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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Mile: Court Vision

11/5/2011

Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs

MILE

9 Court Vision 131.60 48.60 21.40
13 Turallure   10.80 7.00
1 Goldikova (IRE)     2.40
5 Gio Ponti      

$2 Exacta: $1,979.60
$2 Trifecta: $9,955.20
$2 Superfecta: $26,926.80

Time: 1:37.05

Winning Owner: Spendthrift Farm LLC (Richard Hughes)
Winning Breeder: W. S. Farish & Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership
Winning Trainer: Dale Romans
Winning Jockey: Robby Alabarado

Equibase chart

 

Dale Romans (trainer, Court Vision, 1st) – “I’ve been saying all week how good this horse was doing.  When I saw how easy he was running down the backside, I thought if they just back up a little we’ve got a hell of a shot. It’s just been an incredible year. All my best horses have been running well.”

Robby Albarado (jockey, Court Vision, 1st) – “I was far back early but I knew they were going quick and I figured that gave me a chance.  Dale told me to be sure to keep him running at the end.  I worked him the other day on the grass and I just loved what he did. It just felt great for me (winning at my home track) but it’s great for Dale too – him being a homeboy.

Charles Lopresti (trainer, Turralure, 2nd) – “What a race! Doggone it I thought we had it.”

Julien Leparoux (jockey, Turallure, 2nd) – “Tough. I thought I won. It was a good trip. From the 13-post I knew just to take back and make one run. He likes to run like that anyway. I did have to just ease back and that’s what I did. After the race, I thought for sure that I won. It’s disappointing. He couldn’t do much more.”

Freddy Head (trainer, Goldikova, 3rd) – “I’m very proud of her.  Today, she just got beat by a better horse.”

Olivier Peslier (jockey, Goldikova, 3rd) – “She ran well. She always runs well. I’m fine with her race. No regrets. When we came on the turn (for home) there was no place to go. But she got through with good acceleration. I heard the other rider (Patrick Valenzeula on Courageous Cat) yell, but I was already past. (Valenzuela claimed foul, but it was not allowed.) She’s been a wonderful mare to ride. I am very lucky. Right now (knowing it is her last race) I am full of emotion. I hope she does well and that someday I will ride her baby.”

Christophe Clement (trainer, Gio Ponti, 4th) – “I thought he ran a very good race but he finished up a touch flat.  It will be up to (owner) Shane Ryan (of Castleton Lyons) to decide where he goes next, but I think he’s done enough to retire.  He’s been a wonderful horse for me for many years.”

Ramon Dominguez (jockey, Gio Ponti, 4th) – “We split horses and I just couldn’t get up. Perfect trip. He came with a run, but a couple horses just outran him. He ran pretty respectably. We just weren’t good enough today.”

Richard Hannon (trainer, Strong Suit, 10th) – “He never got into the race. We’ll get him back home and see how he is.”

THE MODERATOR:  We'll now have the connections of Court Vision.  We've got everybody in place, and we're joined by the connections of Court Vision, winner of the recently completed TVG Breeders' Cup Mile and Court Vision had a win mutual of $131.60, the second longest shot in the history of the Breeders' Cup behind the unforgettable Arcangues.  We have trainer, Dale Romans; jockey Robby Albarado; B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm; and Ned Toffey, racing manager, general manager at Spendthrift.  Congratulations to all of you.

            I guess first I'll ask Mr. Hughes, congratulations.  You won back in action this day with one of the more unlikely Breeders' Cup winners forever, perhaps at least on paper in Court Vision.  You purchased the horse earlier this year, I believe presumably as a stud prospect.  He hadn't hit the board in his last six races.  Here he is as the winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile.  What gave you the confidence to even run the horse today?

            B. WAYNE HUGHES:  Well, I guess Dale Romans is the difference.  It's crystal clear in my mind.  We expected to run well.  Robby had worked him and said he worked better than maybe for quite some time.  But we didn't expect to win.  I didn't expect to be sitting here.

            And so probably I don't really have anything to contribute other than the fact that Dale took the horse at our request, and sometimes a good change is good for the horse.  I think this is the case.

            We had the best jockey in the world on him.  So all we did was just buy him.  Okay.  So thank you.

            THE MODERATOR:  Robby, Breeders' Cup win number three for you.  Congratulations.  Previously, Curlin and Tapitsfly, trained by Dale Romans.  Dale's had him for two races, same with Mr. Hughes and Spendthrift.  You've kind of been the constant in the Court Vision story.  You were aboard him back when he was winning the Woodbine Miles, and you were also riding him during kind of the down period earlier this year.  Can you trace for us the ups and downs of Court Vision that led us here today?

