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June 5, 2013

Tom Albertrani

D. Wayne Lukas

Shug McGaughey

Kiaran McLaughlin

Todd Pletcher

Mike Repole

Andy Serling

Dallas Stewart


ANDY SERLING:  Appreciate everybody that came to the draw this morning, we'll start with Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Shug McGaughey.  Thanks a lot for coming.  First question I have to ask, your post, how do you feel about the draw?
SHUG McGAUGHEY:  I think it's‑‑ inaudible.
ANDY SERLING:  How do you think this Belmont Stakes affects running style?
SHUG McGAUGHEY:  I think it will be fine.  I think on paper there's going to be a bit of a pace and he will be able drop out of it and dictate what he wants to do.  But I think he could be laying up there‑‑ I just hope he has what it takes to go one leg at a time.
ANDY SERLING:  How much have you enjoyed this whole Triple Crown experience?
SHUG McGAUGHEY:  I've had a great time, off to the best start.  I told everybody, we are going to go have some fun with this.  Even though we were disappointed in Maryland‑‑ then we got back here and I have enjoyed the whole thing very much and look forward to doing it again.
ANDY SERLING:  You want to thank anybody in particular.
SHUG McGAUGHEY:  I think everybody.  I thank the press for being as nice to us as they have been and obviously my people that back us the whole time, they have made it a lot of fun for me, too, just to take the pressure off of me and kind of laugh, got a little uptight, tell me to settle down and it will be okay.
Everybody has been very kind, at Churchill‑‑ but this is our home here at Belmont and everybody has bent over backwards to see that we are comfortable and the horse is comfortable and all our people.
ANDY SERLING:  Thanks, Shug, for popping in and of course, good luck.
Now I'd like to bring up the trainer of the Preakness winner, the man who spoiled that possible Triple Crown, D. Wayne Lukas.  I want to thank you, because by the way, you said we had not thanked you and I want to thank.
D. WAYNE LUKAS:  You were the only ones able to figure out how to open‑‑
ANDY SERLING:  You figured it out, don't give me any credit.  Talk about your post.  How do you feel about the draw?
D. WAYNE LUKAS:  Well, I think we overanalyze that a lot.  I think it's nice for the press to have something to write about today but really at a mile‑and‑a‑half in that long run, I think that analyzing the horse position‑‑ more concerned about who is around me and what they are going to do.
ANDY SERLING:  How has Oxbow trained?
D. WAYNE LUKAS:  His energy level is really good.  I'm very pleased with that.  You know, when you go into a Triple Crown series, you get that first two weeks, and then this one in three, and I think you're just concerned how they are coming each week and if you can get a barometer of how their energy level is going into this one, you have a chance, especially if they can run a little bit.
ANDY SERLING:  We don't want to just talk about Oxbow; obviously in the Preakness but you have another horse in the race, Will Take Charge, which a lot of people know was moving in the Derby before he ran into traffic trouble.  Do you think he can bounce back after his finish at the Preakness?
D. WAYNE LUKAS:  Well, he had a little trip there at Preakness and had similar trips in that race, also.  The thing Will Take Charge is he's 17 and a half high and he's not a start and stop.  He's not real nifty.
But when he gets a head of steam up and gets rolling; and in this particular race, I think with the configuration of the racetrack and the distance and everything, I think that he's probably a factor.  If I were a betting man, I would be putting him on my superfecta at least.
ANDY SERLING:  One last thing before I let you go.  Oxbow outside of Freedom Child, is that one of the things about the draw, maybe the only thing you felt was important?
D. WAYNE LUKAS:  Well, I haven't got a very good line on Freedom Child.  Obviously he showed his speed in the race here.
One of the interesting things here, Andy, there's only a few of us that are on our home course.  Dallas Stewart's horse, mine, everybody else is coming out of their home stall on their home sort so I think it's a great advantage to be home and training and the horses have a tendency to settle in and get in a rhythm and so forth.  Then you get the horses that have been over the surface like Freedom child, but that was wet, and it might be wet Saturday, too.
ANDY SERLING:  Let's hope not.
D. WAYNE LUKAS:  Let's hope not.  But if it is, I like him a lot better than if it's dry.
ANDY SERLING:  Thanks a lot for everything, thanks for coming and best of luck.
