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June 6, 2012
ELMONT, NEW YORK
ANDY SERLING:Â Welcome, everybody, to the drawing for the 144th Belmont Stakes.Â I'm your host, Andy Serling.Â Joined, to my, right by P.J. Campo, Racing Secretary here at the New York Racing Association, and Andrew Byrnes is to his right, and he's our stakes coordinator.Â And they'll proceed with the drawing for this 144th Belmont Stakes.
Dullahan, No. 5, morning line odds 5‑to‑1 on Dullahan.Â No. 4, Atigun, morning line, 30‑to‑1.Â No. 11, and there are 12 in this year's Belmont, No. 11 is I'll Have Another.Â The 4‑to‑5 morning line favorite to win the Triple Crown.
No. 8, Guyana Star Dweej, 50‑to‑1, morning line.Â No. 7, Five Sixteen, 50‑to‑1 morning line.
No. 12, on the far outside, My Adonis, morning line‑‑ if I can find him‑‑ 20‑to‑1.Â No. 6, Ravelo's Boy, 50‑to‑1 morning line.
No.10, Optimizer, 20‑to‑1 morning line.Â No. 9, Paynter, 8‑to‑1 morning line.Â No. 2, Unstoppable U, 30‑to‑1 morning line. Â No. 3, Union Rags, 6‑to‑1 morning line.Â And No. 1, Street Life, 12‑to‑1 morning line.
Let's go through the field once more.Â No. 1 is Street Life, 12‑to‑1 morning line.Â Owned by Magnolia Racing Stable and Hidden Brook Farm, trained by Chad Brown, ridden by Jose Lezcano.
No. 2, Unstoppable U, owned by Magdalena Racing, Magatelli Stables, Ken McPeek, the trainer, Junior Alverado, the rider.Â 30‑to‑1.
No. 3, Union Rags.Â Owned by Chad Ford Stable, trained by Michael Matz, ridden by John Velasquez, 6‑to‑1 morning line.
No. 4, Atigun.Â Short Leave Stable.Â Trainer Ken McPeek.Â Julien Leparoux, the rider.Â 30‑to‑1 morning line.
No. 5, Dullahan.Â Donagal Racing Stables.Â Dale Romans, the trainer.Â Javier Castellano has the mount.Â 5‑to‑1 second choice.
No. 6, Ravelo's Boy, Korina Stable, Manuel Azpurua, the trainer.Â Alex Solis has the mount, 50‑to‑1.
No. 7 is Five Sixteen.Â MeB Racing Stables, LLC.Â Dominick Schettino, the trainer.Â Rosie Napravnik has the mount, 50‑to‑1.
No. 8, Guyana Star Dweej, Shivmangal Racing Stable LLC.Â Doodnauth Shivmangal, the trainer.Â Kent Desormeaux, the rider, 50‑to‑1.
No. 9, Paynter.Â Zayat Stables, LLC.Â Bob Baffert, the trainer.Â Mike Smith, the rider.Â 8‑to‑1.
No.10, Optimizer.Â Bluegrass Hall, LLC.Â D. Wayne Lukas, the trainer.Â Cory Nakatani has the mount 20‑to‑1.
And No. 11, I'll Have Another, Reddam Racing, LLC.Â Doug O'Neill, the trainer.Â Mario Gutierrez, the jockey.Â 4‑to‑5 morning line.
And rounding out the field on the outside, the connections of last year's winner ruler on ice is No. 12 My Adonis.Â George and Lori Hall, Kelly Breen, the trainer, Ramon Dominguez has the mount.Â 20‑to‑1 morning line.
I'd like to start out by bringing up some of the connections, and we'll start out at the top.Â And trainer Doug O'Neill is going to join me up here and talk a little bit about I'll Have Another.
I don't think anybody has been more generous with their time in a situation like this.Â Unbelievably good.Â Doug deserves a lot of credit.Â We really do appreciate it.
You really have made the most of what I think is an incredible situation.Â Have you really appreciated how great this is?
DOUG O'NEILL:Â It's been an unbelievable‑‑ it's been an unbelievable ride.Â And I think we've just stayed focused on the whole journey is all because of the great I'll Have Another.
I've obviously got caught up in some other issues on the side here.Â And we've been cleared of any wrongdoing.Â They're still kind of goofy a little bit, but everything's going good.Â And we every day give thanks to be part of the I'll Have Another team.
ANDY SERLING:Â How is I'll Have Another doing?Â How has his morning gone?
DOUG O'NEILL:Â He's doing great.Â He's continued to gallop good.Â His energy has been good.Â His appetite has been strong.Â He's handled this whole journey as good as you could possibly ask a horse.Â And he hasn't lost a bit of his flesh at all.Â His coat continues to shine and look great.Â So we couldn't ask for him to be coming into this any better.
ANDY SERLING:Â How do you see this race being run?Â And have you talked about this at all with Mario as far as the way the race should set up?
DOUG O'NEILL:Â Not really.Â We're going to huddle up and talk.Â But being in the 11 hole we're able to kind of see how the pace sets up; and if they're crawling, we'll hopefully be leading the crawl.Â And if they're flying, we'll be sitting in behind the horses flying.
But Mario is such a confident rider, and he's so confident in I'll Have Another, and they get along so well.Â So we're in good shape.
ANDY SERLING:Â Great.Â I would think you're probably very happy with the draw from what you said, because having the outside certainly makes it easier.
Doug, once again, thanks a lot for everything.Â And best of luck with I'll Have Another.Â I'm also privileged to bring up here Mario Gutierrez, who has been just incredible also, along with Doug in this whole thing.
And I'm looking at his face, and he's thinking:Â God, if this was the last interview I ever have to do, would be very happy.Â You've been great, Mario.
We appreciate you coming up here for a couple of questions.Â And I think the first question:Â I saw a picture of you with James Earl Jones yesterday.Â You're like a celebrity now.Â How does that feel?
MARIO GUTIERREZ:Â Not a Celebrity.Â It feels good.Â I try to enjoy every single minute of it.Â This is once‑in‑a‑lifetime.Â So just try to have fun.
ANDY SERLING:Â You're standing up here on the fourth floor.Â And, of course, we know there's an incredible view of the racetrack.Â Have you taken a look out there to sort of get a feel for what you have up in front of you this coming Saturday?
MARIO GUTIERREZ:Â Of course I'm excited.Â I have a horse today, and I have to understand how good it is to be on a track like this.Â It's good.Â I'm excited.
ANDY SERLING:Â We're excited to have you.Â And we wish you the best of luck and appreciate you coming up here.Â Thanks a lot.
And we're going to bring up some other connections of some of the horses right now.Â We will start out with the second choice.
And I think everybody's seen enough of Dale Romans, wouldn't you agree?Â Dale actually said yesterday that he would like nothing better than to have 120,000 people booing him as he goes to the winners circle should Dullahan upset I'll Have Another.
We'll bring up his owner Jerry Crawford and see how Jerry feels should he be getting booed on Saturday.Â He was here with Paddy O'Prado.Â Actually didn't run in the Belmont but was third in the Derby a couple of years ago.Â And you're back.Â So you skipped the Preakness.Â Now was that by design?
JERRY CRAWFORD:Â It was actually by argument between my good friend and trainer Dale Romans and myself.
Bill Mott told me one time that the thing that makes a good owner is you never disagree with your trainer's decision.Â So I'm here today as a bad owner.
But I think Dale agrees it all worked out for the best.Â If we had won the Kentucky Derby and we thought we would, and the race showed we surely could have, then, of course, we would have gone to the Preakness.
But having failed to do that, if you examine the genetic code of Dullahan and his sire, Even the Score‑‑ Paul, Even the Score, kind of catchy, don't you think?Â It clearlymitigated in favor of giving the horse some rest and coming here.
ANDY SERLING:Â How is your day going here at Belmont Park?Â Saw you out a little bit earlier.Â Having a good day here so far?
JERRY CRAWFORD:Â Andy, it was nice of you to promise me a very level playing field here this morning.Â I was early up to breakfast.Â Came over, the Donegal placard was on the front two tables.
I walked over to get a cup of coffee and saw they were playing a continuos loop replay of past Triple Crown winners.Â I thought, wow, in Iowa we don't call that subtle.Â And I came back with my coffee and Dullahan had been moved back to the room.Â So very even playing field so far.
ANDY SERLING:Â Things are going very well.Â People are familiar of Mind That Bird who came in here looking to win two legs of the Triple Crown and finished third.
Just sort of asking:Â Dullahan was recently picked by Bill Clinton, who I'm aware that you're friendly with.Â Now Bill was here for Funny Cide Belmont.Â Any chance you'll get him to come out for the race on Saturday?
JERRY CRAWFORD:Â He's certainly been invited.Â He didn't quite have all of his facts dialed in, but I think all things considered, with his schedule and what not, we appreciated his support.Â Obviously the I'll Have Another folks are getting a lot of support.Â I saw the new Sports Illustrated.Â The horse is on the cover.Â We want to congratulate them on that.Â That was a joke.
ANDY SERLING:Â You're hoping, obviously, that Dullahan is on the cover going by.Â I'll ask you the same question I asked Dale yesterday:Â Do you have any mixed emotions possibly ending a Triple Crown bid, because you do have the second choice.
JERRY CRAWFORD:Â That's a great question, and to be dead serious, I don't think I'll Have Another, as much attention as he's gotten, has really gotten his full due yet.
The reason is that Ahmed Zayat, Bodemeister, has just been spectacular in both races and yet I'll Have Another has managed to find a way to beat him in both races.
Ahmed and I talked with Paul earlier today and said to him that we're going to do everything we can to keep him from being a Triple Crown winner.Â But after what he's already done, and if he gets it done here Saturday, he'll not only be a worthy Triple Crown winner, he will have exceeded all possible expectations.
ANDY SERLING:Â I don't think anybody could have said it better.Â Thank you for coming up here and best of luck with everybody involved with Dullahan.Â Let's give a big hand to Jerry.Â All right.Â (Applause).Â Good rivalry.
The real rivalry, I would say so far in this Triple Crown, as Jerry just alluded to, was Bodemeister and his connections.Â Trainer Bob Baffert and owner Ahmed Zayat.
And Bodemeister will not be running in this year's Belmont Stakes.Â I'm sure they wished that he was running to be going for the Triple Crown.
But they have a pretty able substitute for him in Paynter.Â And to talk about him a little bit let's bring his owner, Ahmed Zayat, up to talk about Paynter and a little Bodemeister.
How effective a substitute is Paynter for Bodemeister?
AHMED ZAYAT:Â He's very talented.Â Distance should not be an issue.Â We believe that his breathing will help him.Â He's developing at the right time.Â Pretty fast colt.
ANDY SERLING:Â You expect him to be on the lead in this Belmont?
AHMED ZAYAT:Â I'm not sure.Â He's more versatile than people think.Â He can probably do anything.Â But as it looks here, it looks as if we've drawn a nice post.Â And there is lack of speed.Â So maybe he will be in the lead, but I'm not sure.
ANDY SERLING:Â I sat by you at the Preakness.Â And it was clear that it was as disappointing a defeat as you could imagine.
Obviously coming after the Derby, and then the loss of the Preakness, I mean, you had to be imagining that it could have been you sitting at the front two tables going for the Triple Crown with Bodemeister.
How tough was that and how long did it take to get over it?
AHMED ZAYAT:Â I don't think disappointing, actually, is the right word.Â Our colt ran his heart out in the Derby.Â He ran a spectacular, unbelievable Derby.Â We have an incredible horse in I'll Have Another.Â He's a true champ.Â He's a really, really nice horse.
And seeing what I saw, you really appreciate the game more.Â You know how hard it is.Â So I wasn't really disappointed, because coming out of a huge race, he ran another huge race.Â We were just beaten by a better horse, fair and square.
ANDY SERLING:Â Very well said.Â Now, six months ago nobody outside of you and your connections had heard of either Bodemeister or Paynter.Â And going back six months, which one of the two did you consider at that time to be the better of them?
AHMED ZAYAT:Â If you ask me personally, I've always thought that Bodemeister is a very nice colt.Â But Baffert, day one, thought that Paynter was a better horse.Â He thinks he is really, really a very nice horse.
ANDY SERLING:Â I'm a huge fan of Bodemeister.Â And when will we be seeing him run again?Â And can we hope to see him run in New York soon?
AHMED ZAYAT:Â He's a very happy horse.Â He's doing real well.Â He's training forward back on the track, and hopefully we are pointing him to the Haskell.
ANDY SERLING:Â I hope he comes to Travers after that.Â Can we get him there?
AHMED ZAYAT:Â I hope so.
ANDY SERLING:Â Good luck with Paynter, and it's great to have you here and thanks for coming up.Â (Applause).
We're pleased to have the connections of Union Rags here, actually.Â And Ms.Wyeth, who represents Union Rags is here and she's going to come up and talk to us about Union Rags.
Thank you for joining us.Â So Union Rags obviously has been a great horse for you and had a tremendous year last year and was arguably the best two‑year‑old in the country though he had a tough loss to Hansen in the Breeders' Cup.Â Have you been disappointed in how things have worked out this year?
PHYLLIS WYETH:Â Obviously we've been a little disappointed.Â But we still feel that Union Rags hasn't been able to really run his race as a three‑year‑old.
He did nicely, no problems, in the (indiscernible) and had some problems in the Florida Derby, and being hit as bad as we were and pulling him up in the Derby.
And we think he can do the mile and a half.Â He's training really, really well.Â We changed our jockey to Johnny B. and we're all very excited about it.
Came down and road him last Sunday and he had really good work and he said he really liked the horse.Â Thinks we have a good chance.
So we'll be watching you all out there and hope to be in‑‑ and this is my niece/daughter‑‑ I call her my daughter‑‑ she flew in from Bali, she's so excited about this race.Â So we're all very positive.
ANDY SERLING:Â As you should be, as Union Rags is a very terrific horse.Â And we wish you the best of luck with him.
Did you always plan to scrap the Preakness if you didn't win the Belmont, or is that just what Michael Matz, the trainer, thought after the Kentucky Derby was best?
PHYLLIS WYETH:Â I didn't even bring it up with him because of all the trouble at Barbaro I didn't want to go by myself.
ANDY SERLING:Â You're what Jerry Crawford would call a good owner.
PHYLLIS WYETH:Â Well, I don't know.Â You could ask Michael about that. Â He's powering the horse up right now, trying to get him stabilized.Â He would be a much better spokesman than I am.
ANDY SERLING:Â He could not have been better than you.Â And we're pleased to have you here.Â Thanks a lot and best of luck on Saturday.Â (Applause).
Have some more people to bring up.Â Against his better judgment, Chad Brown decided to come here.Â Shocking, Chad tries to portray himself as very shy, but he's not shy.
He's going to come up here, if we can find him, and talk a little bit about Street Life.Â And for those of you, I think everybody's familiar with Chad.Â Now I believe‑‑ and Chad will fill us in on this‑‑ Chad, this is your first horse in a Triple Crown race; is that true?
CHAD BROWN:Â You know that's true.
ANDY SERLING: Â It is Chad's first.Â And it's interesting, Chad, I don't think there's any trainer at least on the East Coast that's been a bigger name as far as a new trainer on the scene.
And you're not‑‑ and I'm sure everybody is familiar with Chad.Â You worked with Bobby Frankel.Â I think you're forever going to be linked to Bobby.Â What would you say, if you could say one thing that you learned the most from Bobby.
CHAD BROWN:Â To be patient with your horses, make sure they're healthy.Â Look good before you run them.Â That was big for him.
ANDY SERLING:Â Now, Street Life is a kind of horse that, he's caught people's attention because he's a deep closer and he's a very exciting horse to watch.
And he's gotten attention even very early in his career.Â And he makes these big runs.Â Do you think he'll be as effective or more effective with his late run in a race as long as the Belmont Stakes?
