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


November 6, 2009

Wayne Catalano

Nancy Mazzoni

Mike Mazzoni


ERIC WING: Joined by the winner She Be Wild, winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. From left to right, we have co-owner Mike Mazzoni, owner Nancy Mazzoni, and on the far right, trainer Wayne Catalano. Wayne, first off for you, your second career Breeders' Cup win. Your second career Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies win. Your rider is out on the Paddock for the next race. But Julien Leparoux is aboard, of course. You're a former rider, so give us your version of the trip that She Be Wild had?
WAYNE CATALANO: The ways I first saw it, I was outside of the boxes, and I saw it was lying in a very good spot. It was third sitting right off the pace. Saving ground. I think the trip that we got was very good. The quarter pole got a little tight. When he got his head up in there, she's not a real big filly. I thought it was okay. Julien did a great job. Saving ground and laying perfect like that. Really, getting us a win in the Breeders' Cup.

Q. Nancy and Mike, a great story between the two of you. As I understand it, and correct any inaccuracies in my telling of it, but you attended a TOBA Greatest Game Owners seminar back in 2003, and enough of it appealed to you that you thought you might dip your toe into the ownership waters. I know, Nancy are you're a life long lover of equestrian sports. But you thought you might dip your toe into the thoroughbred ownership game, and here you are six years later with a Breeders' Cup winner. Can you trace the rapid ascent from perspective owner to Breeders' Cup winning owner?
NANCY MAZZONI: Well, I think because Mike and I do all the work ourselves, perseverance just pays off. We, of course, we had a lot of low moments before this one, and almost didn't stay in. But because we were unable to sell the foal at the sale, we kept her, and here we are.
ERIC WING: Tell us about that. She went through the ring earlier this year. Brought I think $19,000 or that was your reserve. She didn't meet it.
NANCY MAZZONI: No, she didn't meet it.
ERIC WING: So sometimes the best deals are the ones you never make.
NANCY MAZZONI: I guess in this situation, it is. It is. I'm not very good with these interviews.

Q. Wayne, here you are, you're given a horse that couldn't get sold for $19,000, what did you think of She Be Wild when she first came in your barn or maybe before you first saw her? Did you think, well, run her for a maiden 20 probably?
WAYNE CATALANO: No, I had nothing to do with the filly until they shipped her to my barn. I hadn't seen her. I wasn't at the sales. When she come to me at the barn, she was not a real big filly, but she had a lot of spunk to her. Once we got to training her, she showed a lot of ability.
She's got a tremendous stride for a small horse, and that's what caught my eye and my attention on her stride and her work ethics. And, the spunk that she had in her, they seemed to have a little horse that has a lot of heart, and she had it.

Q. Why 19,000? Why only $19,000 reserve?
NANCY MAZZONI: Well, I think at that point we had decided to get out of the business. We had sold three brood mares the previous February, and we had three foals. One of the first foal to go through the sale we pulled because she didn't have a good time. And the other two we just decided we were going to put low reserves on. But she never even met the low reserve.

Q. Were you automatically going to keep her at that point? Or did you try to sell her privately?
MIKE MAZZONI: One of the fillies that we pulled from the sale that had the slow times, she's a half to Storm Mesa, who won the Great Jewel last year. And because of her page, we thought that she wouldn't bring one at the sale, and we were around here when She Be Wild didn't bring in her reserve, and we had already talked to Wayne about taking the other filly, it was just a natural decision.
And I should add, too, that we are small. We raise the horses ourselves. We take the mares to breeding, we foal the horses. There's a connection that we have. And it's tough for us to sell a horse, and there was a lot of emotion in the decision. And only in America.

Q. How did you decide on mating to Awfully Wild?
MIKE MAZZONI: Nancy does all of that for us. She's the one that nicks all of our mares, and she picked Awfully Wild. We liked him because he was a first year sire. And nicking actually had a very high number. And frankly, one of the other reasons was because he was in our price range.

Q. You shipped out here late, and you elected to stay at Keeneland. Can you talk about that?
WAYNE CATALANO: Well, my first experience coming to California was in 1990. I brought a string of horses. And the word was we either come right off the plane or you come very far in advance to get acclimated. And we tried it once. It worked. I stayed with the same pattern. We brought Lewis Michael out here, and he won at Del Mar. It's just, they tell me come early off the plane or come a long time in advance for acclimation. So that was my reason for doing it that way.
I wanted to stay with the filly the whole way. So in order to do that, I elected to stay at Keeneland. It was a Poly track, she was going to run on Poly track. It wasn't going to interrupt the training by weather, by being at Churchill or anywhere else. So we had a good track to train on. A good setting, and the filly was very happy. So we waited to make that move.

Q. When we talked at Keeneland, you were really happy with her race then even though she didn't win. I assume she trained forwardly from there.
WAYNE CATALANO: When I was watching the rerun after the race I knew what happened I said, she had three races. She was pulled up in all three races. She didn't get what she needed out of it to have a two-turn race. She had two-turn race there at Keeneland. That kind of got to her a little. My racers were way too easy to flat mount which was supposed to be a stepping stone to race to go into two turns. It was way too easy on her.

Q. What day did you arrive here with her?
WAYNE CATALANO: I believe it was a Monday.

Q. How do you compare her to Dreaming of Anna?
WAYNE CATALANO: Well, they're both great fillies. They both would be me a Breeders' Cup. I'm going to stay with that one right there.

Q. Is she going to go back to prepare for the -- are you going to try to get her ready for some of the sprint and 3-year-old filly classics that are run on the dirt?
WAYNE CATALANO: I think Mr. Mike and Nancy would like to look at the Kentucky Oaks down the road. So we'll look somewhere in that move.

Q. Could you discuss the decision to go with Julien on the horse who had not ridden her before?
WAYNE CATALANO: Well, I kind of come up with a couple of riders before Julien. Then as I'm watching the rider and I'm thinking about it and Julien was available, and I talked to Nancy and Mike who told them he's got the patience, he's got the experience the three Breeders' Cups, and the style that she needed for the certain race.

Q. Now that you've won this race, what are your plans now for staying in the racing game?
NANCY MAZZONI: I think we're just going to enjoy the day, and the next few weeks, and we'll see what happens. Hope she stays down, and Wayne always makes the decisions. So we'll just do what Wayne says. Oh, staying in the business, for now we're just going to stay where we are. No changes.
MIKE MAZZONI: We have two other fillies on the track. Wayne has the one that I mentioned earlier who is the half to star mason. And she's going to run, what, next week in the Churchill, I believe. And we have a Pennsylvania bred. We like the racing in the division, it's much better than the commercial breeding part of it.
So my guess is after we've got the chance to digest all of this and come up for air in a week or so, we'll probably stay in the racing part of the game. We enjoy it. And as far as we're concerned, we couldn't have hooked up with a better trainer, because she's taken us on an incredible trip the last six months.
As long as he wants to work with us, we want to work with him.
ERIC WING: How did you two and Wayne first hook up?
MIKE MAZZONI: Tell them the story.
NANCY MAZZONI: Well, after we decided to keep the first filly in April we obviously had to look for a trainer, and we happened to be at Keeneland during the April meet. We ran into some of our friends who saw Wayne scooting across the Paddock area.
MIKE MAZZONI: With a cell phone in his ear.
NANCY MAZZONI: And our friends introduced us to Wayne. And fortunately at that time he didn't have a stable, and we were fortunate that he decided to work with us.

Q. Fortuitous meeting and a fortuitous non-sale for sure. Mike and Nancy Mazzoni, Wayne Catalano, congratulations on a wonderful victory by She Be Wild, and best of luck next year with her.
MIKE MAZZONI: We hope to see you guys back in this room next year with Wayne.

End of FastScripts

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