Hall of Famers Mike Smith, Bob Baffert – and Joe Torre – plundered Charles Town, taking the Charles Town Classic with Game On Dude. Al Stall continued his detour of the Derby with Departing, taking the Illinois Derby. In steeplechasing, perennial leading owner Irv Naylor returned to the top of the standings with stellar days at Middleburg and the Grand National. Here’s your Here and There for Tuesday, April 23.
“He’s so handy, so athletic, he could probably jump. He’s just a really good, well-balanced, athletic horse. That’s what usually makes the good ones isn’t it?” – Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, about Charles Town Classic winner Game On Dude
“I’m getting used to it.” – Smith, when asked about traveling for stakes every weekend
“Come on, it’s cold, I’m old and I’m bald.” – Smith, while waiting for a photo appearance at a chilly Charles Town Saturday night
“I remember when Secretariat was up here. He was stabled right opposite the entrance to the main track. I used to see him walk onto the grass there. I kept thinking, ‘I walk by here every day and talk to the kid taking care of him. I should have gotten my picture taken next to him.’ I didn’t. Wouldn’t it have been nice to get my picture taken next to Secretariat?” – Veteran Canadian trainer John Cardella, remembering Big Red on the eve of opening-day card at Woodbine.
“I haven’t even worried them. I’ve got enough fish in my own frying pan that I need to fry.” – Lynn Whiting, who trained Lil E. Tee to victory in 1992 Kentucky Derby, assessing this year’s contenders for the Run for the Roses
“If you give Lynn long enough to get under the hood, he’ll find something special in a horse.” – Churchill Downs Vice President of Racing Communications John Asher on trainer Lynn Whiting
“Small but mighty.” – Trainer Kate Dalton, when asked about her Camden-based string
“It’s not a honeymoon, it’s what happens when you have a New York-bred steeplechaser of the year.” – Dalton, when asked if she and husband Bernie were on a honeymoon in Saratoga
“Good news – they are decent seats. Bad news – they are on the Nationals dugout side.” – Susan Strittmatter when delivering baseball tickets to a Phillies fan
“Herding cats . . .” – The NSA’s Mary Guessford, on the challenge of organizing horsemen at the Grand National
“I’m glad I don’t have binoculars.” – Trainer Sanna Hendriks, on the benefits of not seeing a race close up
“I’ve come to the conclusion I don’t thrive on stress. I thought I did, but I don’t.” – Former assistant trainer Mary McGlothlin, on her new job outside of racing
“I was faster than a speeding Toyota.” – Fair Hill Point-to-Point patrol judge Charlie Hershbell, on outrunning a souped-up Tundra back to the paddock
“These split maidens can’t even help me.” – Trainer Jack Fisher, after his two horses beat one horse in two divisions of the Middleburg maiden
“I like it when a plan works.” – Owner Russell Haynes, after Hot Rize won the timber feature at Middleburg
“Long pants and Band-Aids.” – Cathy Zimmerman, as Miles Clancy, 4, climbed on the Glenwood Park rocks
“Sorry bro.” – Text sent by HRRN’s Mike Penna after a rough interview at Charles Town
“Off turf. Yahoo!!” – Text sent by trainer Tim Keefe, after the Henry Clark was washed off the turf at Pimlico (Keefe won it with Eighttofasttocatch)
Take A Number
2: Loose horses caught by Clancys (one for Jack, one for Joe) at Sunday’s Fair Hill Point-to-Point.
13: Horses Woods Winants was named on in four races at Blue Ridge Point-to-Point, including an unprecedented four of four in the amateur/highweight timber.
1,136.20: Price the all-Fair Hill trifecta paid in Pimlico’s fifth race Saturday. Mark Shuman-trained Parseghian won, Graham Motion-trained For the Ages finished second and Tim Woolley-trained Convoy Captain finished third.
Freeman memorial planned for Saturday
A memorial service for retired trainer Mike Freeman, who died last week, will be held Saturday, May 4 at the Aiken Training Track in Aiken, S.C. with a reception to follow at the Green Boundary Club. A second memorial is being planned for August in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Watch the Henry Clark.