2018 BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES
Friday, November 2, 2018
THE MODERATOR: We’re back in the interview room with the happy connections of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner, Jaywalk. I think it’s safe to say that a champion has been crowned this afternoon at Churchill Downs. Congratulations to all four of the men at the table — excuse me. Three of the men and one of the women. My mistake.
Left to right, we have Leonard Green of DJ Stable, winning trainer John Servis, Jonathan Green of DJ Stable, and Lois Green, also of DJ Stable and Leonard’s wife. Congratulations to all four of you. John, your first Breeders’ Cup winner. Congratulations to get — put that one in the book. Your filly has been very brilliantly coming into today. Always a different ballgame, though, when they go two turns. Were you confident going in that this would be a test she could pass as well as she obviously did?
JOHN SERVIS: I was quietly confident. I felt good about the way she was coming into the race. The distance really didn’t bother me. I just felt it was a real solid group of 2-year-old fillies. She was going to have to run to beat them, and we just didn’t know if she was quite that good.
THE MODERATOR: Jonathan, I’ll ask this of you. If Mom or Dad want to chime in, by all means do so. You win a race like this, maybe even especially so at Churchill Downs, it might not be out of the realm to let yourself dream a little bit about the Kentucky Oaks. Your trainer knows a thing or two about the Kentucky Oaks, he won it just two years ago with Cathryn Sophia. Is that sort of the next longer term goal in a perfect world?
JONATHAN GREEN: Sure. In a perfect world, it would be a wonderful thing to see her here the first Friday of May. I think right now we’re just trying to focus on the fact that she did run such a huge race, just a winning race, and it seems like she’s getting better and better, which is a real credit to John Servis.
On top of that, even though we’re from New Jersey, we’ve had two of our biggest wins here in Kentucky. We won the Ashland back in ’91 with a great filly named Do It With Style, and now we’re back here with another great filly. So we just feel very fortunate to have won the biggest races of our career here in Kentucky.
Q. Jonathan, you own Jaywalk, along with Cash is King Stable, who is not here today, Chuck Zacney, one of the men behind Cash is King stable. Many people will remember Cash is King as the owners of Afleet Alex, who was perhaps very unlucky not to have won the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Have you had a chance to speak with Chuck at all? What are his thoughts? People have very fond memories, certainly, of Chuck.
JONATHAN GREEN: Chuck’s phenomenal. He’s been the best partner we’ve ever had in the 30 years we’ve been in the business. I think that Dad even said the only other partner he’s had for a longer time was my mom, so it really keeps him in very high regard.
I literally just hung up the phone with Chuck on the walk up here. He was excited. He was confident coming into the race, just as John was, and they’ve both been to big races like this before. So we kind of feed off of what they think, and they were both quietly confident of the filly. Chuck was with us in spirit the whole time that filly went around the oval.
THE MODERATOR: John Servis, we’re obviously not joined by Joel Rosario, who’s busy getting for the next race. Did you give him any instructions before the race, and what did he say after the race
JOHN SERVIS: Ironically, I gave him pretty much the same instructions I gave him in the Friday set. I thought there was quite a bit of speed in the race. I knew Amoss’s filly was going to go for the lead. I said, you know we have speed. She’ll probably be close. She’ll rate, she’ll sit wherever you need her. He said two jumps out of the gate she took him there. He said, I knew then she had running on her mind. As soon as she got to the lead, she pricked her ears and relaxed and cruised along at a pretty fast pace but did it well in hand.
THE MODERATOR: Very good. We have many media here along with us. Let’s start in here.
Q. John, obviously, you just said this is how you drew it up, get out of the gate and get on with it.
JOHN SERVIS: Not at all. Not at all. The 5 1/2 furlong race that she ran in at Delaware, there was some wicked speed in there. They went 21 and change the first part of it, and she set off the pace and relaxed very nice and then came home strong. So I knew she’s great, but she’s just been doing so good, and she’s just had running on her mind. Like Joel said, when she left there, he knew. Two jumps out of the gate, I knew. She brought her game face.
Q. Question for John Servis about your record here at Churchill Downs. I think it’s pretty good in stakes races. Can you — anything about chipping into Churchill Downs or anything about the surface that you like that sets things up for you?
JOHN SERVIS: No. Really, I think I’ve been very fortunate just to bring loaded guns really. I mean, I’ve come in here with three really nice horses, and they’ve gotten the job done.
Q. I’ll commandeer one more question for Mr. Green, Leonard Green. Tell us a little something about your relationship with John and how long you all have been together in training and his thoughts.
LEONARD GREEN: It’s been smooth, like [ indicating ]. No, he’s the best. He really is. He’s being modest when somebody asked him earlier in the day, can the horse do two turns? He said the horse does two turns every morning. So I think he kind of spelled it out a little bit.
John is special because it’s a lot of trainers who can train. John’s that special where he can see a good horse. He gets some very good help in doing it with Jim McGreevy. But you can get lucky sometimes. We go down to Keeneland, and there’s 3,000 or 4,000 horses, and they look at 3,000 or 4,000 horses themselves. So, yeah, you get lucky sometimes, but I think if you work real hard, you get luckier.
JONATHAN GREEN: And just to jump in. I was just going to say that the McGreevy boys are setting a really good reputation around the racing world. It wasn’t always a picture perfect story. This is the third go round with John Servis. The first time we did it, we were mostly a claiming outfit, and John got a chance to go private and won a lot of races. Learned a few things about the business, and we learned a few things about the business. About a year and a half ago, we sat down in our conference room and were thinking about changing trainers. We interviewed three or four top trainers, people who have horses in this race this weekend. We just left the interview with John just amazed at not only his poise but also his professionalism and also what he had planned for our organization and our stable.
I think John will laugh when I say that. We interviewed all four trainers, and ten minutes after John left, I called him, and I said, What do you think? He said, I got the job. We’ve always been on the same page, which has been an absolute joy over the past almost 30 years. Actually, John and Sherry were actually at my wedding.
I just want to mention just for personal reasons, it’s my 25th wedding anniversary this week coming up. I want to thank my wife, Michelle, for allowing me to come down and enjoy this great event and hopefully have another great event with her 25 years anniversary. So thank you.
I’ve got to catch a plane in the morning, but I don’t think I’m going to need a plane to fly home.
LEONARD GREEN: Somebody ask Lois something, otherwise we’ll hear about it.
THE MODERATOR: I’ll ask Lois a question. DJ Stable has been in the business a long time, as Jonathan’s comments would indicate. Where does this rank? I imagine this has to be at the very top in terms of individual thrills?
LOIS GREEN: Absolutely correct. We’ve had a lot of very exciting races over the 30 years, and many of them have been in facilities that were very special, but there’s nothing like coming to Churchill Downs and winning a major race. You’re right. It has to be at the top of our experience as owners and breeders. We were overwhelmed and thrilled to be able to be here and win.
LEONARD GREEN: Wait a second. You said after our $3,500 claimer won, that was the biggest thrill in your life.
THE MODERATOR: To John Servis and the Greens, before you leave Louisville, the hotel rooms go fast in the spring. You might want to make an advanced booking on your way out of town. Congratulations on a terrific performance and indeed, obviously, a championship one by your filly Jaywalk. Congratulations.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports