Saturday, November 5, 2011
Breeders' Cup Saturday at Churchill
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- For me, the Breeders' Cup has always been a special event. I remember when I was a kid and used to watch it with my dad every year. We'd have a big party at the house, so it is very special to be able to ride in the event now and win. It's just amazing. These two days of races are like the Kentucky Derby, but magnified. All the key players from North American racing are here, and all the world is here for it, too.
If I weren't riding in the Breeders' Cup Mile, I'd be rooting for Goldikova, just because if she gets her fourth straight win in that race, it would be very special. I hope I beat her, and Turallure is one of my favorite horses this year. But if I cannot win the race, I wish she wins it.
My first Breeders' Cup race was in 2006. I won my first one in the 2007 Juvenile Turf with Nownownow, took the 2008 Filly & Mare Turf with Forever Together, won the 2009 Dirt Mile on Furthest Land, and got the Filly & Mare Sprint in the same year on Informed Decision. Last year I rode in 12 Breeders' Cup races but didn't win any -- my best finishes were a couple of thirds -- so I'm ready to get back in the winner's circle.
I don't know which one of my Breeders' Cup wins I'd put on top. The first one is obviously very good. I love Informed Decision, that's one of my favorite horses, so that meant a lot to me, as well. I don't know why, but before the race I knew I was going to win. For a long time I just felt very confident. I thought she was very special, and I still think she was that year. I knew I had a great chance to win and we did it.
Friday wasn't so good -- my best finish was a fourth on Seeker in the Juvenile Sprint. Today, I've got Brigantin in the Marathon, and if he likes the dirt, I think he's got a great shot. Wilburn in the Dirt Mile, Await the Dawn in the Turf, and Turallure in the Mile are my best shots. I really like Wilburn; he beat Shackleford in the Indiana Derby, and that's the Preakness winner, a really good horse. Looking at the race, there's going to be a lot of speed in there, so we should be able to sit quiet and make a run at the end, which I like a lot.
I hope you enjoy the chance to watch some great racing, whether at the track or at home on TV. The best horses and riders in the world will compete at Churchill Downs today, and I'm honored to be among them.