CHAD BROWN:Â The pace is probably going to be a lot different.Â In the Peter Pan he wore blinkers for the first time, made him sharper than people realize.Â Such a fast pace.Â That's what put him further back in the race.
If their pace is a little slower in this race, I think he's going to lay closer.
ANDY SERLING:Â Do you think that will mitigate his closing kick at all if he's closer to pace?
CHAD BROWN:Â It may.Â But from what I'm seeing in his training and with the blinkers, he's maturing.Â He's a little sharper, his runs are more sustained and he's more focused.Â He's switching leads better.
So I think he's going to turn to a more versatile horse as he gets older.
ANDY SERLING:Â Do you consider I'll Have Another to be very, very much the horse to beat, like many of us do, or are you also really afraid of a horse like Dullahan or Union Rags?
CHAD BROWN:Â Several good horses in here, but obviously I'll Have Another is the horse to beat.Â He's for real.Â A horse that's going to have to race the lifetime to beat him.
ANDY SERLING:Â Don't disagree.Â Thanks so much, Chad, and best of luck.Â (Applause).
I agree with Chad Brown:Â This is I'll Have Another's race to lose.Â So we do have some other connections here.Â Trainer Ken McPeek is here.Â And Ken McPeek, as many of you may well know, was the trainer of Sarava, scored an enormous upset here in the Belmont Stakes in 2002.
Taking a good look at the trophies, aren't you, Ken.Â Thinking about getting one of those.Â Your two horses in this race, Atigun and as well as Unstoppable U, have completely different running styles.Â I imagine that gives you sort of extra confidence but obviously both would have to improve.
KEN McPEEK:Â We have a closer and front runner.Â We just need one for the middle, right?
ANDY SERLING:Â I don't know.Â Maybe you'll have it perfectly.Â Do you see Unstoppable U at the front end?
KEN McPEEK: Â I do.Â I really do.Â He's a talented horse.Â Of course he's not that seasoned but he is very talented.Â I don't think that's an issue.Â Of course, it's a big jump in class, but weirder things have happened.
I really was forced to run two horses because I looked at the paperwork, and it looks like we got a million dollar winner, million dollar winner, and a $2million winner almost three with Doug's.Â I'm running two that made 200,000 total.Â But David did get Goliath, didn't he?
ANDY SERLING:Â He did in 2002 with Sarava.Â How would you compare these horses to Sarava coming into this race?
KEN McPEEK:Â I think physically they're both bigger and stronger.Â A lot of similarities.Â They're both coming off nice wins.Â I think confidence is a big deal in this game.Â Horses do interesting things when they come into a race confident and weird things happen.
ANDY SERLING:Â Yesterday, when we had our lunch, and you talked about a project of yours, horseracesnow.com.Â I was hoping maybe you could talk about it here, something that you're very, very involved in.
KEN McPEEK:Â It's kind of an interesting turn of events.Â It's a venture, horse racing app, and/or an ad‑venture, maybe.
But I was watching a show one night called Planet of the Apps on MSNBC and the show talked about the development of phone applications and how they were going to change people's lives.
And so I Googled horse racing apps and there weren't any.Â There were some horse apps but they were kind of kids toys and something simple.Â I approached a developer about making something interesting for horse racing.Â Long story short, we've created a phone app that's called Horse Races Now that gives you push notifications for entries, call to post, at the gate, the results and the replays and the charts.
And we've been fortunate enough that over 30 racetracks are already joining the cause.Â We are downloaded by over 20,000 people in 58 countries already.Â And you can put in your favorite tracks, horses, trainers, jockeys.
It's kind of silly.Â It was made out of frustration because I belive this sport really needs a push.Â I think we need to get into the heads of the young people.Â This is what they want.Â They love the technology.Â The phones are easy for the young kids, the teenagers and such, and you don't have to open a wagering account to get it.Â You don't have to put a user name and a password.
