Breeders’ Cup World Championships
Saturday, November 5, 2016
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to get started. The winner of the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies was Champagne Room, and we’re very fortunate now to be joined by the winning connections on the right, Mario Gutierrez; in the center, the managing partner of a very large partnership, we’ll learn more about them, is Joe Ciaglia; and on the left, trainer, Peter Eurton. Congratulations, gentlemen, and thank you for joining us here. Peter, let’s hear from you first, if we could get your impressions of how the race was run today.
PETER EURTON: Well, I mean, our whole thought today was just not get in her way, meaning don’t choke her down. She’s still a very aggressive by nature, and I think she’s going to grow up out of that and maybe be a little more relaxed early on, so we just wanted to let her run out of there and think about where we are after that. Mario did an excellent job on getting her into good position.
THE MODERATOR: Mario, can you tell us about that trip as well as instructions that you might have gotten from Peter beforehand and how it played out.
MARIO GUTIERREZ: Everything played out good, right? We got the win. We got the win. Just like how he said, you know, the main thing was like not to get in trouble with her. He helped a lot that she breaks really fast out of the gate, so that was a plus for us. She broke on top, and from that point on, the position really helped her as well. Then she was a little bit strong, but I was able to relax a bit in the backstretch and follow the buffer horse. From that point on, she was waiting until I said in the end, when I asked her, she was all game, she was all heart, and she demonstrated that all the way to the wire.
THE MODERATOR: Joe, congratulations to you. I heard in your interview with Jay Privman, you’re a local. Tell us about the experience of winning a Breeders’ Cup Race here at your home track.
JOE CIAGLIA: Well, we started out really kind of claiming horses, Pete and I, and Mr. Alesia, and another man named Mike Mellon. We were just happy winning. Slowly we started buying horses and learning from that, and Larry Zap, our Bloodstock agent, and we started spending a little bit more and a little bit more. We were fortunate five years ago to run the same race at Churchill, and we ran third, and that was our first graded winner that we ran with, it was a great experience.
As we continue to progress, we have some new good friends and good partners. We have Ryan Exline, Justin Border, Dan Legan, Robin Christensen over here. Am I missing anybody else? Phil, Phil. So it’s nice when you have a great group of people. And we go to the sales with Larry Zap and Peter Eurton, we give them the opportunity to buy what they think is right. And they only buy horses that they love, and they love this one.
So it’s great to have a group of people that can support us and buy in together. It’s a lot of fun winning as a group. This little guy, Mario, next to me, I would not want to win with anybody else. He’s got the greatest personality and greatest attitude. He’s shorter than me, which I love, and we’re good friends.
THE MODERATOR: Well, we want to learn more about Champagne Room. But I’m going to open it up for the media if they have any questions. If not, I’ll keep going. Peter, if you can just take us through the last race where she had a little bit of trouble, which I’m sure is why she was overlooked by the betters today, but what happened last time out?
PETER EURTON: Well, she broke well, and the whole theory was just to sit behind the speed. So she broke a little slow. Mike just kind of sat on her for a couple of strides and she grabbed the bridle. She was stuck inside for, I would say, probably a good 5/8th a mile, literally running off. But that was her first time going two turns, and I think that had a lot to do with it. And that’s why we didn’t want to get in her way today. Just let her run her race, and it turned out pretty good.
Q. Coming up to this race today, on paper you’re an outsider, but how were you feeling? Obviously if you want to stay out of trouble, you felt like you had a live horse.
PETER EURTON: The beginning, the best part was we got the outside this time. We drew the six hole. It gave us an opportunity in case we were outrun to just stay outside of the speed. And, I mean, going into her races, her last work, she happened to break in with Hoppertunity, and that didn’t work out too well. But it still probably made her the fittest horse in the race.
Q. This is sort of the obligatory question after this race every year, but now you can’t help but think about next spring and the trail to the Oaks. So just talk about what your thoughts are on her future potential, and what will be her schedule the next few months?
PETER EURTON: Well, I haven’t spoken to the owners at all, but I think they’re going to want to go to the Oaks. We’ll just have to sit down and enjoy this one first and then chart out a plan for next year.
THE MODERATOR: Joe, do you have anything to add to that?
JOE CIAGLIA: I thought Brandy Eurton said she wanted to go to the Derby.
Q. Watching this race from up above, what do you think Uncle Frank would be saying to you right now?
PETER EURTON: I think he’d be pretty proud of everybody. And Sharon, he’s just loving her. And we all miss Frank. I don’t know what he would be saying, but he was very, very happy for us all. And go Cubs, I think, was the big thing with Uncle Frank. To Uncle Frank.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports