Here & There: Dec. 16

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The year is winding down, so what better time than to start reflecting on another season in the world of racing?

People are talking as we inch toward 2015, whether it’s about racing stars past, present or future, changes to the management team at the Maryland Jockey Club, the end of the 2014 steeplechase season and even birthday celebrations.

If you’re looking for something light, we’ve got you covered with the latest installment of Here & There. Enjoy and happy holidays.

Worth Repeating

“OK, you’ve got answer one question for me. What’s a three-day event?” – Laurel Park railbird, to trainer Tim Keefe, after the Eighttofasttocatch retirement ceremony (Keefe began with a definition of dressage…)

“I’m at a 7-year-old’s birthday party jumping on a trampoline.” – TIHR’s Sean Clancy when asked about his status by fellow editor last week

“Now it’s back to reality.” – Trainer Eddie Graham, after spending a week at Disney World with his family

“He’s a horse that will always have a home. He’s not going to compete again on the claiming level. Obviously. Duh. I have a real problem when horses are that good to you and you see them drop down into the claiming ranks. That just grates me.” – Owner Maggi Moss about graded stakes winning gelding Delaunay

“I feel like I’ve got some good years left in me and I wanted to start somewhere fresh. I would hope I could finish my career out with the Maryland Jockey Club and The Stronach Group.” – Sal Sinatra about taking job as vice president and general manager of the MJC at age 50

“Maybe I’ll have him schooled and ready to go, just in case.” – Trainer Eddie Graham, about the steeplechase prospects for Arlington Million winner Hardest Core

“I hope he doesn’t choke.” – Keefe on all the publicity Eighttofasttocatch received in advance of his final career start

“Sort of. One of them might still be running.” – Susan Cooney, when asked if she was running a horse at Laurel earlier this month

“Able Deputy. He’s one that fits under-the-radar that I think is going to be very impressive next year.” – Irv Naylor, leading steeplechase owner in 2014, on one to watch for 2015

“You don’t usually buy one like that works out to this point that well.” – Trainer Rodney Jenkins on $120,000 yearling and two-time stakes winner Golden Years

“When I first got him he had long hair … he looked ugly all the time. … I didn’t even pay much attention to him to be honest with you.” – Owner and trainer Ramon Preciado on Handsup Moneydown, North America’s leading horse by wins through Tuesday with 11

“There are no silver bullets. It’s a lot of hard work and grinding.” – The Stronach Group’s Tim Ritvo on how to turn things around in Maryland

“Anytime it’s over 32 it doesn’t bother me. … I don’t mind the weather as long as it’s not 40 below zero or anything like that.” – Moss on winters in Des Moines, Iowa

“I appreciate your call and I’ll tell all my horses about you. They’ll all be impressed.” – Naylor to TIHR’s Tom Law

“Rodney Jenkins and I were in the hinterlands looking at some horses, trying to find the next Golden Years.” – Sales consignor Bill Reightler, on why he didn’t answer his phone

“We do have a small operation and we do get attached to the horses. My wife used to come to the sales and she can’t do that anymore. You can’t keep them all. I love being able to try to muster out a living but I can’t do that if I keep them all.” – Sales consignor Mark Sell, who sold the top weanling at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s December sale

“He’s with Eddie Woods in Ocala. I think he tried to give Eddie a heart attack the first time he turned him out. He’s having a pretty good time according to the pictures he sent me.” – Cindy Tucker, racing manager for Maggie Bryant, on Travers winner V. E. Day

“I’m not that into flat, of course I say that but I like to race in New York because you can win quite a bit of money. You can actually make it.” – (Primarily) steeplechase owner Gill Johnston


By the Numbers

0: Number of North American horses on last weekend’s Hong Kong International Races program

0: Cost to attend Opening Day when Oaklawn Park opens its 2015 meeting Jan. 9

14: Stakes races scheduled for 19-day Aqueduct spring meeting

16: Stakes races – all but one graded – scheduled for 15-day Keeneland spring meeting

251: Racing dates scheduled for 2015 by the New York Racing Association, a decrease of just one date the scheduled number in 2014

74,070: Attendance at Sha Tin racecourse for the Hong Kong International Races

$1,072,970: Bankroll for Eighttofasttocatch after career ending win in Jennings Handicap Dec. 6