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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Turf Sprint: Regally Ready


Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs


8 Regally Ready 6.60 4.60 3.00
11 Country Day   24.00 14.20
4 Perfect Officer     6.00
5 Great Attack      

$2 Exacta: $188.20
$2 Trifecta: $1,542.00
$2 Superfecta: $21,196.80

Time: :56.48

Winning Owner: Vinery Stables (Tom Ludt)
Winning Breeder: Grapestock LLC
Winning Trainer: Steve Asmussen
Winning Jockey: Corey Nakatani

Equibase chart

Steve Asmussen (trainer, Regally Ready, 1st) – “Today, that was absolutely awesome. Absolutely awesome.”

Corey Nakatani (jockey, Regally Ready, 1st) – “The Asmussen team did a great job with this horse and that race at Woodbine (the Nearctic) set him up perfectly for this race. We got away in good shape and had a perfect trip. He was composed and focused. When he started pulling away down the stretch it just showed how good a horse he is.”

Steve Margolis (trainer, Country Day, 2nd) – “The horse put in a big effort. In the Woodford (3rd), we said if he was doing good we’d take a shot. He had two good works over the turf course with James (jockey Graham).  We knew we’d be a longshot but we also knew we had a live horse.”

James Graham (jockey, Country Day, 2nd) – “He ran great, great position and finished well. I just couldn’t catch the winner. If you look at the replay you’ll say the same thing. I thought when we straightened up that he had a big shot. The other horse (Regally Ready) was getting away from us a little bit, but that was it. He ran the best race he could ever run. I don’t ever give up, and he never did.”

Michael Pino (trainer, Perfect Officer, 3rd) – “We were wanting to be a little closer.  He kind of got out of the race a little bit, but he showed courage and ran a good race.  I’m proud of the horse.  We’ve come a long way and wanted to win, but I’m happy with the effort.”

Kendrick Carmouche (jockey, Perfect Officer, 3rd) – “I wish I could have been more to the front, because on turf that is this soft, you have to be closer to the lead. I’m proud of him. That horse (Hoofit) blew the turn and carried about five horses out with him and that allowed me to get a clear path. He ran a big race.”

Joe Talamo (jockey, Caracortado, 5th as second choice) – “It wasn’t a bad effort considering we came from the (13) hole. I just don’t think he liked the soft going. It’s not like California.”


THE MODERATOR:  A crowded dais but a happy one.  From left to right, representing Vinery Stables, George Reeb; Tom Simon, the owner of Vinery; Tom Ludt; Stephanie Weisse, who is Tom Simon's daughter; and a familiar face from yesterday, Corey Nakatani, and was it Lila?

            COREY NAKATANI:  Yes.

            THE MODERATOR:  Okay, very good.  She seems a little more camera willing today, and she wants to speak.  Congratulations to all of you.  I'll ask the Nakatani family about the journey around the track.  Not to take anything away or maybe to praise Regally Ready any further, it seemed like a relatively comfortable win for you.

            COREY NAKATANI:  Definitely it was.  He couldn't come out of the race ‑‑ out of Woodbine in any better shape.  That's a tribute to Steve and Scott, his team.  They're at the barn working on him, keeping him in top shape, keeping him fresh and eager.

            My job was so easy today, it wasn't even funny.  I let him jog a little bit.  Let him get happy, comfortable stride.  Let him warm up a little bit late before the gate to make sure his muscles were nice and loose.

            He broke awesome.  Broke out of the gate, broke through the field, and I was basically nursing him down the back side and just tracked the one to my right.  Got around the turn, and pretty much the race was over at that point, I felt anyway.  As long as I got a clean break and didn't get bumped, I felt they were going to have to really pick up their run to beat me.

            THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations, Corey.  Breeders' Cup win number nine and second in two days after My Miss Aurelia yesterday.

            Steve Asmussen, not with us because he's busy saddling both Tapizar and Wilburn in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.  Understand why Steve is absent.  But I'd like to ask Tom and Tom, if somebody had said on May 6th, Regally Ready was going to be the favorite and perhaps the winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, no one would have been surprised.  If somebody had made that same statement on September 6th, people would have been surprised because he was off for three months.  When he came back, you tell us if he had tough trips, didn't like the track.  He seemed to go off form for whatever reason.  He wasn't the same Regally Ready we had grown accustomed to in California and Kentucky.

            What went wrong?  What came back to turn around so sharply to get things right?

            TOM LUDT:  Believe it or not, that was the plan.  Not to be off, but when the horse won here on Derby day, Steve and I talked about it.  He was a good horse.  He was a grinder.  But he needed a break.

            What you don't know if you don't know the horse, he needs a race or two to get going.  I was upset after the Monmouth race.  He said relax, after a couple of races this horse will be back.  He proved me right at Woodbine and proved us all right today.

            THE MODERATOR:  Corey, it's easy for a trainer to say, trust me, he'll come around.  As a rider, you've got options.  Maybe you ride a turf sprinter for somebody else, I don't know.  Were you confident throughout the little valley in his cycle?

            COREY NAKATANI:  No doubt.  No doubt.  I believe I spoke with him right after the race and said, look, today he just needed the race.  Don't worry about it.  We'll be there come Breeders' Cup day.  His race after that at Monmouth, he bounced a little bit because it was a little harder race for him.  Coming off that long layoff, there was a little more to do.

            If you go back and look at the race, you'll see I really didn't get to the bottom, trying to make sure we can win the race but at the same time don't take too much out of him and get him to peak at the right time.

            Talking to Steve and going with the game plan of what we were set on doing, I had no doubts coming into today.  I told Steve, we're going to win.  Don't worry about it.  Have a good night and enjoy your time.

            THE MODERATOR:  Tom Simon, congratulations, not just as the owner of the horse, but also the breeder under your name Grapestock.  I guess, when you decide to stand a stallion, you put your knowledge of bloodlines combined with hunches, and this is kind of what you hope turns out with more than ready, now the sire of three Breeders' Cup grass winners in the last two years, not just now with Regally Ready, but, of course, More Than Real and Pluck last year sweeping the two juvenile races.

            What was it about More Than Ready that made you feel so strongly and took us here today?

            TOM SIMON:  Believe me always, if you have such a great stallion, you look smart.  You think it's very easy this whole thing.  But nobody talks about all the stallions who went through and nobody mentions them.

            Sure, we always, if you go with stallions, it's a whole teamwork, and we're looking at all the racetracks, pedigrees, whatever.  But the end, you need a lot of luck that everything really gets together.  More than ready was one of, I think, the first stallion after I purchased the barn.  I would say half of it is just luck.  You mentioned it the right way.  It's special winning a Breeders' Cup race, but having your own bred, by your own stallion, it's really very special.

            THE MODERATOR:  In addition to the purse money, perhaps you can raise the stud fee a little more now too.  We'll take questions.


            Q.  I'd like to ask Corey where you will base yourself this winter?

            COREY NAKATANI:  Right now we're going to be at Aqueduct for a few ‑‑ probably to December, maybe even longer.  It's up to Ronny.  I'm going to leave it up to him.  I want to take the time right now actually to thank my wife and my family.


            Q.  But it won't be California?

            COREY NAKATANI:  I'm not sure where we're going to end up.  It just depends what Ronny wants to do.


            Q.  Any chance of staying at Aqueduct through the winter because the purse will be so much higher this year?

            COREY NAKATANI:  Right now that's where I'm based out of New York.  Aqueduct is where we're at.  That's what Ronny decided we should do.  I believe that's a very good plan.  Depending on where the horses take us ‑‑ and, obviously, you know, riding all over the world, I've been there and done it.  I'm just confident in the horses that are bred and obviously the trainers you ride for, you've got to go out there and give the horse the best chance to win.

            That's all I can do.  I can go out there and ride and give my best.  Huh, Lila?  You want to say that?

            To answer your question, yeah, right now we're based out of Aqueduct.


            Q.  You have evidence he is the best sprinter in North America today.  Given the fact he had been winning with such authority, do you have any chance of going abroad and seeking bigger plums?

            TOM LUDT:  We do.  We don't like to get too far ahead of ourselves.  We wanted to get through today.  He is very sound.  We were hope to go win the Breeders' Cup, and now we can say we did.  We have great plans to travel the world with this horse.  We hope he takes us to many great places with victories.

            THE MODERATOR:  And California is part of the world.  The down the hill turf course is kind of a, for lack of a better term, kind of a funky layout, not all horses take to it.  One thing you know about Regally Ready is he takes to it just fine just as well as he takes to it here.  Is certainly next year's Breeders' Cup certainly among the targets for next year in addition to wherever else he might travel?

            TOM LUDT:  This past May we planned on finishing here for this year.  We might have a really good plan to finish at Santa Anita next year.  He loves that course.

            THE MODERATOR:  Any more questions for team Regally Ready?  Gentlemen, George Reeb, Tom Simon, Tom Ludt, Stephanie Weisse, Corey Nakatani.


            Q.  Can you talk a little bit about the connection with Breeders' Cup and kind of what this win means for you with that connection?

            TOM LUDT:  Well, it's hard to put that in words.  I just took over as chairman.  I've been involved in the board for a few years.  It's been a great experience these past two weeks.  I think we've made a lot of changes to help people.  One of them is having a celebration room, which we're headed to as soon as this interview is over.  It's really special obviously, to be involved at the board, at the chairman level, to run this farm and be with them.  I'm never in the Winner's Circle with them because they're not here very often.

            It's just a treat.  You can't put it in words other than just wow.

            THE MODERATOR:  That celebration room, I'm sure, planned at least partially with Regally Ready in mind.  Congratulations to all of you.  Gentlemen, George?

            GEORGE REEB:  I'd like to say one thing.  Thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of this, to the Simons, to Tom Ludt.  Tom Ludt who gave me the opportunity a few years back to become a partner.  And the Simons, I met them.  They agreed to take me on and teach me a little bit.  I'm thrilled with the experience to be part of their team.  Thank you.

            THE MODERATOR:  And we're thrilled for all of you as well.  Congratulations.  Regally Ready, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

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