John Powers: Thank you. Steve?
Steve Cauthen: Yes, well, I was saying, I’ve been listening and reading some of the stuff that Mario Gutierrez was saying. And one of the things that really impressed me was he said a lot of people are giving me a lot of advice about the Belmont, and this, and that, and the other, but the only two people I’m listening to are Doug O’Neill and Mr. Reddam. That’s the only people he needs to be listening to, and all I can (cross talking).
Ron Turcotte: Well, I think he should be listening to the horse.
Steve Cauthen: (Inaudible) like they did Stewart Elliott. I just think the further away you can stay away from a lot of the press might be better for him.
John Powers: Yes, thank you.
Ron Turcotte: Steve, I think he should be listening to the horse.
Steve Cauthen: Listening to the horse—yes, right. That’s (inaudible). He is listening to the horse and he’s got a lot of confidence in him.
Ron Turcotte: That’s right.
Steve Cauthen: The horse seems to be doing everything right. So that’s all it takes.
Operator: Thank you. The next question comes from Nick Hahn of Virginia Racehorse Network. Please go ahead.
Nick Hahn: Yes. This question is for Steve and Mrs. Wolfson. Bodemeister is not in the Belmont Stakes. Are you a little disappointed that he’s not in the race? And what did you think when you looked—what did you initially think of when you looked down on the Belmont Stakes entries back in 1978 and saw Alydar there?
Patrice Wolfson: Well, Steve, we knew Alydar would be there.
Steve Cauthen: Yes, we couldn’t rid of him. It would have been a lot easier, but go ahead. You had something. Say what you were going to—
Nick Hahn: Just thoughts on Bodemeister, the nemesis for I’ll Have Another not being in the race.
Steve Cauthen: Well, obviously he’s been the horse that I’ll Have Another’s had to beat in the Derby and the Preakness, but I think with the results, and obviously showing that he had a hard time getting a mile and a quarter the fact of expecting him to get another quarter of a mile, you know, I totally understand why they’re not running him in the Belmont. And, you know, I guess from a rivalry point of view, that kind of, you know, it ends at this race, but it doesn’t have to end for their careers because obviously there’s, you know, the Travers, the Breeders Cup. There’s races after the Triple Crown, but having said that, I still think that if Dullahan and Union Rags show up, obviously, you know, and run their races, and he wins the Triple Crown, he’ll have proved that he’s beaten the best that are around in his generation that were ready to take him on at the time and that’s all you have to do to be a, you know, a deserving Triple Crown winner. And as I said, who knows. He might be impressive. He’s just—he certainly appears to me to be more than capable of getting a mile and a half as well as anybody else, if not better. So it will be interesting to watch.
Nick Hahn: Thank you.
Operator: Thank you. There are no further questions at this time. I’ll turn the conference back to Mr. Wing.
Eric Wing: Thanks, Michelle. Okay, this has been so much fun just for me to listen to, and maybe selfishly I’m not ready to let it end. But I’m just going ask you all one quick question, and you can answer in as few as two words if you like. But if we could go around one last time. Since 1979 there have been 11 horses alive for the Triple Crown into the Belmont Stakes. Is there any one of those 11 that it really shocked you that they did not win? And Penny, just since we started with you, let’s start with you again.
Penny Chenery: I don’t think there has been anyone because I think it’s so hard to do. Frankly, I’ll be shocked when it is done again.
Eric Wing: Okay, that’s an interesting response. Ron, what do you think?
Ron Turcotte: Well I think there’s about seven or eight that could have got lucky and won the race. Just one thing or the other, sometime the rider move too soon and sometime a horse got a little tired and stuff like that. But I think that everything has to go your way. There’s no room for mistake in Triple Crown.
Eric Wing: Sally?
Sally Hill: I think looking back on it, I really thought Big Brown had a shot, and at that point I was ready—I thought we needed another Triple Crown winner then. I will never forget after several times when we—Penny and Patrice and I—were at the Belmont and there was a shot at a winner. Penny afterwards would come over and say to me, “We still belong to a very small club.”
Ron Turcotte: This is Ron Turcotte. If I may speak again, I really didn’t think that Big Brown should have run in the race. To start with, he didn’t train for the race. He had something wrong with his hoof, a cracked hoof or something, and then he didn’t really train for the race so I don’t think—I didn’t know what the heck he was doing in the race in the first place. That’s my opinion.
Eric Wing: Billy Turner? Obviously there’s always a lot of pressure to complete the—at least the attempt at the Triple Crown. Any horse you thought was a shoe-in to win that turned out not be such?
Billy Turner: This is Bill Turner. I thought that Spectacular Bid was the iron horse of his generation and he just—he ran hard, he trained hard, and he just showed up every time, except for the Belmont. So you just have to—you just have to shake your head and walk away. But he was an iron horse.
Eric Wing: Patrice?
Patrice Wolfson: Yes, Patrice is going to say the same thing. I think you look back at ’73, and ’77, and ’78 and then there could have been or should have been one in ’79. Spectacular Bid was a great racehorse. And he could have very easily just part of this whole team.
Eric Wing: And the last jockey to win the Triple Crown has the last word on this question. Steve?
Steve Cauthen: Well, I agree. At the time I thought Spectacular Bid looked like he should have possibly won it. But as you say, it’s difficult to get through those three races at 100% and you have to be 100% for each and every one. And as far as being thinking that one of these other horses would/should or absolutely should have done it, I don’t think I’d ever thought that but I certainly did think a couple of them could have done it or had a chance. But it just doesn’t take much to throw it offline. You know, very—you just—as Ronnie said, you have to have everything go right, the stars have to be aligned, everybody has to be on the same page that’s in the camp. And luckily for our three teams that’s how it was.
Eric Wing: All right, as I said to you just a moment ago, it was just a great treat to listen to all six of you share your thoughts. I guess in some respects by length with the Belmont Stakes of teleconferences, we thank all six of you, Penny Chenery, Ron Turcotte, Sally Hill, Billy Turner, Patrice Wolfson, and Steve Cauthen for answering all of these questions with such enthusiasm and dignity. And I guess we’ll all be waiting and watching for Saturday, June 9th as we see whether I’ll Have Another joins this very exclusive club within the sports realm. Thanks to all six of you for begin on the call today.
Male Speaker: Thank you very much.
Female Speaker: Thank you for asking us.
Ron Turcotte: Thank you very much and we’ll be cheering.
Eric Wing: All right, thank you. That’s Penny Chenery and Ron Turcotte representing Secretariat, Sally Hill and Billy Turner of the Slew Crew, and of course, Patrice Wolfson and Steve Cauthen representing their 1978 Triple Crown Winner Affirmed; all six very kind to join us for what was probably a good hour or more answering all of our questions and we thank them all again. Well, that will bring an end to today’s teleconference. I want to thank the aforementioned six guests plus Randy Moss for joining us earlier. Just to review the week ahead, Belmont Stakes week, again on Monday there’ll be an NBC conference call with their on-air talent, details to come from Adam Freifeld at NBC. But again, that should be Monday afternoon. Tuesday in New York City, there will be a photo op for the media atop the Empire State Building in the morning and then a press luncheon at Rockefeller Center around noon time. More details to come. Wednesday of course the post position draw here at Belmont Park. We’ll find out who’s lining up where for the 144th Belmont Stakes. And on Thursday there will be a press conference out here at Belmont Park in the film theater, once good last chance to ask questions in a controlled setting of all the main players in the Belmont Stakes, or at least a good number of them.