home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 31, 2015

Mario Gutierrez

Dennis O'Neill

Doug O'Neill

J. Paul Reddam

Lexington, Kentucky

THE MODERATOR: Everybody, the winner of the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile is Nyquist. We're joined by winning trainer Doug O'Neill, winning jockey Mario Gutierrez, owner Paul Reddam and Dennis O'Neill. Congratulations to all of you.
Mario, maybe you can start by telling us about your trip. You didn't do anything fancy, just rode him like the best horse.
MARIO GUTIERREZ: That was the plan, you know. There is not too much things we could have done from the 13 position. So, like, I just rode him with confidence. I know what kind of type of colt he is. He gives me a lot of confidence. That plays a big factor for me not to worry and not to make something crazy to happen, try to make something crazy happen early.
THE MODERATOR: How much did you talk about the strategy before the race?
DOUG O'NEILL: We talked a lot. It was all about doing something exactly different than what happened
[Laughter]. But I think it just, it shows what a great jockey Mario is to call an audible when other horses went. And I believe mid‑race all of us up here, maybe not you, but mid‑race, I thought they're not machines. Even the great horses every now and then just don't fire. I thought maybe he just wasn't firing. But when Mario called on him, he sure did. Can't thank Paul and Zilla so much for this beautiful colt, my brother, Dennis, helping with the selection. And Elias, the groom, who is just an unbelievable horseman. All the guys at the barn. So special horse.
THE MODERATOR: Paul, let's hear from you. How special is this horse?
PAUL REDDAM: Well, he's five for five special
[Laughter]. Pretty much, from the‑‑ actually, from the time Dennis and Jamie McCalmont also loved the colt at the sale and it was odd to hear the two of them agree on anything. And so I knew he was special right then.
As he was trading down, you could hear the excitement in the voices that he was going to be something. And we really kind of got verification of that in his first start, when he just refused to lose.
I think that's the biggest thing about him, and we saw it today, that he will go as fast or as slow as you want to go, and he took a lot of abuse among the handicappers for his descending buyers coming into the race.
I thought, well, is it really a criticism that you didn't win by enough? I think he proved himself today, certainly.
THE MODERATOR: Dennis, can you talk about when you first saw Nyquist at the sale and picked him out?
DENNIS O'NEILL: Actually, I called Paul right away, and I owe a lot to Jamie. Jamie helped out a ton. Jamie really, really loved him too. From day one, Jamie and I were like this is one we have to have in the barn. We were surprised. We thought he'd be really, really expensive.
DOUG O'NEILL: $400,000 isn't that expensive nowadays. Sorry.
DENNIS O'NEILL: He's probably the most beautiful horse I've ever bought. He's just a gorgeous animal. I cannot wait until he turns three and he starts to fill out and he's just going to be a magnificent looking horse.
THE MODERATOR: It's very exciting to think about him as a three‑year‑old.
So Paul, you've got the early Kentucky Derby favorite. Just talk about how hard it is to not think forward to the first Saturday of May.
PAUL REDDAM: The early Kentucky Derby favorite thing doesn't work out too often. So I think what we're going to do is just absorb what happened today and we'll worry about the Derby in a few months.
THE MODERATOR: That's so measured and logical
Doug, how about you? Are you excited about the first Saturday of May?
DOUG O'NEILL: I'm going to agree with whatever Paul just said. I think it is. If you get lucky enough and have a horse that can run in the Triple Crown races, you really need a lot of energy and a lot of gas in the tank, if you will. So I think we're probably all on the same page that he'll get a little bit of rest here, but Paul, Jamie, Dennis, Zilla, and Mario, we'll put our heads together and figure out what the plan will be. Again, just he's an amazing horse.
THE MODERATOR: Questions from anybody in the room.

Q. Any one of you can answer this. The way Mario rode, thinking he was the best horse in the race, and this is especially for Mr.O'Neill, given the fact that he has always been in front or close to the front, you said no matter what, know no inhibitions, no restraint, do the best you can and keep going. Were those your instructions?
DOUG O'NEILL: Well, I think it's such a huge asset to have speed, class, and stamina. Nyquist has all three of those. Today, he showed that he can lose ground on the first turn and settle and make up ground. So he's just, he's added a fourth dimension to a brilliant quality.
So it didn't really work out the way I thought initially, but the end result was what we were all hoping and praying for, for sure.

Q. Your post position did not present you many options.
DOUG O'NEILL: Right. I think Mario rode it to a tee. He left there like he was on speed and he had to call an audible when he wasn't. Hat's off to you get a rider under pressure like that who doesn't do the right thing, and he could have emptied the tank out and maybe got the lead, but would have had nothing late.
So credit to Mario, just quality audible call. Tom Brady of jockeys.
PAUL REDDAM: Hats off for not panicking.

Q. I can see you're a New England fan.
DOUG O'NEILL: Well, I wouldn't say the Lions quarterback, but the Lions kind of suck right now.
THE MODERATOR: Dennis, you shipped in here a few weeks ago and won with an Uncle Mo, correct?
DENNIS O'NEILL: Me and my son stood in the same exact spot. You talk about different trips. It shows you how good Mario has gotten. He's one of the best now.
The trip with that race in the All Sprites, [ck] he was inside.
DOUG O'NEILL: Dennis wasn't very good a few months ago either. Go ahead.
DENNIS O'NEILL: We've all gotten better. We've all gotten better.
DOUG O'NEILL: Dennis has gotten better too.
DENNIS O'NEILL: This trip is exactly opposite, to break from the 13 and think you're going to be up close and then to audible and stay in the clear like that.
Mario, it's funny, because we were very kind of nervous coming in, like you always are for a Breeders' Cup race. He was just so calm. He kept telling me, just relax, I've got it under control. He did. It was a brilliant, brilliant outcome. Unbelievable.

Q. If memory serves me right, Red Rocks won for you the Turf at Churchill. What is Red Rocks doing now? When Curlin was planning to go to the arc to have a grass race, you beat Curlin in a stake race at Belmont. I can't remember the name of the race. What is Red Rocks doing now?
PAUL REDDAM: He stands at Calumet Farm two miles away.

Q. Do you know, Doug, how many starts you want to get into him before the Derby?
DOUG O'NEILL: That will be part of a Team Reddam meeting.
DOUG O'NEILL: Two, I believe. I think we want to have‑‑ in an ideal world, you want to have as much energy as you can going into that kind of race and then, hopefully, the following races.
THE MODERATOR: That's easier to do now with this being worth 20 points, correct?
DOUG O'NEILL: Yes, and this horse has such an amazing foundation with five races under his belt and shipping outside of California and doing what he did. We got to see him handle everything like he was right in his own back yard.
So he showed us a lot, and I think we can be really confident if we stay injury‑free for an exciting three‑year‑old year.
DENNIS O'NEILL: That was a huge thing, seeing him in the Paddock. So classy, never turned a hair, like he'd been here a hundred times. That was when we got real confident.
THE MODERATOR: You guys feel particularly proud of California taking the exacta here and basically five races in a row?
DOUG O'NEILL: I think California racing, obviously we are biased, but we've got the weather, we've got the facilities and have great racing out there. So we love it.
DENNIS O'NEILL: Keith ran second and fourth, I think.
THE MODERATOR: He ran second.
DOUG O'NEILL: Who was third?
DENNIS O'NEILL: The favorite.
PAUL REDDAM: Brody's Cause?
DENNIS O'NEILL: It was Brody's Cause? I thought it was Green. Swipe was second, Exaggerator was fourth.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to the connections of Nyquist, winners of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297