The Notebook August 07, 2013

Voices From The Grandstand

  • Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith talking about all his traveling from coast to coast every weekend for big races and what he might have to do to stay sharp (Daily Racing Form):

    [Trainer] Dickie Small used to put Concern on a van and drive him around before a race, he liked shipping so much. Concern would come charging off the van, ready to run. I might have to take a little flight somewhere between now and then, just to stay sharp.

  • Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey on his former charge Lure, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this Friday at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.:

    I'm very excited about it. I think he is a very deserving member of the Hall of Fame, and we are all very pleased that he has been elected.

  • McGaughey on attending the induction ceremony of friend and horse owner Bill Parcells to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio:

    It's one of the most exciting and impressive things I've ever gone to. To see all of those great players and coaches - not only those who were inducted yesterday - was an absolute thrill.

  • Trainer David Jacobson on Saginaw, the 7-year-old gelding who won the John Morrissey Stakes at Saratoga for the second consecutive year:

    He especially loves Saratoga. Now I j just have to decide which race I like better, the one he won last year or this one.

  • Trainer Todd Pletcher on Cross Traffic’s first Grade 1 win in the Whitney Invitational after a nose defeat in the Metropolitan Handicap:

    I think when you take a tough beat like he did in the Met, one side of you thinks, 'Well, we'll get one of these.' The other side is, when you blow an opportunity, sometimes you never get it again. I was happy for the horse; he ran two winning races at Belmont and lost by five inches. So, it was nice to get a Grade 1 win for him. He's got a real stallion's pedigree, and that's what you have to do, win races like that to take it to the next level.

  • Trainer Ian Wilkes on Fort Larned’s fifth-place finish in the Whitney Invitational this past Saturday at Saratoga:

    This Grade 1 handicap division is a tough division. We could run this race again in three or four weeks and have a different winner. It's a testament to how strong a division it is. It's not easy; if you make mistakes, you're going to get beat.

  • Owner Robert Courtney Jr. on 9-year-old gelding Rahystrada, the first three-time winner of the Grade III Arlington Handicap (Louisville Courier-Journal):

    He’s been a godsend to me, he really has. It’s been fun and it’s been humbling. I just know I’ll probably never get another horse as good as him. It’s been a miracle.

  • Owner-breeder Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms on Rockport Harbor, a multiple graded stakes winner who was euthanized on Aug. 2 at the age of 11 from complications of laminitis:

    Rocky holds a very special place in my heart. He was the first really good colt I had in my stable. Rocky is responsible for a lot of the joy that I’ve gotten from horse racing, and I’ll never forget him.

  • New Breeders’ Cup Chief Marketing Officer Drew Sheinman on what makes horse racing different from other sports he’s worked in (The Record/NorthJersey.com):

    It has the greatest aggregation of unique personalities. There's such a collection of very successful business people who are so wildly and passionately enthusiastic about their horse ownership. I'm going to try to find a way to tap into that passion as a way to help other people learn more about the sport of thoroughbred horse racing.

Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to photographer Danica Cochran, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Danica: "Handshakesnkisses coming back from the track after the third race at Saratoga on July 25, 2013." Want in? E-mail a .jgp and brief caption to photos@ntra.com!

Photos of the week

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