the breeding and the way it’s done now is the main reason that it’s so much more difficult to have a Triple Crown winner?
Billy Turner: It has to have a lot to do with it, because there’s—you just look at the fields of horses. They’ve run fewer times as two-year-olds. They have fewer starts going into the Triple Crown races. It’s not because the trainers train them that way, it’s they just feel their horses can’t take anymore. So—and it’s—and right now we’re—more horses are being bred for market than they are for racing, and when you’re breeding for market, you’re letting the—you’re taking the money and letting the next guy worry about whether the horse makes it or not. But the old families, when they bred a horse, they knew they were going to keep and run it, and any horse that had infirmities, such as bleeding and crookedness and this, that and the other thing, they—or poor bone quality, it didn’t make it into the breeding shed. So it was an entirely different ball game.
Ted Sobel: Fascinating. Thanks very much, folks.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Tom Pedulla of America’s Best Racing. Please go ahead.
Tom Pedulla: Mrs. Chenery, if I may ask you to discuss Ron’s role in that Triple Crown ride? It seemed like he did, you know, save something in those first two legs. How instrumental is Ron to what happened?
Penny Chenery: That’s a—Tom, I don’t mean to insult you, but that’s an obvious question. Ron knew the horse, he knew the track, and as he said, good jockeys have clocks in their head. Ron and Lucien had discussed the pace of the first two races, and wanted him to win, but not too much; to save something. I think in the Belmont, when Sham started to fade away, all three of them, well, Lucien wasn’t on the horse, but Ronnie and the horse seemed to say, okay, now we’ll show you what we can do when we’re not under wraps. Looking at the film, Ron, you’ll have to speak to this, I think Ron just sat there, just turned him loose and let him do what he wanted. He didn’t even show the whip, and he—Ron, your body didn’t seem to move. You were just trying to stay out of the way of the horse. Is that right?
Ron Turcotte: Yes, I think the less you interfere with a horse when he’s striding good and all that, you try to sit just as still like if he was running alone, you know, like running in a field or running alone with nothing on him. So horses always run better free.
Penny Chenery: Good point.
Jim Mulvihill: Tom?
Tom Pedulla: Ron, could I just ask you how conscious you were in those first two legs about saving something for the last one?
Ron Turcotte: Yes, the only thing that concerned me was the Derby, because I thought we’d win. But the Wood Memorial puzzled me. I didn’t know at the time, I didn’t know about the—all I knew is that he wouldn’t take a hold of the bit, and he wasn’t the same horse. But he was—he didn’t (inaudible) on all four, and, you know, he was (inaudible) down and I just couldn’t figure out. He didn’t (inaudible), and it wasn’t until his final workout that I really thought that we were going to win the race. After I took the lead, I hit him a couple times turning for home, but it wasn’t for—to encourage him to run, it was just to get him to switch leads, because he had run on his left lead all the way from the half mile pole, and I thought if we could get to the right lead we’d go and he’d switch gears. And he did, and then I just put my whip down and galloped on to the wire.
The Preakness was a different thing. I think I—that’s where I wiped the target off my back when everybody thought that he was a come from behind horse, and they didn’t realize that he had that much speed, which he had won the Gotham on the lead, but I think people had forgotten that. So anyway, that—I’m just going back to what you were saying if we’re talking about (inaudible) the target on your back.
Tom Pedulla: Okay, thank you.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Gene Menez of Sports on Earth. Please go ahead.
Gene Menez: Hello. Thank you for coming onto the call today. This is a question for Ms. Chenery. When Secretariat ended the drought, the Triple Crown drought, it was a very similar drought to what we’re experiencing now. What were the—the people who run the sport, did they offer any kind of opportunities to capitalize on the popularity of Secretariat after the Triple Crown was won, and would you want to see the current people who run the sport have similar—or try to capitalize on the opportunity if American Pharoah were to win the Triple Crown?
Penny Chenery: I think you’ve raised a very good point that the people who run the tracks don’t seem to be tuned into what works with this—the public. There should be, well, give me a moment. I ended up fortunately with a partner who bought the Secretariat.com website when they were first buying websites, and he had a great instinct for things that people would like to buy and to have to celebrate their favorite horse. Marketing the sport seems not to be their best skill. It seems to be they put on the race, and I don’t mean to be negative here, just that we could do a lot more to make our fans welcome; to intrigue them to come, and to treat them well.
