THE MODERATOR: Congratulations to the winners of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Tamarkuz. We are joined by trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Shadwell Racing manager, Joe DeSantis. Congratulations to you both, thanks for being here. Kiaran, I’d love to hear from you in your own words how this race unfolded and how you saw it.
KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN: Well, now all the media knows why Frosted is running in the Classic. We thought we had one good enough to win the Mile already. He didn’t break real sharp, but Mike did a great job with him settling back, and Mike’s just a great rider. He had a lot of confidence in the horse. And I was a little nervous when he didn’t break sharp, but it worked out great when the fractions were so fast by Runhappy, it was just a great trip.
THE MODERATOR: Joe, it’s been a frustrating year, but it sounds like you knew you were sitting on a big one here. Can you talk about his campaign this year?
JOE DESANTIS: Yeah, we brought him back, and obviously the Met Mile was the Met Mile, and Frosted was tremendous that day. We mapped out to go to Saratoga. And he ran terrific up there against could be a champion today (inaudible) and three-fifths off the track record behind Anchor Down last time, we just felt as though those efforts — he would sit on the big race, and the two-turns are what he was really excited about. He proved to us today that’s what he was looking for.
THE MODERATOR: Kiaran, talk about the campaign, if you can add to that?
KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah, last year was a real honor to get him in America. We thank Sheikh Hamdan for that because he won the Godolphin Mile in Dubai. And now we added to it, which was great. It just took us a little while, but we stopped him through the winter and brought him back. He’s just a really neat horse. Very well balanced, great mover, and should make a nice stallion. We’re just privileged that he was in our barn.
Q. This is not a homebred, so can you explain where you picked him up and how?
JOE DESANTIS: He was bought at a yearling sale. It would be our farm manager, Greg Clarke, and Rick Nichols, our president, who is not here today. I just want to say he’s under the weather, and I just want to say that this is very important to Rick. I’m sure this is going to make him feel better, but that’s why he was not here today.
But he was bought as a yearling and taken to Europe where he had a decent career, but when they put him on the dirt in Dubai is when we really figured out what he was about, and that’s why Sheikh Hamdan sent him back to us.
Q. Kiaran, “Big Money” Mike, I know he’s ridden him before. How did you secure him for the Breeders’ Cup here today?
KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN: We were lucky enough to get him at Saratoga. He liked the horse, finished second, and then he was at Belmont for Effinex, the next start, I believe that’s who he rode. We were able to have him that day also, and then I just contacted his agent and he was happy to hold the call, so it was worked out great. He’s a great rider.
Q. Because of his familiarity, were there any pre-race instructions or were you like, hey, Mike, do your thing?
KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN: When they drew the race, I was with him, and he was really happy with 8 of 9. He thought we’d be a little closer following, but it worked out great. No, not a lot of instruction with Mike Smith. We’re just happy to have him. I think he’s the all-time winner of the most Breeders’ Cups, isn’t he? He’s way up there. So he knows how to get the job done.
Q. It’s great to see another Kentucky-bred horse, the Gunther Farms done well. But when did you first know that this horse would be of this caliber that you would take him this far?
KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN: When it crossed the wire. We liked him, but he’s been second, third, fourth. He’s been a little bit unlucky. But he had the potential, and he had the past performances in winning the Godolphin Mile, so we’re just happy it all worked out today for him to win this very important race.
Q. And if you had to guess, what do you think the next step for the horse would be?
KIARAN MCLAUGHLIN: I have no idea. Like he said, Sheikh Hamdan, Rick Nichols will decide if he’ll run again or go to stud.
I’d like to say one more thing. We’ve won three Breeders’ Cups in my career, and they’ve all been with these colors on, and it’s a very special owner and a great man to win for, and the whole team of Shadwell and everybody, it’s fabulous to be part of that team.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports