Here & There – June 11

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Palace Malice put it on everyone in the Belmont Stakes, proving that you never know what’s going to happen when you saddle them up and send them over. Dogwood Stable’s charge ran off and faded in the Kentucky Derby. Saturday, he listened, relaxed, rated and carried his speed 12 furlongs. On the jump side, Colonial Downs provided it usual thrills and longshot thrills. 

 Worth Repeating

“If you’re not INTI, you’re OUT.” – Owner Brook Smith’s hat slogan at the Iroquois. Four weeks later, his horse upset the $50,000 Zeke Ferguson Memorial at Colonial Downs.

“If you can fry an egg or ride a horse, you have a job for life.” – Assistant trainer Jim Bergen, on the importance of going to school

“It’s good to be home.” – NYRA’s Jason Blewitt, walking into his office high atop Belmont Park

“It’s been four months. He needs to run.” – Assistant trainer Buzz Tenney, before Point Of Entry lined up in the Manhattan

“Who’s running for second money? Shug McGaughey and Hungy Island.” – Owner Ken Ramsey, before Stephanie’s Kitten, indeed, made all of them run for second money in the Just A Game

“I didn’t go for it, he went for it. He was extremely aggressive. I tried to talk him out of it but couldn’t.” – Jockey Mike Smith, about riding Palace Malice in the Kentucky Derby

“If I get to read The Saratoga Special 40 times a year, I’m good with that. The only thing I read more is the Sunday Times.” – NYRA’s Ralph Theroux

“This is a good gig.” – Ryan Clancy, 20, after spending the weekend at Belmont Park

“Welcome to marketing.” – Xpressbet’s director of marketing Ranel Castro, to Clancy, who was carrying a folded-up table, a tent and two chairs on Belmont Stakes Day

“I thought I was dead a long way before I was dead.” – Jockey Gary Stevens, when asked what he was thinking during Oxbow’s runner-up effort in the Belmont

“I was going to walk out there and see how it looked. He’s 10 years old, I figured he’s seen it all.” – Jockey Aaron Gryder, before winning the Brooklyn with Calidoscopio

“Cover your equipment, the roof leaks.” – Longtime NYRA employee, in the press box, on a rainy Friday at Belmont Park

“He did a lot of things for a lot of people. He paid for funerals, hospital bills, college tuitions. And he didn’t want anybody to know about it.” – NYRA’s Lew Kobel, on the late Mike Freeman

“I think Wayne Lukas’ hockey stick was touching the wires.” – HRRN’s Shawn Seay, while moving a Wayne Gretzky model away from the radio equipment on Belmont Stakes Day

“I think I’m a mudder.” – Fair Hill Auto’s Dave Green, on a rainy Monday

“I’ve never won a race on the dirt before.” – Trainer Todd Wyatt after winning an off-the-turf amateur race with Promised Destiny at Delaware Park

“I called her, ‘Veteran ARCA’ rider. I hope that’s OK.” – Delaware Racing Commissioner Duncan Patterson, after Blair Wyatt guided Promised Destiny

“I had two happy owners for a little while, right?” -Tom Albertrani after winning the Jaipur via disqualification when Souper Speedy was put up over Big Screen

“It’s awfully quiet around here. A little quieter than walking back with the Derby winner, isn’t it? But it’s nice.” -Todd Pletcher assistant Michael “Whitey” McCarthy putting Belmont winner Palace Malice up for the night

“Have you been outside? We’re from Louisville and we have the infield. Up here it’s in the back. We have the infield and here they have the outfield.” -Racing fan to TIHR’s Tom Law, in the grandstand in search of some popcorn

“I knew we were probably getting a little bit leg weary, but I knew he’d go on and finish. It was just a matter if he’d finish fast enough. -Shug McGaughey on Point of Entry, later diagnosed with an injury following victory in Manhattan

“My friend John D’Amato took me over and gave me a great tour. Got me in the backdoor of the Vatican, the whole bit. I did everything but see the Pope. But that’s OK. We were too busy. He was busy and all that. We got to see all the sights in Rome. Fascinating place we’ve never been, The Eternal City.” -Ken Ramsey on trip to Italy last year for the Italian Derby with homebred Real Solution

“Steve, you need me to tie your shoes for you, too?” -Bill Mott to The Blood-Horse’s Steve Haskin near the training track the day before the Belmont

“I wonder when the last time was at Belmont, or any graded stakes, that a horse won from that far back. And this wasn’t a claiming race, it’s a graded stakes.” -Trainer Mike Puype after Calidoscopio won the Brooklyn from the clouds

“Are you a photographer or are you getting ready to run a marathon or something?” -Ramsey to TIHR’s Tom Law, sporting a blue media vest with No. 344 on the front

“If you’re scared to screw up or pick the wrong spot, you shouldn’t even try.” – John Panagot, racing manager to Bob LaPenta, after Easter Gift won the $250,000 Mountainview Handicap at Penn National

“Believe me, he’s real good.” – Trainer Gary Contessa, about Penn Mile winner Rydilluc


Saddle to the Stars – Still

Jockey John Velazquez won another Grade 1 with his nearly antique saddle, which used to belong to his agent Angel Cordero, when Point Of Entry stormed off with the Manhattan Saturday at Belmont Park. The weighty saddle only comes out for horses carrying 124 pounds or more, but has seen more than its share of major success. Cordero used it to win the Kentucky Derby with Cannonade (1974), Bold Forbes (1976) and Spend A Buck (1985). Velazquez picked up the Run for the Roses with Animal Kingdom in 2011. Read more here.


Take A Number

3: Wins at Pimlico Saturday for Fair Hill trainer Arnaud Delacour.

5: Texts by trainer Kate Dalton to an owner during Lillehammer’s front running win at Colonial Downs. In order: “She’s sitting up foolish pleasure’s tail!” . . . “Going too fast.” . . . “Jumping well though.” . . . “She’s walking to the last.” . . . “Won by 5.”