December 10, 2019

MIKE SMITH, SONGBIRD, WINNER: “It lived up to the expectations. She opens that stride up and she has such a high cruising speed.

“Not only does she have the ability but she has the mind to go with it. There are so many horses with that kind of ability but a lot can get to them. She’s so intelligent, she’s so smart and listens to everything I tell her. I got her to fall asleep there on the lead but she fell asleep too much! I had to wake her up a little bit at the eighth pole but after that she jumped back into the bridle and it was over.

“She acted up a little bit at the break. I think breaking in front of the crowd the first time made her a little nervous. I was lucky to get away as well as I did but she’s so big and strong that when those horses came together on her it just made her go forward.”

MARIO GUTIERREZ, LAND OVER SEA, SECOND: “Really good. I wasn’t going to make much ground on her. Mike Smith has a really talented filly, and with them being able to get that type of easy lead, I knew it was going to be tough for me to cut it. But I like my chances in the Breeders’ Cup. My filly runs from behind, so I really like our chances. She got the distance – we know now she can run a mile and a sixteenth. I think we’re good. I couldn’t ask for more.”


DAN WARD, ASSISTANT TO JERRY HOLLENDORFER, SONGBIRD, WINNER: “It was very exciting. It was just what we wanted. She showed she can go two turns and now we’ve got five weeks (until the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Oct. 30).”

DOUG O’NEILL, LAND OVER SEA, SECOND: “She ran a great race. We’re very happy with the way she ran. Songbird is a great filly. She’s got that speed and stamina and when she got out there and was able to settle a little bit, you knew no one was going to beat her. We got beat by a really, really good filly, but I was really proud of our filly. She cut into it a little bit. She tried to make a race out of it, but Songbird was too tough and had too much left.

(On future possibilities): “We’ll huddle up with Team Reddam, but I would think the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Filly would be the next up.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Rick Porter of Lexington, Ky., who races as Fox Hill Farms, Inc.

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