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November 1, 2013

Doug O'Neill


THE MODERATOR:テつ Doug O'Neill, trainer of Dirt Mile winner Goldencents.テつ Doug, can you just tell us about the race and especially those quick fractions and the manner by which he won just gutting out of the 12 there?
DOUG O'NEILL:テつ Yeah, we had discussed a little bit the dirt track is safe, but it definitely was speed favoring.テつ It's speed favoring.テつ So we felt like we had the best horse in Goldencents.テつ We felt like we had the best jockey in Rafael Bejarano.
So we didn't want to tell Rafael much.テつ Rafael is the one who came and told us we probably don't want to be too far out of it.テつ He kind of had that in his mind and we loved hearing it.テつ When I saw the fractions they put up, I was a little bit worried, but his class and the way the track was playing really carried him home.

Q.テつ Can you talk about Goldencents' year overall and especially having not won since the Santa Anita Derby.テつ He obviously had some very big efforts, but you never lost faith in him.テつ Talk about his year overall?
DOUG O'NEILL:テつ Yeah, he's been a horse we've been so blessed, knock on wood.テつ He's been injury‑free, and he's been all over the place.テつ He's been to New York.テつ He's been in Louisiana.テつ He's been to Maryland, and obviously he's been out here in California.テつ So he's been out all over the place.テつ Just been thriving.テつ Nothing seems to bother him.
He's got speed and stamina and class, and that's a great combination.テつ So he's just a dream of a horse to have around.

Q.テつ Dave and Glenn were having a good time when they were sitting here with us, and Coach Pitino is part of that ownership group as well.テつ Can you talk about them as owners and your relationship with them?
DOUG O'NEILL:テつ It's a great group of guys.テつ Glenn and Josh of W.C. Racing and Dave Kenney of West Trucks, and of course, Coach Pitino; it's a wonderful group of guys.テつ You really dream of these kind of horses and you want people like them who love the sport and love the animals as much as they do to be blessed enough to have one.テつ Their main concern is always about Goldencents and doing the right thing.テつ We've just been extremely blessed with him.

Q.テつ And Glenn talked about him having a few months off now.テつ But we'd like to get that straight from the trainer.テつ Can you just talk about what's going to be in Goldencents' future?
DOUG O'NEILL:テつ I really don't know.テつ There is probably not a lot over there at Hollywood Park.テつ So Glenn, I will definitely talk to Glenn.テつ That makes all the sense in the world.テつ This is a good race to kind of put him away for a little bit and shoot for a 2014 campaign.
I know Glenn and the boys are in no hurry to rush him off to any stallion career, so that's music to any trainer's ears.テつ So hopefully we've got another year or more in him.

Q.テつ You have a lot of options with him now knowing that he's a great sprinter, great middle distances and he's won going long too.テつ What do you think will be his best game if had you your choice in the next year as a 4‑year‑old?
DOUG O'NEILL:テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ All the money seems to be geared towards two‑turn races.テつ So I would think we'd probably focus on that.テつ Again, the fact that he's shown the quality to not get stressed out, ship him around and keeping his form is a huge edge too.
So we'll just have to see what's out there for him, and like you said, we have a lot of options for him.

Q.テつ How concerned are you with the fractions during the course of the race?
DOUG O'NEILL:テつ I was definitely scared.テつ When I saw 22 and 44 and change, those are one‑turn kind of fast fractions.テつ This guy looks like a winner right here.テつ But it was definitely concerning.テつ But I knew this horse would fight to the wire, and thank God Rafael held on enough and he had the class and stamina to stay there.

Q.テつ Were you surprised by the winning margin?テつ This is a really excellent field.テつ Every Breeders' Cup race is tough, but he ran off from them.
DOUG O'NEILL:テつ Yeah, seemed like right around the middle of the turn he ripped the heart out of a few of them.テつ I think they were like that's enough.テつ This horse is crazy the way he's running.テつ I think, yeah, he really discouraged a lot of them.テつ Because like you say, there is a world class field, and a lot of them threw in the towel.テつ It was just an amazing effort by Goldencents.

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