The Notebook October 02, 2013

Voices From The Grandstand

  • Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott after his charge Ron the Greek won the Jockey Club Gold Cup on Sept. 28 at Belmont Park:

    You gotta love Ron. Everybody loves Ron the Greek!

  • Winning Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who replaced Ramon Dominguez due to his retirement, on how he rode Little Mike in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic on Sept. 28 at Belmont Park:

    I was handicapping the race and after looking at it I told Dale [Romans] that Little Mike's best race, in the Breeders' Cup Turf last year, was when he was off the pace. So I decided I was going to ride this horse the way Ramon [Dominguez] rode him. I can mimic all these jocks; I know how they all hold their hands. Ramon always puts one on the neck and one way out, and he's brilliant at it. So I did it, and he kept running and running and running. It worked! My hat's off to Ramon Dominguez.

  • Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert on Smith, who has reclaimed the mount on Game On Dude for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (The Blood-Horse):

    I figured he's our Mariano Rivera.

  • Trainer Ian Wilkes on Fort Larned’s preparations to defend his title in the Breeders’ Cup Classic:

    Everything has to go right now. Everything has to be perfect, timing has to be right, everything has to be spot-on. You can’t make any mistakes now going to the Breeders’ Cup.

  • Trainer William “Buff” Bradley on the development of defending Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Groupie Doll:

    I think I see a lot more in her – maybe not in speed out here, but her mind. Watching her walk around the shedrow, she comes out of the stall and she’s on it. She used to walk out of the stall and just wander down the shedrow. No big deal, she’s just another horse. Now she’s kind of like, ‘Hey, I’m the queen.’ She goes out with a presence. It’s good for me to see her mentally develop that part of it.

  • Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella on last year’s Champion 2-Year-Old Beholder after her win in the Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita this past weekend:

    Gary [Stevens] is a great rider. He always has been but I don’t want to take away from the filly. The filly’s very special. I’m very proud of her. She’s just a filly that really likes the fight. She likes going to battle and it comes out when the race is run.

  • Winning owner Ed Stanco of King Prussia Stable after their three-year-old Princess Of Sylmar won the Beldame Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 28:

    This is a new stratosphere for us.

  • Bill Mott, trainer of beaten favorite and runner-up Royal Delta in the Beldame Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park, when asked whether he has any concerns going into the Breeders’ Cup off that loss:

    I've won more Breeders' Cups finishing second in the Beldame than winning it.

Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Gary Tasich, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Gary: "Joyful Victory feeling her oats at Santa Anita with Larry Jones." Want in? E-mail a .jpg with a brief caption to photos@ntra.com.

Photos of the week

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