Racing News

Preakness "They Said It"

  • Doug O'Neill, trainer of I'll Have Another (Maryland Jockey Club/Jim McCue)

"There are a lot of horses that have been in this position the last 15 years, and it didn't happen for them. So we're only two-thirds there, right? So we've got to be cool, including the chalk, and try to block everything out. When we get to the Belmont, just ride the race, and if it happens, it happens."

J. Paul Reddam on going for the Triple Crown sweep with I'll Have Another after his colt captured the 137th Preakness Stakes

"I really commended (Mario Gutierrez) because to go from, I don't want to say an obscure track, but one that's not on the radar every day, and then to be thrust into the limelight and to be cool as he was yesterday; and before the race today, they were joking before getting a leg up. And I thought he's going to be OK."

Reddam on jockey Mario Gutierrez, who is a relative newcomer to the national horse racing scene

"I think there was a common feeling, from what I read, that the horse won the (Kentucky) Derby because he got the perfect trip. And if he didn't get the perfect trip, he wouldn't have won. So it wasn't so much the horse as the way the race went. I think today went at what I would call a reasonable pace. He didn't have trouble, but he was certainly wide in the first turn. He shows that he's the real deal. He's a real race horse. He gutted it out. The other horse (Bodemeister) was not stopping. He had a bang up race. To come and catch him, how could you criticize that, really? The horse has done everything that we've asked of him this year, and he hasn't had the most respect. He's never been favored, and I think for those who follow the horse and bet on them, that will be pretty rewarding. I don't know if that will be the case next time after today's race."

Reddam

"I am. I'm excited. I'm surrounded by so many fun people. Just having fun with them. Kind of doing our thing around the barn. We work hard and take good care of the horses. When injuries come up, we just regroup, take care of them, and we just have a really good atmosphere in the barn. That helps us have time to keep everything very loose for me and the horses and the staff."

—trainer Doug O'Neill on looking forward to the build-up to the Belmont Stakes in three weeks

"The other day we were talking to (retired jockey) Richard Migliore who rode there (at Belmont Park). He said it's so big. You don't know the rider's perspective. He mentioned walking the track. Mario might not like that. But he was talking about taking Mario out and walking around the track because you can get lost out there. It's so big. You think you're at the three-eighths pole, and you're at the five-eighths pole. So I'm sure we will watch videos and get out there and get some experience."

—O'Neill on preparing for Belmont Park

"He came out of the (Kentucky) Derby in great shape. His appetite has been unbelievable. His energy level has been high. His stride over this track, he had a couple days at Churchill where he didn't go over the track as good as some other days. But here he just really handled the track great every day. He just really thrived from the Derby."

O'Neill describing I'll Have Another's condition leading into the Preakness

"I was just trying to distract Mario, which was pretty easy, because I think he was thinking other things too. Mario did mention if Bodemeister goes early, do you want me to press him? I said, 'Mario, you know the horse. Just ride him to the best of your ability,' and he did just that. I think Mario was trying to calm me down. I was trying to calm Mario down. And in the end, we were both pretty comfortable and relaxed and pretty confident."

O'Neill

"I would love the opportunity to do cool things in New York if we can. The great thing about having a horse like I'll Have Another, it opens up a lot of doors. You get to meet so many people who love horses and they love horse racing. Along the way if we can share a little bit of the backstage fun of it, and the excitement, and the beauty of it, I would like to do that."

O'Neill on the special appearances he's made leading up to the Preakness and possibly doing more heading into the Belmont

"It's just kind of surreal. Going into today, I thought this horse was a really, really good horse going in. And I think after today, he's proven this is a great horse. He's really a great horse. I think going into that race (Belmont Stakes), we'll have a fresh Union Rags and Dullahan ready for us. But the way this horse runs, they're going to have a hard time catching him just the way he runs. I don't think anybody doubts he'll get the mile and a half. So we're excited. I can't wait to get to New York."

Doug O'Neill's brother, Dennis O'Neill, who picked I'll Have Another out a sale for Reddam

"Well, it will be a first time for me. It will be the first time I'm going to New York, first time I'm going to be at the racetrack. It's not the first time I'm going to race a long race. In Vancouver (at Hastings Park) we have monitor races where they're just running around the track like five times. It's pretty long. So it's my first time in New York and my first time on the racetrack."

—jockey Mario Gutierrez on riding at Belmont Park and going the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Belmont Stakes

"It's a great feeling when you're riding a horse that's giving you a hundred percent. It's a great feeling. He's an amazing horse."

—Gutierrez on I'll Have Another

"I know the horse is a great horse. He makes me have a lot of confidence. You know, Mr. Reddam and Doug, I've got family coming from Veracruz. When they saw me out there, those are the people that helped me when I didn't have anything. These kind of people keep believing in me. They put so much confidence in me. It's just great to have those kind of people. I think I've been really lucky. I don't want them to go away. I want to keep them forever."

—Gutierrez on staying calm before the Preakness

"Joe (Bravo) was happy with him. He said he never gave up and tried real hard, and he's a horse that's only going to get better with experience and age."

—trainer Michael Matz on fifth-place finisher Teeth of the Dog

"We ran our race today. The race didn't develop the way we thought it would. He ran a good race. He was the most lightly raced horse of the whole bunch today. He never stopped trying. He's got a great future."

—jockey Joe Bravo on Teeth of the Dog

"The two horses in front were very, very tough today. There is not much more I can say."

jockey Corey Nakatani on Optimizer, who reported home sixth

"It looked like he was going to make a big move and he just flattened out. He's a good horse. He just hasn't shown what he can do. I did get excited turning for home. It was an amazing race. We have a Triple Crown on the line. That's good for racing."

—trainer Dale Romans on seventh-placer Cozzetti

"We gave it shot. It didn't look like he had any trouble. I was happy for the winner and a chance for the Triple Crown. It is good for the sport."

—trainer Ignacio Correas on Tiger Walk (eighth)

"He kind of stumbled away from there and that's how it went."

—trainer Steve Asmussen on Daddy Nose Best (ninth)

"No excuses. Johnny (Velazquez) said he ran out of horse down the backside. He was right with the winner and he really had no excuse. Just ran flat.

—trainer Graham Motion on Went the Day Well (10th)

"He broke a little slow. But I put him right where I wanted to be. In the first turn, I was right behind the leader and by the backstretch, I was done. I mean, he didn't respond at all for whatever reason. Very disappointing."

jockey John Velazquez on Went the Day Well

"(Javier) Santiago put him where he wanted. It looked like Bodemeister had to use himself a little bit to get in front. We just got outran."

trainer Chris Grove on Pretension, who trailed Preakness 137

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