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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Marathon: Afleet Again

11/5/2011

Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs

MARATHON
 

8 Afleet Again 85,20 35.80 13.80
1 Birdrun   7.20 5.80
5 Giant Oak     6.80
4 Pleasant Prince      



$2 Exacta: $668.40
$2 Trifecta: $4,147.40
$2 Superfecta: $39,533.20

Time: 3:00.39

Winning Owner: Kasey K Racing Stable (Robert & Susan Krangel)
Winning Breeder: Roll Z Dice Racing Stable
Winning Trainer: Robert E. Reid, Jr.
Winning Jockey: Cornelio Velasquez

Equibase chart

Robert Reid (trainer, Afleet Again, 1st) – “He ran fabulously. It’s so rare to get this kind of distance, so we decided to take a shot. We always thought he could go this far. There’s no limit to how far he can run. When I saw a 48 (fraction) for the first half and we were only seven or eight lengths out of it, I thought we were in pretty good shape.”

Cornelio Velasquez (jockey, Afleet Again, 1st) – “I rode this horse in the Travers (4th in 2010), and he has one pace all the way. I stayed behind the speed, and at the quarter-pole, put him in the clear. And I had a lot of horse. I like this horse. He needs a strong ride. In the last five-sixteenths I had a lot of horse. The jockey on the four (Joel Rosario on Pleasant Prince) sent his horse at the quarter pole. At the three-eighths I pulled the trigger."

Bill Mott (trainer, Birdrun, 2nd) – “He ran well. He tried hard. Funny enough, the horse that won it, we’d been beating him all year long, every time. Hey, it was his turn today. I’m glad for those people; he’s been chasing us around there all year long.”

John Velazquez (jockey, Birdrun, 2nd) – “I knew we were going kind of fast early and I tried to get him back, but he wanted to go. I finally got a hold of him and was able to get him to settle. Then, when that horse (leader Pleasant Prince) took off once more, he wanted to go again. I didn’t think I’d have enough (horse), but he kept going, and at the five-sixteenths (pole) I thought I could win the whole thing. He just kept going. He ran a really good race.”

Chris Block (trainer, Giant Oak, 3rd) – “I thought he got a good trip. (Jockey) Shaun (Bridgmohan) did a good job getting him settled in there. He was a little keener than you’d want going a mile and three-quarters, but that’s going to happen with a horse coming off a mile and a-quarter and a mile and an-eighth race. Shaun did a real good job getting him settled. We took our shot at the head of the stretch. The horse ran hard, he just ran out of gas the last sixteenth.”

Shaun Bridgmohan (jockey, Giant Oak, 3rd) - “This horse tries hard every time. He got a little strong with me early on, but then he settled into a good rhythm. We had a good trip and we got beat only a head for second.”

David Lanigan (trainer, Meeznah, eased) – “She seemed to be going OK until she came past the stands. And then, according to (jockey Tom) Queally, she took a bad step. And then was never going after that.”

UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS:


THE MODERATOR:  And we're joined now by the winning trainer and owner of Afleet Again.  Cornelio Velasquez, not real comfortable with his English.  We may try to get him down here later, but I'm sure our two happy winners can do all the talking for Cornelio and themselves as well.  On the left is trainer Robert Reid, and on our right is owner Bob Krangel.  Congratulations.  Bob, of course, representing Kasey K Racing Stable.

            I'll start with you, Mr. Reid.  It seemed like it was ‑‑ I don't even know if up and down year was the right way to describe Afleet Again's year.  He showed great promise as a 3‑year‑old, and it seemed like it took a while for this horse to come around, changing distances, changing surfaces.  He certainly got it all right on the last day, but can you talk about kind of the difficult journey just to get him here to the Winner's Circle.

            ROBERT REID:  Going back to last year with the Belmont, he made a nice run at the end of the year.  In the Haskell and the Travers, he always seemed like he would run up to the last group and kind of hang a little bit.  No real physical reason for it, but that's just his personality.  Very laid back.  He's kind of the ultimate plodder is what you call him.

            Coming up to this race, we had ‑‑ actually, last fall, even before I had ideas on this kind of a race, but the way the year went, like I said, there was disappointments along the way.  But he always gave me that solid run.  His last best race was probably the Greenwood Cup where he finished just behind Born to Run and A.U. Miner where he got a nice trip and sat outside.  That's where he's at his best.

            THE MODERATOR:  Butch, since Cornelio is not here, can you tell us what he said about the trip?

            ROBERT REID:  He was very aggressive, which is rare for this horse.  This horse is a real Jekyll and Hyde.  Sometimes he shows up and sometimes he doesn't really.  He said he was very aggressive.  I saw the fractions they were going, 48 in the first half, and he was only six or seven lengths out.  I thought we were in pretty good shape.

            Cornelio said he had a title hold on him, which is very rare for this horse.  Normally, you have to jerk on him to keep him in the hunt.

            THE MODERATOR:  Bob, your trainer was talking about the trials and tribulations of the year.  Coming to the Breeders' Cup is never a cheap proposition, not just because of the shipping, but entry fees add up.  You showed a lot of faith in your horse just by coming here.  What was it that convinced you to take a shot here and go off at 40‑1 and win the race?

BOB KRANGEL:  I think, as Butch had said before, the Philadelphia race where he ran a mile and a half, lost second by a head or a neck to Birdrun.  A couple of steps to the wire, we were past him.  And the extra quarter mile, it seemed like a local thing to do.  A.U. Miner won the race, but we thought he ran a good race.  The extra quarter mile, we thought, played to our advantage.

            As Butch said, he's the ultimate plodder.  And 1 3/4 mile, there's not a lot of horses around who can get that distance, and we took the shot.  Very happy we took the shot.

            THE MODERATOR:  Any ideas about future plans for the horse?  No, I'll leave that up to my trainer because maybe now people will recognize what a great horseman this guy is.  We're not only very close personally but more people need to know about Butch Reid as a trainer outside of Philadelphia Park.

            THE MODERATOR:  Again, people in the press box can ask a question.  We are also happy to take questions here.  Any questions for Butch Reid or Bob Krangel, the connections of Afleet Again.

 

            Q.  You go by the maxim, the one certain thing in racing is its uncertainty.  Your horse did the right thing on Breeders' Cup.  Do you think it's justified as promised, or did you see anything special in the last few weeks that gave you increased confidence?

            BOB KRANGEL:  He's been very happy.  He's gone through some times where he was a little more sulky.  That's kind of his personality.  We tried him in Saratoga, and that grass up there.  I think the grass may have been a mistake even though he is kind of grass bred.  While those races didn't hurt him any, I think it got him a little confused and put him off his game.

            I can't remember who won the race at Belmont.  We took the blinkers off of him, and he tried to run up the horse's heels and tried to bolt.  He likes to be in his little rut.

            Now he's in a situation where he made three straight dirt races.  He got his rhythm back, and he got his mojo back, I guess.

            THE MODERATOR:  Well, you guys obviously both took a shot, and your confidence was rewarded by Afleet Again today.  Congratulations on a brilliant upset win in the Breeders' Cup Marathon.  Butch Reid, Bob Krangel, the trainer and owner respectively of Afleet Again.  Congratulations.

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