Like to now bring up the trainer of five horses in this year's Belmont Stakes, Todd Pletcher.  I assume you're not allowed to talk about any horses that are owned by Mike Repole, but anything to say about your post positions in particular.
TODD PLETCHER:  Well, we were kind of hoping Unlimited Budget to draw towards the outside‑‑ but I thought it went well.
ANDY SERLING:  Let's talk about Revolutionary, obviously closing well in the Derby.  How do you feel about the mile‑and‑a‑half for him?
TODD PLETCHER:  I think it should suit him well and the one thing I'm not worried about‑‑ inaudible‑‑ that's important.
ANDY SERLING:  Palace Malice, obviously things will go differently in the Belmont Stakes than they did in the Derby, but how much do you see‑‑
TODD PLETCHER:  He's always been a very kind horse but one thing that surprises me about the speed he showed in the Derby is the speed he didn't show when we stretched him out.  His rhythm started‑‑ really close to really fast, kind of caught us off guard that way.
ANDY SERLING:  And before I let you go, are you glad that Mike Repole didn't have five more three‑year‑olds eligible for this race?
TODD PLETCHER:  Yeah, we talked about a couple other ones believe it or not, but I think we finally narrowed it down.
ANDY SERLING:  Anything you would like to say?  Talk about the filly, obviously your Belmont Stakes to success, and Rags to Riches, do you have any comparisons to make about these two horses?
TODD PLETCHER:  She's a big, strong talented filly, and from a physical standpoint, will match up well.  My basic concern is a mile‑and‑a‑half with her, she's not as strongly‑‑ as Rags to Riches or Belmont winners of years before.  But she's trained very well and she's ready to go.
ANDY SERLING:  Thanks a lot and obviously good luck with all your entries.
I feel sorry for the people that are going to follow the next person up, because I'm going to bring up owner Mike Repole, always happy to have Mike here because Mike is a good guy and always has a lot of good things to say, so thanks a lot for joining us.  Good luck, and thanks for coming.
Do you have any thoughts on any of the posts of your horses?
MIKE REPOLE:  Midnight Taboo on the outside, I actually like that Palace Malice is on the inside because I think she'll go and follow him and Midnight Taboo‑‑ I know Overanalyze, three inside the top eight, so I'm happy with all three.
ANDY SERLING:  Curious about Unlimited Budget, obviously Todd, he's got the Oaks winner, but also bringing the filly in.  How much did her running in the Mother Goose maybe you not want to run against her and take a shot in the Belmont?
MIKE REPOLE:  I don't think it was a factor.  I think it's going to be‑‑ to win this race, I think this is the one year that filly has adjusted to the colts, and the numbers say that.
You look at the Kentucky Oaks, probably one of the best out there and came back‑‑ Midnight came back and won in the second in that race.  And you know, we figured out with Malice when my team and Todd picked her out, first thing we looked at is she's going to be bigger than 50 percent of the field.
ANDY SERLING:  Talking about her size and the general horses, do you have any feeling about which of your horses is best suited for the mile‑and‑a‑half distance?
MIKE REPOLE:  For sure, mile‑and‑a‑half distances, I think if they are going to gallop, I don't think you really know.  It's Midnight Taboo, Overanalyze, I think last year‑‑ Unlimited Budget has‑‑ and you Malice ballot that can go a mile‑and‑a‑half ‑‑ inaudible.  So I think depending on the pace at Belmont‑‑
ANDY SERLING:  Obviously winning the Travers two years ago and being a great supporter of our program, is the Belmont Stakes sort of the focus and the race that you would like to win the most?
MIKE REPOLE:  Been coming to Belmont for 30 years, and it's the number win race I want to win is Belmont.  I've never made it a secret.  For some people, it's the Derby, but the Belmont it's the race I want to win.  This is the race I want to win, I've been very fortunate and Todd and I the last two years‑‑ we won the Travers, and that was the best year of my life, but this is great and I want to win this race.
ANDY SERLING:  We hope you have success whether it's this year or in the coming years, and obviously appreciate everything you do for us, Mike.  Thanks for joining us.
A couple of weeks ago, three weeks ago, Freedom Child won the Peter Pan, our prep here at Belmont Park for the Belmont Stakes very, very impressively on a sloppy racetrack and setting himself up as an upsetter, we have the trainer of freedom child, Tom Albertrani.
Your post, thoughts on that?
TOM ALBERTRANI:  I think we are hoping to get maybe a little further toward the middle but we won in post won in the Peter Pan.
