The 141st Kentucky Derby is in the books. The Preakness just about a week away; the Iroquois Steeplechase now only a day away. Busy days indeed in the racing world and it always seems like everyone’s playing catch-up.
We’re gearing up for both the Iroquois and the Preakness, but first we need to empty out our voice recorders and decipher notes scribbled on programs and in reporter’s notebooks. Enjoy the latest installment of Here & There.
“I feel like the luckiest Mexican on earth.” – Jockey Victor Espinoza after winning the Kentucky Derby on American Pharoah
“This is not a one-man show I can assure you.” – Former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones after his Lovely Maria won the Kentucky Oaks
“Now, comparing him to all the others, I came with good horses. But … today I came with a star. I was cautious about saying that because I wanted the horse to do the talking. It is not about what we feel. It is about the horse.” – Winning owner and breeder Ahmed Zayat on American Pharoah
“You could tie her to a light pole and she’d stand there all day. We’d go to Belmont and put a cross tie up and she’d stand there and relax, fall asleep on it. But when you put the bridle on her, you better get out of the way.” – Trainer John Salzman Sr., on new Hall of Fame inductee Xtra Heat
“For our little schedule we had in Maryland, Delaware and the area, we weren’t exposed to that many of the Hall of Famers.” – New Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury, after naming Bud Delp (a longtime friend and rival) and Frank Whiteley (who signed Leatherbury’s trainer’s application in Delaware) as two of the few Hall of Fame trainers met along the way
“He’s fine. He’ll be ready for the Jim McKay. It’s getting close now. He seems like the same horse.” – Leatherbury, on stable star Ben’s Cat who is on target for a stakes start on Preakness Day
“It is a nerve wracking business we have to go through. That’s why, Kaleem Shah, I told him, ‘that’s why your father didn’t want you to be a horse trainer.’ He knows. He’s been through it.” – Four-time Derby winning trainer Bob Baffert
“This is the first one I did without Proud Citizen (as the sire), so I can do it with another stallion.” – Larry Jones after the Majesticperfection filly Lovely Maria won the Oaks
“He’s a helluva good man.” – Brereton Jones on trainer Larry Jones
“There have been a lot of great trainers that haven’t been able to win it because they just didn’t have the horse. But every great jockey wins the Kentucky Derby.” – Baffert
“I’m probably also the only guy in the planet that cut down a tree on Earth Day.” – Lexington-based equine videographer Greg Charkoudian
“Third in the gallop out.” – Joking owner after maiden ran evenly in turf debut at Belmont Park
By The Numbers
1: Children’s whiffle balls broken in half by TIHR’s Tom Law and Dave Hudson during Tom’s Derby party last weekend.
2: Draw-a-name raffles at the above Derby party. The first sold out in less than a minute.
21.20: Dollars in profit shown on $2 win bets on selections (five winners on top from nine races) made by TIHR’s Joe Clancy at the Virginia Gold Cup Saturday.
569.80: Dollars in profit shown on straight $2 exacta (three) and trifecta (two) selections made by TIHR’s Joe Clancy at the Virginia Gold Cup Saturday.
0: Actual dollars wagered by TIHR’s Joe Clancy at the Virginia Gold Cup Saturday. He was at the Elkton Little League junior/senior baseball field, coaching first base in a doubleheader sweep by the Yankees.
177.60: Dollars Im Charming paid in apprentice jockey Caitlyn Stoddard’s first win at Pimlico May 1.
170,513: Fans at Churchill Downs for Kentucky Derby Day. The figure is nearly seven times the population of state capital Frankfort.
– Fair Hill Training Center is looking for experienced starting gate crew personnel three to four mornings/week from 7-10 a.m. Contact Sally Goswell at (410) 398-2992 or [email protected]. Tell her we sent you.
– We’re also looking for enthusiastic and eager writers/reporters to fill out the staff at The Saratoga Special this summer. Drop Tom an email with resume and work samples at [email protected]. For more information check this out: http://bit.ly/1EeghCU