            ROBBY ALBARADO:  Sure.  It's kind of like my own story.  He stuck with me through the ups and downs.  I can't thank him enough for being behind me throughout this year especially.

            Court Vision, he has been up and down throughout his career.  I've worked him quite a few times too.  He's pretty ‑‑ you can evaluate him off his works.  He'd been doing really good the beginning of Saratoga, and then he switched hands in the middle of summer, went to Dale, and he started training poorly.

            Dale brought him to Canada, and he did get beat before that day.  Got a little tired that day.  Since then, every work was better and better and better.  His last work last week, which you can watch on equiCam.  When I worked him, it was pretty neat.

            I told the guys, I said, this is the best he's done since I've been getting on him for two years now.  I attribute that to Dale giving him that undivided attention and treating him like the great run horse he is.

            THE MODERATOR:  Dale, congratulations.  What were your thoughts when you first got Court Vision?  Obviously, his form wasn't glittering at that point.  How important was what Robby was telling you in your own calculations and where to spot and where to run him.

            DALE ROMANS:  It was very important.  I've been a fan of Court Vision from the time he was purchased at the 2‑year‑old sale.  I liked him then and didn't have enough money to buy him myself.  I followed him ever since because of that.

            He's an unusual horse.  He's 6 years old and still going at it and winning grade 1s.  So I was really pleased when they called and told me I had a chance to train for the end of his career.

            THE MODERATOR:  Mr. Hughes and Ned, what's the immediate future hold for Court Vision?  If you were thinking about standing him presumably, as it was, certainly nothing today would steer you off of that.  What do the next six months hold for him?

            NED TOFFEY:  Well, we've already made plans for him to go to Canada, and that's what he'll do.  He'll come to the farm.  We'll let the breeders take a look at him during the November sale, and then he'll ship up to Canada and Park Stud.

            THE MODERATOR:  Before we throw it to the media, Mr. Hughes, if you would, as somebody who's been involved in this game for a long time and put your all into it, if you would comment on Goldikova and what she's meant to the event and how it feels, not that she was right behind you, but you were the one that won the Breeders' Cup Mile that she didn't.  Could you comment on Goldikova?

            B. WAYNE HUGHES:  Well, I guess I'd have to say, my mind was like frozen.  I didn't know where anyone finished other than ourselves, and I wasn't even sure of that.  So I probably don't really have any comment that.  I'm sorry she didn't win, but I'm glad we did.

            THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Questions?

 

            Q.  Mr. Romans, the tote board said 60‑1.  How would you have rated your chances?  You read the form all the time.

            DALE ROMANS:  I thought he had a big chance today.  For the last couple of weeks, he's just been topping himself.  He only got beat three lengths in Canada, which was the first race off of a longer layoff.  We had a little bet on him.

            I don't think retirement's coming up.  It's going to be a good dinner tonight.

 

            Q.  Robby, how do you feel how the horse was traveling during the course of the run?  Were you confident at all?

            ROBBY ALBARADO:  Sure, I was pleased pretty much.  Not only was I on Court Vision, but I had a whole field vision.  So I got to see everyone in the race and where they were.

            Last year when I run against Goldikova, I tried to follow her around there and made the move a little earlier than I needed to with him, and I think that compromised him in the race.  This year I tried to let him run his own race like he would.

            Dale said just let him finish his way.  So he was way out and running late, but he did.  He was a little more out than I wanted him to be, but I didn't want to get him stopped and let him get the momentum worked out.

 

            Q.  Mr. Toffey, can you talk about the parks that you mentioned in Canada instead of Kentucky, and just what you guys association is with the place in Canada?

            NED TOFFEY:  Well, Canada's obviously getting to be a really strong market.  We've been looking for a horse to stand there.  Court Vision is a horse that our team identified as a horse that might be a nice stallion prospect.  We had a lot of internal debate about where we would stand him.  We finally did settle on Canada.

            Park Stud is owned by Michael Byrne.  It's in Ontario.  They do a wonderful job.  We made that commitment, and that's where he'll be standing.

            THE MODERATOR:  Who else stands there?

            NED TOFFEY:  Mary Field, and I believe that's it.

            THE MODERATOR:  Is it spelled P‑a‑r‑k?

            NED TOFFEY:  K‑e, I believe.

 

            Q.  Dale, could you tell us specifically how the horse was padding himself in the days leading up to the race?

            DALE ROMANS:  He was just moving so good over the racetrack.  He's in the bottom of the tub.  He's moving well over the racetrack.  His coat was really good.

            When you have a horse that's got that much back class and didn't get beaten by far by these horses already, even with Goldikova.  You've got to think you have a chance even if we are 55‑1.

 

            Q.  By your estimation, how many high fives did you give out?

            DALE ROMANS:  My hands are pretty sore.  It was a bunch of them.  I've got a lot of family and friends here, and I think I got them all.

            THE MODERATOR:  That was Dale referring to Coors Light.

            Dale, this wasn't your only success of the day.  While we have you, could you comment on Shackleford who ran second behind Caleb's Posse in Dirt Mile?

            DALE ROMANS:  To run second is always bitter sweet in a race like this.  Especially like a Derby.  I know what it feels like to think you're going to win the Derby and also know what it feels like to think you're going to win a Breeders' Cup Mile with this horse.  He gives his all every single time.  Couldn't be prouder of his year.

            Very few horses I've trained have missed a work, a gallop or anything he's been pointing towards.  So now he's going to get some deserved race.

            THE MODERATOR:  Greatest day of your training career?

            DALE ROMANS:  It's pretty good.  This day was great, I'll tell you what.  This horse proved us right.  I felt like he was doing so good he did deserve to be in this race, and he proved us all right.

 

            Q.  The USC quarterback set a passing record the other night.  You figured that's a good omen for you?

            B. WAYNE HUGHES:  Well, I stayed up all night to watch the game.  I was a little pooped this morning.  Yeah, that's a good omen.  The whole thing is great.  This is a great racetrack, great program, great Breeders' Cup.  I'm just delighted to be here and thank you.

 

            Q.  That was against my Colorado, by the way.

            THE MODERATOR:  All right.  This has been a Breeders' Cup with all sorts of surprises, and this is certainly one of them.  Happy surprise.  Court Vision winning the TVG Breeders' Cup Mile.  Congratulations to trainer Dale Romans, jockey Robby Albarado, Wayne Hughes of the Spendthrift Farm and Ned Toffey, general manager of Spendthrift.  Thanks for getting another Breeders' Cup Mile.

     FastScripts by ASAP Sports


UNEDITED TRANSCRIPT WITH FREDDIE HEAD:

THE MODERATOR:  Live in the interview room with trainer Freddy Head.  Good of you to come and speak with us.  This one unlike the other three, but diminishes nothing as her incredible career as a race horse and as a Breeders' Cup campaigner.  First of all, Freddy, can you express any disappointment that you may feel right now just that she wasn't able to pull off four in a row?

            FREDDY HEAD:  No, not at all.  We were a very good run.  We had the race we wanted him to have.  She came out, looked like she was going to win for a moment.  Now I don't think she can sustain the same speed.  She does a little thing for only the half, and then she doesn't seem to be able to follow on that.

            She's done that the last couple of races that we've run with her.  So you know, that's life.  Maybe the mileage and the years have taken their toll.

            THE MODERATOR:  Freddy, now that the mare of a lifetime's racing career is over, what are your feelings?

            FREDDY HEAD:  Well, I'm very pleased.  I've lived great moments because of her, and I'm very proud.  I'm very happy because I think it's a nice way to finish.  Although we didn't win, she did what she could do, and she tried her best.

            Just today she wasn't good enough.  That's all.  But she'll go now in retirement as a brood mare, and hope all will go well.  Maybe she'll have some yearlings and foals coming here too.

            THE MODERATOR:  We all look forward to that.  What, if anything, did Olivier tell you after the race?

            FREDDY HEAD:  He said what I told you.  He said, for a moment he came out, she didn't have much room.  When she came out, she flew two strides, and he said, now I'm going to win.  But he found that, when the others came, she didn't have anything more.  She was gone.

            THE MODERATOR:  Questions?

 

            Q.  First of all, we all thank you for bringing her here four times, and your European counterparts.  Where does the Breeders' Cup fit with European folks in general and with Champions Day and everything else?  Will we see continued participation from a lot of Europeans here?

            FREDDY HEAD:  Of course it's very important ‑‑ it's a very important meeting.  I mean, Breeders' Cup now is one of the greatest races in the world.  So if you have a good horse, you want to come here and compete and try and win.  I hope I can do that in the years to come, but with another horse.