ANDY SERLING:  Obviously you think about Orb, you'll have to use your speed, but do you feel comfortable if he's in a position where he has to move past nine horses?
TOM ALBERTRANI:  I don't know if he's a horse that wants to be behind horses but he's free running and he'll probably want to find something clear after the first turn‑‑ like he did in the Peter Pan and work his way to the front.  But I suppose either way he will have to work his way to the front.
ANDY SERLING:  I assume you are one of the people that won't be unhappy should there be rain, obviously you want the Peter Panin the slop.
TOM ALBERTRANI:  We've been watching the forecast a few days ago, and it's getting better for us every day that we look at it.
ANDY SERLING:  I'm no longer going to wish you good luck in this race (laughing).  I'm how about the distance of the mile‑and‑a‑half, it's a great equalizer and nobody knows how they will do, how do you feel about that.
TOM ALBERTRANI:  I don't think he'll have a problem going on a mile‑and‑a‑half.  Malibu Moon (ph) in the past broke a track record in the mile‑and‑a‑half in the Stakes, and I feel pretty confident about his chances to go a mile and a half.
ANDY SERLING:  One last question before I let you go, how do you rateOrb?
TOM ALBERTRANI:  Strong, his energy level is very high and I'm happy with the condition and the way he's looking right now.
ANDY SERLING:  All sounds good and we appreciate you coming up.
Trainer Dallas Stewart, second in this year's Kentucky Derby and we are glad to have Dallas around here and back, and we'll bring him up for a couple questions, Golden Soul, runner‑up in this year's Kentucky Derby.  Post position, any thoughts?
DALLAS STEWART:  14, might be lucky‑‑ very happy with that.  A challenge but we have a great rider, and of course you have to go‑‑ the trackif it's wet ‑‑ indiscernible.
ANDY SERLING:  Let's talk about that, obviously you got a sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby and you were second and he was a relative long shot and you got a great ride to get there.  Do you feel that one wet track relates necessarily to another one?
DALLAS STEWART:  I mean, I don't really know.  You have a horse that wins in the mud and the next time the racetrack is muddy, you feel that you have a shot.
But this horse, even his first race, he can run inside, outside, in between horses.  He's a challenge type of Colt, and he's met a lot of challenges and I think that‑‑
ANDY SERLING:  How has he bounced back since the Derby?
DALLAS STEWART:  Great now.  I thought the race would take a little bit out of him.  He never missed my time.  Galloped every day, his energy has been great, had a great workout here today and he's eating well, so I feel like he's going good.
ANDY SERLING:  The mile‑and‑a‑half, any thoughts on the distance?
DALLAS STEWART:  I think it should suit him (laughing).  I think he'll be fine.
ANDY SERLING:  Dallas, thanks a lot.  Thanks for coming.  Best of luck.
Couple minutes for one last guest, Kiaran McLaughlin and Kiaran of course won the Belmont Stakes a few years ago with Jazil in 2006, and we appreciate you coming up and joining us for a couple of questions.
How about the post, the big post question, how do you feel about your draw?
KIARAN McLAUGHLIN:  Just happy that they are 14 in there and we are one of them.
ANDY SERLING:   Obviously he caught in the mud in the Peter Pan and that worked against him.  Do you think the mile‑and‑a‑half is one of the big reasons you're hoping that he can improve enough to be effective in the Belmont.
KIARAN McLAUGHLIN:  Correct, that's the main reason.  He galloped out real well in the Peter Pan.  I think he handled the wet track.  He just didn't like it in his face.
ANDY SERLING:  For those who have not seen him, he overcame significant trouble to win his race two starts back when he was almost knocked out in the stretch.  Do you feel that makes him a little more battle‑hardened and might help in this kind of big deal?
KIARAN McLAUGHLIN:  Yeah, right after the race, I told Mike, that was our Belmont prep, and as you say, he's battle tested and hope for the best and hope his pedigree kicks in.
ANDY SERLING:  Mike will be riding him again and the first time‑‑ are you comfortable with that?
KIARAN McLAUGHLIN: Yeah, he has been doing very well, he's a young 20‑year‑old doing great, and we won with a 19‑year‑old before so he has a lot more experience than the last two.
ANDY SERLING:   You had a great ride last year at Saratoga.  Thanks a lot for coming up and good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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