Gene Menez: If I could ask the same question to Mr. Turner. He earlier brought up the point that a win by American Pharoah he believed would create fans for a lifetime. Mr. Turner, what do you think the—if American Pharoah were to win the Belmont, what do you think the response and reaction should be by the people who run the sport as far as maybe trying to capitalize on this drought ending after 37 years?
Billy Turner: I think they’re prepared to do just that. If the situation comes along, I think they’ll do a whole lot better than—job than we realize right now, because, well, you need another star, and we haven’t had a star for awhile. I just—I think they’ll work it out. I really do.
Gene Menez: If I might ask Dr. Hill the same question. Earlier you said that you think a win by American Pharoah would stimulate interest in the sport. What do you—are there any specific things that you would like to see happen if American Pharoah were to win the Belmont as far as trying to capitalize on his popularity?
Dr. Jim Hill: Well, you know, I’m maybe not as hopeful as Billy is. I see the race tracks almost de-emphasizing the best horse and the racing, and worrying more about getting the thirteenth race on the book; getting enough horses so they get a good handle on it. I would hope that they would use not only American Pharoah but the other really good horses to try and stimulate interest in racing itself, and—but I’m just not too sure—they certainly haven’t demonstrated that in the past; in the recent past anyway.
Gene Menez: Thank you very much.
Dr. Jim Hill: I don’t want to be negative about it, but I think that’s the case.
Jim Mulvihill: Ms. Wolfson, were you all—were you offered bonuses of any sort to go anywhere in particular, or what kind of endorsement kind of deals were you approached with, anything like that?
Patrice Wolfson: Well, my husband didn’t want to commercialize the horse, so we really didn’t do anything in that respect. But running him as a four-year-old was just wonderful, and I think it was a wonderful opportunity to see how great he became as a four-year-old. No, tracks didn’t do that. We just sent him where we wanted to send him, and he just ran everywhere; East Coast, West Coast, and that’s very unusual.
Jim Mulvihill: It is. So, but really it was a campaign based on the best spots at the time?
Patrice Wolfson: The biggest races and that’s where he went.
Jim Mulvihill: Very good. Michelle?
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Paul Miles, WHAS Radio. Please go ahead.
Paul Miles: Hey, thanks, guys. It’s a follow-up question to several previous questions. This is directed at Steve Cauthen. Steve, everyone is saying that—Dr. Hill says it’s time, and it would be terrific for racing if Pharoah wins, and Ms. Wolfson said the time has come for a Triple Crown winner. Your thoughts on that? Is it time for a Triple Crown winner now or does it take away from the mystique that’s followed that prize; that it’s the toughest prize to capture in all of sports they say?
Steve Cauthen: Well, not only is it long past time, I think, you know, the situation has only proved, like I think Dr. Hill was saying before, how difficult it is. I remember—I specifically remember after winning the Triple Crown back in ’78 that there were some people saying the Triple Crown is getting too easy; you know, like we’re going to have to make it tougher, and, you know, which is laughable now. But I think, you know, it would be great for racing. I think every one of the things that was so satisfying, you know, for winning the Triple Crown, you know, the great rivalry to Alydar and Affirmed had was that it did attract a huge amount of fans to racing, and, you know, they turned into lifelong fans. I think that American Pharoah, and it sounds like that Mr. Zayat would race him at least through the end of the year, so hopefully he would be out a few more times for people to see and it would just be good for the game. I mean, you know, I can’t remember the last time a horse was on the cover of Sports Illustrated or TIME Magazine. It’s been awhile. I think Secretariat might’ve been the only horse that actually even made it to the cover of TIME. But, you know, that’s what racing needs. It needs, as you say, get out into the eye of just the average, you know, fan or even people that wouldn’t watch racing other than the Triple Crown.
Paul Miles: Thank you very much.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Tim Sullivan of Louisville Courier-Journal. Please go ahead.
Tim Sullivan: Yes, I wanted to address this to Billy Turner, but to anybody else who might want to weigh in. Mr. Charles Fipke, the owner of Tale of Verve, has made some statements recently about Lasix and how if you removed it horses could run more frequently and it would be better for the industry. Do you think that that’s a valid point, and what’s your view on that?
Billy Turner: Well, there’s no question in my mind if you take Lasix out of racing, it’s not going to make a big difference. It really isn’t. They were going along just fine in New York when all the—when the smaller tracks and lesser tracks or the other tracks around were using it, and New York was doing just fine. But they bowed to the pressure of the thought that a horse that had won the Derby would come to the Belmont and couldn’t run because he couldn’t run on Lasix, and that put the pressure on them so they made a change in New York. I really don’t think—I think they’re sorry they made it now, and—but unfortunately, everybody’s gotten so used to it they hate to see it go. It’s a shame. But if it’s gone, it’s not going to change racing a bit.
Tim Sullivan: Do you think horses would be able to run more frequently and bounce back quicker without it?
Billy Turner: Well, of course. I mean Lasix is a—Lasix takes a lot out of them. They don’t realize, but it does. It—and it has side effects that aren’t that much talked about. But if you took it out, it won’t hurt the game at all. It’ll help it.
Tim Sullivan: Thank you.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from John Grupp of Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Please go ahead.
John Grupp: Yes, this is for Steve Cauthen or anyone else who would like to weigh in. Obviously a Triple Crown winner would have a short-term effect on the industry, but long-term, how could it impact correcting maybe some of the industry-wide problems or issues that are facing the sport that have led to steady declining popularity? Would you like to see them be able to use a Triple Crown winner maybe as a platform to address some of those issues?
Steve Cauthen: Yes, I mean obviously that would be great. I mean like you said, basically winning the Triple Crown gives racing a platform to maybe address some of those problems; you know, obviously drugs in the game like Lasix and other ones, you know, trying to eradicate that. As Billy said, you know, horses ran without Lasix in New York for a long time, and it’s a diuretic so it obviously takes something out of them, and horses probably would recover quicker and maybe run more. Maybe that’s why horses were able to run more back then. But, yes, I think racing has to—you know, obviously we’re in competition with a lot more gaming situations and there’s a lot more out there than there was back in the ’70s, so it’s not just totally racing’s fault that it’s declined. It’s got a lot more competition as well. But I think there’s certainly things that we can do and promote in the sport better, and, you know, in more sort of 21st Century ways, and it’s probably all part of that.
John Grupp: Ms. Chenery, you mentioned about the marketing could maybe be improved. Do you see a Triple Crown winner long-term impacting the sport?
Penny Chenery: Oh, absolutely. The people that write to me and will tell me exactly where they were when Secretariat won the Triple Crown or how it impacted them a lifelong love of racing, and we need to support our sport in conjunction with other sports, because we will have people who are just racing fans or sporting fans that don’t look at racing. One of our problems, of course, is the timing. You only get action every half hour, and in today’s life that’s too long. They want something going on all the time, which casinos and other forms of online betting provide. So we have to capitalize on what we have, which is people. The—I’ve loved listening to all of you, and we have some great spokesmen, and we have people who do relate to the fan and would be willing to—I know the jockey has to get changed and get ready for the next race, but he could sign a few autographs in between or just stop and say hi to the fans. We need to humanize our sport and capitalize on our stars, not only our equine stars, but… Hello?
Patrice Wolfson: Penny, this is Patrice.
Penny Chenery: Hi.
Patrice Wolfson: This is good time for me to say when Affirmed won his Belmont, the headline in the paper the next morning was “The Kid Wins the Triple Crown”, and I think speaking of jockeys, I think that would’ve been a first.
John Grupp: Patrice, what’s your—what do you think about the long-term effect that a Triple Crown winner could have on the sport?
Patrice Wolfson: Well, it depends on what he continues to do. I think Secretariat and Slew they had—they went on and did great things. I think that if he doesn’t, if he was retired right after, I think it would not help at all. But initially it would be wonderful.
John Grupp: Okay, thank you very much.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Marcus Hersh of Daily Racing Form. Please go ahead.
Marcus Hersh: Hi. This is a question for Mr. Turner. Mr. Turner, I’m curious about your training approach between the Preakness and the Belmont. Is it accurate that you worked your horse a mile twice between those two races?
Billy Turner: Yes. I sort of had a unique situation I think with Slew that for us with this horse that American Pharoah doesn’t have this year. With Slew, he had so much energy that he was—the first two races just wound him up even more and he was explosive. So I’d been thinking from the—when I put him in training originally at the beginning of his three-year-old year how in the hell we’re going to get this (inaudible) to get settle down enough so we could go a mile and a half with him in the Belmont. So we worked him a mile the following Saturday after the Preakness, and he went—I think he went 32 and 2; slow as he could go. Then the following week we did the same thing, another 37 and a couple, and then we blew him out. My thinking was I had to figure out a way that Steve could guide him the first three quarters of a mile in no faster than 12, and if he got into 12, well then we were home free. Well, as it turned out, we came up with a bad track so he got it in 14. Then I knew it was all over.
Marcus Hersh: Did you have a template set in your mind for what you thought you wanted him to do even before he won the Preakness or it just kind of (inaudible)…?
Billy Turner: Well, I was thinking about winning the Belmont when I was training him at Hialeah in the middle of the winter. I really was. I mean I knew I had plenty of speed to do anything with, but you—the Belmont is a killer, and so you’re—that was always in the back of my mind.
Marcus Hersh: Right, because it’s so difficult?
Penny Chenery: Well, it’s so unusual. We don’t train them to run a mile and a half. They rarely race that distance. So you have to have a completely different mindset in coming up to the Belmont. Secretariat was a high energy horse and you—the harder you worked him the better he got. I don’t know that much about Pharoah. Out here in Colorado I don’t see his works and so forth, but of course every trainer knows his horse, but… Go ahead.
Marcus Hersh: Well, it’s just really interesting to hear both of you say that, because, you know, through the course of these decades, things have changed so much I guess. The concern always expressed now is worrying about doing too much and not having enough horse left for the last race, and to hear both of you say the concern was not doing enough and having too much horse just it says something about the way things have changed I guess.
Penny Chenery: One of the changes is, of course, my father started racing in 1950. We would not work them so hard or so often, we’d race them. A lot of the good horses had their races left on the work pad (phon), and it’s a change of philosophy. But I think it made for a stronger horse to work him less and just run him.
Dr. Jim Hill: Not to interrupt, but in the Paulick Report, it’s paulick.com…
Penny Chenery: Yes?
Dr. Jim Hill: There is an article on the history of Triple Crown winners and their racing schedule and their works over the—over all 11 Triple Crown winners, and it also shows some of the works that recent horses that were eligible to win the Belmont and how they were worked, and it’s amazing. For instance, Citation, after the—in the first place, I think the Derby and the Preakness were one week apart, and then after the Preakness, I think it was two weeks later that he went and won the Jersey Derby, and he had a couple of works in between that and the Belmont. So the times have really changed. But that would be an interesting thing for any of you all who are interested in works to go look at.
Jim Mulvihill: That is a story on Paulick Report—paulickreport.com, and it was posted yesterday, written by Ray Paulick. Marcus?
Marcus Hersh: Yes, I’m Satisfied. Thank you very much, Jim.
Jim Mulvihill: All right. Michelle?
Operator: There are no further questions at this time. Please continue.
Jim Mulvihill: All right. Well, I just want to thank all of our guests today. This was a really special conversation and we really appreciate everyone’s time. Thank you all so much for being here. I think the interest from the media in this call every year demonstrates just how meaningful the Triple Crown feat is to people and how those memories from the Triple Crown just persist forever. So I thank everybody for their time and also for their remembrances and reliving these great races with us today, so thank you all for being here.
Penny Chenery: Thank you.
Billy Turner: Thank you.
Jean Cruguet: All right, thank you.
Jim Mulvihill: All right. Well, thanks to all of our guests. As a reminder, our next call is the Belmont Stakes Preview. That’s Thursday at 1 p.m. We’re going to have Bob Baffert as well as Kiaran McLaughlin and Dallas Stewart. A recording of this call will be up later today on the NTRA website, and the transcripts will be there tomorrow. Thanks, everyone, for jumping on this call today, and we’ll look forward to hearing from you on Thursday. I also want to thank Leonard Lusky for his assistance putting together today’s call and Joan Lawrence as well. Now I’ll send it back to Michelle. Thanks, everyone.
Operator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, this does conclude the conference call for today. You may now disconnect your line and have a great day.