June 2, 2023

2019 Breeders’ Cup Mile Transcript

Uni wins the Breeders' Cup Mile 2019
Uni wins the 2019 Breeders' Cup Mile (Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson)

Breeders’ Cup Mile

Saturday, November 2, 2019

  • Sol Kumin

THE MODERATOR: One of the winning owners of the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile with Uni. And Chad Brown and Joel Rosario are represented in the next race, so uncertain whether we’ll hear from them.

We’re happy to be joined by Sol Kumin for the second time this weekend. Congratulations to you. Could you give us your reactions to this impressive performance in the Mile.

RELATED: Uni flies late to beat Get Stormy in the Breeders’ Cup Mile

SOL KUMIN: Unbelievable ride by Joel. It’s tough from that post. A couple of scratches inside helped a little bit to move us over. We were really worried about the lack of pace, and he did a perfect job, trying to get her over, seeing a little bit of ground in the first turn. I thought he got her going at the perfect time, and the other filly ran unbelievably, Got Stormy. And to watch those two fillies throw down in a race like this, it’s one of the ones you’ll remember.

THE MODERATOR: Got Stormy was her really chief rival this year, or really only rival, you might put it. Talk about when they met before seeing that rivalry unfold again.

SOL KUMIN: Got Stormy’s race in the Fourstardave was absolutely spectacular. I think it took a lot of guts from that ownership group to run right back, and I think it was on less than a couple weeks’ rest, and she ran incredible.

Today we had some good spacing in between races, and Chad was very high on her last threes, and just she came in and did everything we could have asked for today.

THE MODERATOR: Could you elaborate, a little more detail on what you were describing in the Winner’s Circle about how the partnership comes together, you were one of the original buyers in France, and then bringing the other partners in thanks to Bradley.

SOL KUMIN: Sure, Nicholas (indiscernible) this is kind of a funny story. We were in Dubai, it was three years ago or two years ago, Nicholas at breakfast said, Hey, I have a filly you should buy. I think she’d be great in America.

He put the filly to us. I called Mike Dubb. We were able to buy half the horse, and Mike’s group and our group split it. We brought the horse to America. I remember when the showed up in Chad’s barn. We were all a little bit concerned because she was so small. We were like, Oh, what did we do? She’s tiny. He said, Don’t worry. I like the way she moves. We should be okay here.

We ran the horse in partnership with our partners in France for the first — I think it was about a year or so — and then we were able to buy him out and bring in a third partner, who’s Bob LaPenta, and so we ended up becoming partners, a third each. And we’ve had a lot of success with Bob and Mike Dubb and Caruso from Bethlehem and that group.

We’ve been partners in a lot of different horses, and for us that’s really what the fun’s all about. Sitting up here alone — Mike wasn’t able to be here, Bob wasn’t able to be here; it’s not as much fun for me without my boys here.

But winning a race like this is special, especially against the boys.

THE MODERATOR: But this year here alone, I would love to just chat with you about your model for success as an owner. You’re sort of inventing a new model in horse ownership, especially at the highest levels. Could you talk about your philosophy of buying horses, how and when you buy into them, and how much of that was mapped out from your first involvement in racing and how it’s evolved to today.

SOL KUMIN: Sure. When we started, we were really fortunate to meet Chad Brown at the beginning, and he did a nice job teaching us, protecting us, and put us into not only some yearlings and two-year-olds, where we got lucky with Lady Eli at the beginning, and then buying some proven horses later, like Slumber and Dacita and some horses from — some from Europe and also some from South America. And it was really him that put us into different groups of some of his other owners.

From then I was able to meet Brad Weisbord through Chad actually originally, and Brad really took that to the next level. Introduced us to Nicholas in France who had been doing a lot of the buying for us overseas done an amazing job for us. And then Liz Crowe partnered with him and has been buying a lot of our unproven horses, and obviously British Idiom yesterday and Monomoy Girl last year.

We work really hard at it. We spend a lot of time — we’re always trying to think of different ways of doing things that maybe not everybody’s thinking about.

We’ve got a great group of partners that are game for taking shots on things, and we try to be thoughtful. And it’s been a great last five years. That was our 60th Grade I win today, which was great, in five years. So pretty happy about that.

THE MODERATOR: I saw that incredible picture that Brad posted of all your Breeders’ Cup hats spread around. Could you tell us how many horses in the Breeders’ Cup you’ve had a piece of and how do you gauge success when you’re a partner in so many?

SOL KUMIN: I think we ended up with 11 or so that ran. Had a couple that scratched. You come to these weekends, we’ve come here before when we felt like we were pretty loaded and you walk away with no wins. It’s so hard to win on these weekends. My expectations coming in here if we win one race I’ll be happy; if we win two, I’ll be ecstatic.

British Idiom yesterday was incredible. Great ownership group, obviously having Liz part of our team buying the horse. Brad Cox, the whole thing was awesome.

This filly today, it’s my kids’ favorite horse, both my boys love Uni. She was probably our most visited horse at Saratoga last summer for peppermints in that corner stall in Chad’s barn.

So having her win this race today and meet the boys was amazing. And we have a couple more shots with Midnight Bisou and Yoshida, we’ll see. We’re pretty happy where we are. And it’s been a great weekend.

Q. Being a five-year-old mare who just won a Breeders’ Cup race, what happens with her now?
SOL KUMIN: We’ll bring her back next year. The partnership talked earlier this year. It was a no-brainer to bring her back.

And then we talked about potentially trying to go to Ascot, after the race Tepin went to, whether it’s a good distance, obviously what you saw. We’ll have to do some arm twisting with Chad to see if it will happen. But it’s definitely something that’s on the table.

A big question now, honestly, is do you give her a break or do you go back and try to win the Matriarch again. Maybe she has a chance to be champion.

If you kind of think about, it’s really two fillies that have had amazing years. They don’t run against each other. She was able to win this race today. She’s beaten the boys here. Her only defeat this year was against the boys.

So I think she’s got to at least be mentioned in the conversation. And I think if she was to win the Matriarch and have a third Grade 1 win, it would be possible. I think that what we’ll have to sit down and decide, because she needs a break obviously at some point. So it will be Matriarch and a break, or break now and see.

THE MODERATOR: There’s Midnight Bisou heading to her stall. Any questions?

Q. There was a change of plan after the race at Keeneland. What did Chad share with you to kind of say, hey, instead of putting her away for the year we’re going to go forward into here?
SOL KUMIN: I think it was the way she won. I mean, she really — he said he’s had a lot of good fillies, we all know — he said the turn afoot that he’s seen that last quarter mile, he hasn’t trained any fillies that kind of finished like this before.

He said if you guys are game for paying the hundred grand — it’s difficult to do. You sort of look against the boys and you draw the 11 hole and you want to kill yourself.

But we did it. And, look, with these types of horses, there’s nobody better. Every year you kind of look up and he seems to pop another one and another one.

And the race he won yesterday with the two-year-old colt, that was on nobody’s radar. And, bang, he wins again. That horse is 3-for-3 with another Breeders’ Cup win. He knows when to press and back off, especially with these turf horses, and he’s advised us extremely well with this one.