The Notebook March 27, 2014

Voices From The Grandstand

  • Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin’s response when asked what a Kentucky Derby win would mean to him:

    I grew up 73 miles from Churchill Downs, and traveled 7,300 miles to Dubai for 10 years, and to end up back 73 miles again from home with a possible chance to win, it would be priceless. The words aren't there to describe it, so it would mean a lot for our whole team and family.

  • Trainer Larry Jones when asked how did his Kentucky Derby prospect Albano came to get his name:

    There is a gentleman in Florida that works at the Sea View Hotel where the Governor [Brereton Jones] and his wife have stayed on vacation for like 25 years, and they run into this dear fellow there and they named a horse after him. They did the same thing with Mark Valeski. He was named after an employee of the Sea View. Well, actually we have a horse named Sea View Chico. We've got a lot of horses in our barn named after people there. So anybody that's staying at the Sea View, they're liable to have a horse named after them.

  • Since going out on his own in 2003, trainer Mike Maker has taken five horses down the Triple Crown trail, including Hansen, the champion 2-year-old male of 2011. Maker is back again this year with General a Rod, a horse the trainer feels could be the one to give him his first victory in the Triple Crown and who is slated to run in the Besilu Florida Derby on Saturday at Gulfstream Park:

    He’s the best chance I’ve ever had. He just looks like the whole package to me. With past horses I’ve had, the surface was questionable and so forth. Other than Hansen, they didn’t have a lot of speed, and he’s very tactical. He’s a lot bigger horse than I’ve had. It’s just a lot of good things.

  • When jockey Irad Ortiz was asked about being defeated by his brother Jose following the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct on March 22:

    One day I beat him; the next day he beats me. I hope he pays for dinner.

  • When Irad Ortiz's brother Jose (the winning jockey) was asked whether it was special beating his brother:

    No. He's another jockey. It was special I won the stakes.

  • Would Jose Ortiz pay for that evening’s dinner after defeating his brother Irad?

    Not today.

Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to Mary Cage, winner of this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Mary: "Razorback Handicap winner Golden Lad shows off his big stride." Want in? E-mail a .jpg with a brief caption to photos@ntra.com.

Photos of the week

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