Once you download it, you play with it.Â At some point we've got to figure out how it will pay for itself.Â But in the short run, to me it's kind of a gift of the industry.Â I've made a great living doing this.Â If I give a piece of it back, it means more to me that the sport thrives in the years to come, and that's really what it's about.
ANDY SERLING:Â I couldn't agree more, Kenny, and appreciate you coming up here and best of luck.
KEN McPEEK:Â Thanks.
ANDY SERLING:Â We do have some more people here.Â I'm going to save the best for last.Â You know who you are.Â We do have the connections for Five Sixteen in the race.
And we have assistant trainer Anthony Bonomo here.Â And he's going to talk about the long shot Five Sixteen in this year's Belmont Stakes.Â Anthony.
Obviously he's going to have to take a real step forward to be relatively competitive here.Â What about him in this race did you think it was worth taking a shot?
ANTHONY:Â Well, I think it's worth taking a shot.Â You know the saying:Â You gotta be in it to win it.Â And the way he's going, I think he'll get the distance.Â We're really excited about it.Â It's a great experience for my family and for me and Diminick as well.Â And hopefully it works out for us.
ANDY SERLING:Â We hope it does.Â And obviously the distance can be a real factor.Â He had acted up a little bit before the gate last time.Â Was that a problem or was that something that you think was just a momentary thing?
ANTHONY:Â He never really showed he had any problems in the gate until that race, previous race.Â But after that we took him several times back to the gate, stood him in, galloped him out, and he's done very well since then.Â So hopefully that won't show up on Belmont day.
ANDY SERLING:Â Great.Â Thanks a lot and best of luck.Â We are very happy‑‑ and thanks, Anthony, for coming up.
We're happy to have trainer D. Wayne Lukas in the audience.Â And as you may be aware, D. Wayne is doing some self‑promotion over there.Â We'll bring him up.
Wayne had a little incident yesterday, as you'll notice, but we're very glad that he's doing okay and able to join us today.
And we're always happy to have Wayne here.Â Thanks for coming, Wayne.
WAYNE LUKAS:Â I'm surprised how warm and fuzzy these guys are with each other before a million dollar race.Â That's wonderful.Â I think if they're that warm and fuzzy at 6:30, we'll see.
ANDY SERLING:Â It's not like the old days when you used to fight it out with people in here.
Your head's doing okay?
WAYNE LUKAS:Â Yeah, I've got a severe headache that's the bad news.Â But the good news was that I got a date with the head nurse and I sold both doctors a race horse while I was there last night.
ANDY SERLING:Â Nobody moves faster than Wayne.Â Do you think the mile‑and‑a‑half should work into Optimizer's wheelhouse get him closer in this Triple Crown race?
WAYNE LUKAS:Â You're the expert, Andy, what do you think?
ANDY SERLING:Â Do you really want to know what I think?Â I'd like to know when you're going to be running him on the turf again.
WAYNE LUKAS:Â We're going to run him in the Virginia Derby for 600,000.Â But we wanted to complete the Triple Crown with him.
I think you'll agree he has some pedigree.Â My experience, Andy, is that these horses that fit the course sometimes upset‑‑ my Belmont winners, I thought all of them, or even the ones that were close, fit the course and fit the scenario of what the competition could do or couldn't do.Â So it's not a big stretch for us to run this horse.
ANDY SERLING:Â Now, Wayne, back a number of years ago you won, I believe, six straight Triple Crown races is that true with, I think, four different horses, actually.
The Triple Crown, obviously, has been incredibly illusive.Â I don't think anybody's more focused on it than you to come in right now.Â What do you think it means to have potentially a Triple Crown winner?
WAYNE LUKAS:Â At this time with the cloud that's circling over racing, the black clouds we're dealing with, medication issues and security barns and everything, it would be a great boost for all of us.
But I wish that was more of a story, because we got a wonderful horse that has a great chance to do this, and we got some great contenders that could upset him.
But I think that the Triple Crown has become so illusive because it is no longer a three‑race series.Â Now I'll Have Another is going for probably five big races in a row.Â And some of these have taken a skip of the Preakness and probably going to come in fresh.