 

            Q.  Mr. Head, many of the big races Goldikova has won, she has generally come off the pace several lengths.  For example, last year she had an outside post position.  Do you think the inside made her job more difficult because she was looking for some room and momentum was checked?  Would that have made a difference?

            FREDDY HEAD:  No, not at all.  She has won a lot of races that way following the leader and coming in straight quite soon.  No, no, she had a perfect run.

 

            Q.  I saw her took the lead a little early in the stretch, and then when they came along, she could not fight back.

            FREDDY HEAD:  Absolutely.  That's what I said.  They were a few runs, including at Deauville, and we found excuses.  So maybe she's lost a little bit of what she had that made her so great.  But that's life.  That's racing.

 

            Q.  Freddy, would you talk about Goldie's legacy for the game, where she fits in the big scheme of things in terms of racing history.

            FREDDY HEAD:  Well, I think winning 14 Grade 1 races and competing against the best every generation for four years and winning in England and America, I mean, something exceptional, winning three Breeders' Cups.  I think they will say in history she has a place like one of the great horses of this past century.

 

            Q.  You have arguably been involved in two of the greatest horses in horse racing history, Yaz (phonetic) and Goldikova.  Could you compare and contrast the two?

            FREDDY HEAD:  It's very difficult to compare.  Yaz was a great mare too.  I think Goldikova had a much tougher time.  I think she has met better horses than Yaz, and I don't think Yaz could have gone on as long as Goldikova did.  That's all.  It's very easy to compare.  They're exceptional horses, and I've been very lucky to ride one and train one.

 

            Q.  Mr. Head, during the training hours the other day, I think you said you just wanted Goldikova to run a good race in her last race, win or lose, and you would be satisfied.  You seem a little sad actually.  Do you feel satisfied, or is it somewhat disappointing?

            FREDDY HEAD:  No, no, I'm very, very happy for the moment.  I'm very proud, very happy.  I knew it was going to be hard.  I knew for the Breeders' Cup, it's not something like that.  I mean, it's very difficult to do.

            For myself I'm very proud of her.  Maybe the blues will come a little later.

            THE MODERATOR:  Freddy, have the Wertheimers given you any indication who she might be bred to?

            FREDDY HEAD:  I think they plan to send her to Galileo.

 

            Q.  If Goldie could redo the season, would you have run it or retired her last year?

            FREDDY HEAD:  No.  I had four races, won two Group 1s, second in the others, third in the last one.  I would do the same.  It was a good thing to try.  I mean, she runs ‑‑ she's still one of the best in the world.  What can you say?  There's nothing to regret, no.

            But I want to thank Alain and Gerard Wertheimer for keeping her for so long, and I want to thank all the people who have been around her, like all the people in my yard and Olivier Peslier for being such a great rider.

 

            Q.  How do you feel with Goldikova the way that she ‑‑ she's a stout Philly.  How do you feel about Galikova?  Do you feel that she could be as successful as Goldie?

            FREDDY HEAD:  She runs on longer distances too.  She's a mile, mile and a half, mile and a quarter mare, which makes the thing more difficult, I think.  No, I don't think so.  I don't think she'll go on so long, but she's a very talented mare too, great, great filly.

            I think she wasn't well.  There was a little virus in my yard that stopped her, but I think this year we'll win some other races with her.  Maybe we can come back here with her.

 

            Q.  Mr. Head, last year I asked you if you would bring Goldikova early to race prior to the Breeders' Cup to give us all a chance to see her magnificence.  Is there any chance you would do that with Galikova next year to bring her over a little early, or will we see her only in France and England?

            FREDDY HEAD:  I think Galikova is not a mare you can race a lot.  I don't think we're going to race her many times this year.  Our main goal will be the Arc.  She wasn't well this year because we took her to Deauville in August.  That was too hard to keep her formed for too long.

            Next year we'll do a reentry before the Arc.  I don't know what race yet.  And then afterwards, if all goes well, we'll go to Santa Anita maybe because our owners, they love to come in here and competing in America.

 

            Q.  We love having you.

            THE MODERATOR:  Freddy, one thing is absolutely certain, and that's many years from now, when people look back on the great competitors in Breeders' Cup history, two names are going to come to mind, Goldikova and Freddy Head.  We thank you so much for all the memories these last three years and this year also, and on behalf of everybody at Breeders' Cup, thanks for everything you've done for the event.

            FREDDY HEAD:  Thank you.

     FastScripts by ASAP Sports

 

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