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DOWNS AFTER DARK THEY SAID IT

SEPTEMBER 8, 2013

Cleburne is on the way to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

"We're thinking about May right now."

—trainer Dale Romans on Cleburne and Smart Cover, who hopped onto the Kentucky Derby trail by finishing one-two in Saturday night's Iroquois

"I did think they would run well. I thought they were both underbet. They're both nice horses, they both want to make the distance and they both ran super races."

—Romans on his dynamic duo, the 34-1 Cleburne and the 26-1 Smart Cover

"We'll at least go with the winner, and we might go with both."

—Romans on targeting the Breeders' Cup Juvenile

"It always feels good to win a big race, especially with young horses. You can start thinking about next year. It's been a tough year. But we've had a lot of reasons for that, we've worked them all out and we're going good again."

—Romans on having a tough 2013, especially following his Eclipse Award-winning year in 2012

"He broke out of there a lot more aggressive than he did in his first race. I didn't ride him that day, but I was able to watch it. I was hoping he would do that, but I wasn't going to take him out of his game. He broke sharp and put me in a really good start. I tried to keep him close to the rail because the dirt wasn't hitting him and I think he would have come on through if I'd had the opportunity, but I was following Tapiture and when he took that spot, I went around and it was just a race to the wire.

jockey Corey Lanerie on his trip aboard Cleburne

"He's got a big future. Dale (Romans) takes his time with his babies and they're not really geared up for their first couple of races. But this horse is two-for-two and he's got a lot of promise."

Lanerie on Cleburne's scope for further progress

Smart Cover (left) nearly overtook his stablemate at the wire (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
"He ran hard. There was a lot of speed and he settled back there. The more I rode him, the more he gave to me. He just ran out of ground. He was a little farther back than I anticipated, but I just let him be comfortable. He kicked-in really good the last part."

jockey Shaun Bridgmohan on Smart Cover, who finished with a flourish and missed by only a neck

"He ran good, but that was a tough spot down on the inside. This was only the second time he's run."

jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. on Tapiture, who appeared to make the winning move only to be collared late

"No excuse. He ran good. He's just a baby and this was his first time going two turns. We asked a lot of him today. He took me out there good and to the quarter-pole, but then he had enough. Believe me, he's a racehorse and if we do right by the horse he'll show up. He'll be just fine."  

—jockey Calvin Borel on 2-1 favorite Ride on Curlin, who tired to fourth after being prominent throughout

"I think she's a very special filly. That was a huge move considering she had one sprint race. We had planned on running her once at Saratoga, but it didn't work out. She's not short on ability, but definitely a little short on experience."

—trainer Steve Asmussen on Untapable, who launched herself onto the Kentucky Oaks trail by taking Saturday night's Pocahontas

"She was pretty headstrong (on the backstretch), but about halfway down the backstretch she dropped the bridle and you could tell she was going along smooth enough. But I thought once she dropped the bridle, she didn't really know where to go after that. When she finally got out in the stretch she really hesitated, and I think it was just not knowing to go and having to wait so much. When she got up to even terms (with Stonetastic) she kind of leveled back off a bit."

—Asmussen on Untapable's trip

Untapable punched her ticket to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)

"She did that a little bit in her first race (racing erratically). I started out hitting her left-handed, then when I hit pushed her right-handed she wanted to lean in, but I couldn't stop riding her. I wanted to get the win."

jockey Rosie Napravnik on Untapable's learning curve

"I did. She's a very, very talented filly and it was a lot to ask of her: second time out, she hadn't run in a couple of months, and running two turns against winners."

—Napravnik on knowing that Untapable would get up in time

"She was awesome."

Napravnik sums up Untapable

"She's a game horse and that's the most tired I've ever seen her. But she dug down deep. It's a shame to run that hard and get beat, but she's a nice filly."

trainer Kelly Breen on Stonetastic, runner-up as the 8-5 favorite in the Pocahontas

"It was wonderful. It's good to see him continue to run in good form. We love this horse. He's a homebred. He's our first homebred to have some big success. The Derby was obviously disappointing, but he's still running strong and we hope he's not hit the peak of his career yet."

—George Hall, co-owner of Pants on Fire, who was ninth in the 2011 Kentucky Derby but a scintillating winner of Saturday night's Ack Ack

"I think he redeemed himself. We were all a little disappointed after the Kentucky Derby.  He was the second choice in the Derby and we're happy that the Kentuckians got to cash a ticket on him."

Breen on the meaning of Pants on Fire's Ack Ack win in a stakes-record 1:33.78 for the mile

Pants on Fire has the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, and possibly Japan, on his agenda (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
"Just the timing. After his last win (in the July 28 Monmouth Cup) he pulled off a shoe and he stepped on it and lost a little bit of training and set us back. We're from (New) Jersey and the horse has been successful over the Jersey track and we just missed our stakes race there. But the timing here set up perfect. It was three weeks after the other race. We gave him a couple of workouts and Paco (jockey Paco Lopez) has worked him out and said this horse is training great. So we put him on the van and here we are."

—Breen on why he chose the Ack Ack

"We're talking about the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. We're coming off of a couple of good wins and, knock on wood, he stays healthy, we could go there. George and I have been talking about a possible trip to Japan. They've been talking to us about coming over for a race there and I know it's a different direction they run in, but it would be really need to have a horse take you to places I've never been to. So, we'll see."

—Breen on plans ranging from the Breeders' Cup to the Japan Cup Dirt

"It seemed like Pants on Fire in most of his races wants the lead and we want to be up close. But he sat in a perfect spot, everything set up for him and we got beat by a better horse. We ran a really good race. As long as they try, you can't get mad at 'em and he tries hard every time."

—Tim Glyshaw, trainer of Ack Ack runner-up Taptowne

"He just got run down. (A mile in) 33 -- that's running. He just got outrun. No excuse. He broke good and got the chance to lay off the speed a little bit. He run his race. Maybe two turns would be a little bit better for him. They'll be going a little slower in the first part going around two turns and I think he'd finish a little bit better. But he ran good."

—Borel on Taptowne's big effort in defeat

"I was worried a little bit. I was thinking 'Could we get to her?  Could we get to her?' But she found another gear. I didn't train her very hard into this race. I thought she ought to be able to do this without having to press on her too hard. We're thinking Breeders' Cup Distaff with her. She just keeps getting better and better. Thank goodness they didn't claim her off me."

—trainer Ken McPeek on Flashy American, who rallied past Wine Princess in Saturday night's Locust Grove

Flashy American is aiming for the Breeders' Cup Distaff (Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography)
"I'll look at that Grade 1 in California (the Zenyatta) and she how that comes up. I've got her nominated and if not, we'll just wait."

—McPeek on whether Flashy American would get in a final prep or train up to the Breeders' Cup Distaff

"Sitting at the three-eighths pole I thought I had dead-aim on her and I said 'I've got the race won.' Then right about the quarter-pole he (Bridgmohan) spurted away from me. It took me a while, because my filly's so big, to get momentum going. Once she started going I still thought it was going to be close, but right at the end she was just drawing away."

—Lanerie on his view aboard Flashy American

"She ran hard. She tried all the way. She turned for home and she kicked on and I thought for sure she was going to get there, but the other horse just ran her down.  But I thought she was trying the whole way."

—Bridgmohan on his view aboard Wine Princess

"It was a good race and she had a good trip. It was a :48 half and she got a good stalking trip. Shaun (Bridgmohan) made his run (on Wine Princess) and the other filly just had a little more late. Flashy American had to run us down and that filly has been in very good form at Saratoga and everywhere, so losing to her is no disgrace."

—trainer Steve Margolis on Wine Princess' runner-up performance in the Locust Grove

"Yeah, they worked well. We might take a shot and go to the Spinster off this."

—Margolis on the effect of first-time blinkers and the next objective


 

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