But when you have to get that earnings to get the first one and then run a tough one and then couple that with full fields in the Derby and the Preakness, those are hard races.
When (indiscernible) was winning all those, they had won five, six and seven horses, didn't have to worry about the prep races.Â But it's tougher now than it used to be.
ANDY SERLING:Â Thank you, Wayne.Â We appreciate hearing your insights.Â Glad to see you're feeling all right and hope the headache goes away.
WAYNE LUKAS:Â Be careful how you pick them.
ANDY SERLING:Â I'm always careful.
Wayne and I spent a lot of time at Saratoga, actually, going over the races together.Â We have one last guest to join us.Â Feel free to tell me if I missed anybody.
But the star of last year's show, Doodnauth Shivmangal will be joining us.Â He's running the long shot, Guyana Star Dweej.
I have told him I have to go down and get ready for the Talking Horses show, so he's got about a minute and ten seconds.
Do you think it's even remotely possible that I can get him off the stage?Â I will not be giving him the microphone.Â I'm going to hold firmly to it.
So last time I spoke to you about Guyana Star Dweej was back at Aqueduct, and you told me he was going to be a turf horse.Â So he's not run on the turf since then.Â What happened?
DOODNAUTH SHIVMANGAL:Â I don't want to change him right now because he's doing good in the dirt.Â I want to stay in the dirt and don't experiment with him right now.Â And later I will do that, but not now.
ANDY SERLING:Â You also have another horse named Shkspeare Shaliyah in the barn.Â What's going to happen to make Guyana Star Dweej make the jump forward to be at all competitive in this race?
DOODNAUTH SHIVMANGAL:Â Guyana Star Dweej, as I said I'm going to look at the pace of the race, how it develops.
And as Wayne said, it's not an easy‑‑ it's a tough competition with all these horses that we've got here today.Â And as been a trainer for so long, five straight races to win, or three straight races it's hard, especially on this course here, it's a long course and it's not easy.
And I think that the way the race developed, Guyana Star Dweej has the breedings with his father, and I think he's capable of going the long distance.
I wasn't too happy the other day when something spooked him at the rail.Â But after I brought Shaliyah with him, I saw him gallop in the morning.Â I thought that was pretty good.
Then afterwards I brought him back to the bridge with Shaliyah.Â A lot of people thought Shaliyah was better than him.Â But Shaliyah is not a grass horse.Â He's just a workmate.Â And Guyana Star was very easy on the inside.
But I didn't want to Ken to do 22, as I started.Â I needed like 25.Â But the buck rider was in Shkspeare Shaliyah was doing too fast, and I didn't want that to happen.
But it came back pretty good.Â And I have never seen a horse like Guyana Star Dweej do it for a long time.Â He's a good doer.
He eats up everything in a minute.Â As you say you gave me a minute to speak.Â But he eats up everything fast and he does everything very quick.
But I want to thank a few people here.Â Firstly, I want to thank the Lord to give me the health and strength to be here to witness such a big event.Â Came all the way, who don't know me, I'm from British Guyana.Â But our descent is from India.
We came from India long years ago.Â And I also want to thank my parents who showered blessing upon me to be here and along with my lovely wife and kids.
And I also want to thank Nirah to give me this great opportunity to be here as a man from South America to be in such races and the people in Keeland to permit me to buy these horses as babies and also Ocala.Â So those are the people I want to thank.
I want to thank the people that support me, my fans, and very importantly I want to thank my help because without the help you can't be here.Â You can't do all the work yourself.
And with that, and I want to wish everybody in the Belmont Stakes a safe trip and a safe journey and good luck to everyone, and we're hoping to have a large crowd like we thought, 120 to 30,000, and which is good for our state and will make us pretty proud to have this event going.
ANDY SERLING:Â Thank you so much.Â Thanks for those thoughts.Â I couldn't agree more.Â And best of luck.Â I gotta say it's good having you around during the year you certainly make the winter go by a little shorter seeing you at Aqueduct.
Once again, that wraps it up for today's show.Â We want to thank everybody, all the connections that were so kind to come and give us a little bit of their time and thank everybody for coming.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports