Mile – Post-Race Interview Transcript – Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016

 

Adam Wachtel

Elliott Walden

Gary Barber

William Mott

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: The winner of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile was Tourist. And we’re joined now by from the left to right, Adam Wachtel, trainer Bill Mott, Gary Barber, and Elliott Walden. Thank you all for joining us here, and congrats again. Bill, let’s start with you. If you wouldn’t mind, tell us a little bit about how you saw the race unfold from your perspective?

WILLIAM MOTT: Well, I mean, I thought he got away from the gate good. We were actually hoping to be maybe laying third or fourth. It looked like maybe we were back in fifth or sixth position. There was a horse rolling on the lead which, you know, it looked like he was going to set fast enough fractions. So I thought having a rail trip around the first turn and we sort of came out of that unscathed, and I thought, you know, we head down the backside, and I thought, well, now we’ve just got to get lucky and get a little luck around this next turn, and he did. He found some running room, perfect ride, and the horse ran great.

I mean, he’s looked great. He’s trained well since he’s been here, and he actually reproduced everything that he came with.

THE MODERATOR: This was his third try in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. So can you just talk about the previous two efforts when he had some trouble and some wide trips?

WILLIAM MOTT: The first trip out here was a horrible trip, as you know. Sometimes you can go into that first turn and you can get knocked around a little bit, and he actually got knocked to the middle of the racetrack that day. Lost all chance, I think, and it was over before they headed out down the back side. Last year we were at Keeneland, and the ground came up very, very soft, and something that he doesn’t really care for. We’d had a little bit of a foot issue going into the race, so there were some things that didn’t fall in place perfectly.

But he came into this one in perfect shape. We got the ground we needed and the trip that we desired. And the rest is history. Just put it in the record book.

Q. Future plans? Is he going to continue to race?
ELLIOTT WALDEN: We’re going to talk about it as a group, but when you win a race like that against the best milers in the world, and he’s five years old, he’ll probably go to stud.

WILLIAM MOTT: No, he’s doing good. Wait a minute. Stud, what are you talking about? Come on. Horse is just getting warmed up (laughing).

Q. Sorry to open up a wound there.
ELLIOTT WALDEN: No, no.

Q. Bill, we saw Reilly and Rudy celebrating after the race. Can you just talk about what each one of them means to your operation, kind of the youngsters coming up in your shoes?
WILLIAM MOTT: Well, they both do a great job, and I thought I saw some tears in their eyes when they came to the Winner’s Circle. It’s pretty gratifying to see somebody that puts a lot of effort into it, not only them, the grooms, and the entire staff. They’re two of my assistants. I’ve got other assistants that are at the other locations, and they all do a great job and they’ve all helped with this horse over the last three years. He’s been in training a long time. We’ve had him at different places, so it’s taken, you know, a big effort from a lot of different people. But it’s very gratifying to have Reilly and Rudolph here and share in the festivities. I’m sure they’ll have a little party tonight when this whole thing is over.

Q. Gary Barber, just to back up a question before that. Do you have thoughts on whether we might see Tourist as a 6-year-old in your opinion?
GARY BARBER: I think it’s the same as Elliott’s. We talk as a group. But when you win a race of this caliber against the best milers in the world, it sets a stage for a great stallion career.

THE MODERATOR: You’ve been involved in some very good horses, just talk about the experience of winning a Breeders’ Cup Race here today?

GARY BARBER: It’s unbelievable. Especially my hometown. I had five horses and I was 0-for-4 coming in, so this really helped and it made the day. It’s been awesome.

ELLIOTT WALDEN: We’re lucky with celebrities. Bobby Flay at the Belmont and Gary Barber. We’re lucky with celebrities. Give a lot of credit to Adam Wachtel. He came to me a few years ago and wanted to purchase half of this horse for Gary and himself. He’s always believed in him and believed he’s the best miler in the country. And as Bill said, the last couple Breeders’ Cups haven’t gone his way, but we’ve always believed in him enough to run him in three Breeders’ Cups. So we knew he was one of the best milers in the country, and really in the world. He beat Tepin like that, who is a remarkable, remarkable filly. He was just incredible.

THE MODERATOR: Adam, a few years ago, what was it about Tourist that made you want to get a piece of him?

ADAM WACHTEL: I saw his turf debut, and just thought he moved incredibly well over the turf. I actually had approached Elliott when he was a 2-year-old as a dirt horse, I thought he was pretty talented on the dirt as well. But once I saw his turf debut, I thought this horse might be something special. And that summer Bill said to me at one point, he said, I think this one’s special. I said, Really? He said, Really, this one’s special. As a 3-year-old we brought him out here, and as Bill said, it was kind of a rough trip. We always believed he was one of the best milers in the world, and I think finally today he proved the kind of talent that he has. This was my first Breeders’ Cup win, unlike the rest of them. So this is pretty exciting and pretty gratifying.

Q. Finally, just each of you, if you could just talk about the final 100 yards. There was a great miler coming at you in Tepin. And your thoughts as she was getting closer and the wire was getting closer? Bill, do you want to start with that?
WILLIAM MOTT: I said, just come on, wire (laughing). But he was still running strong. I mean, he was still — he never looked like he weakened. He looked like he came on. I think the others were running from behind him, but I don’t think he was giving an inch. I think he was still, you know — the pedal was still to the medal, and I think he was still giving it when he approached the wire. I don’t think he had given up when he hit the wire.

Q. Elliott, this race always has a deep field, but your thoughts just on the horses that you managed to beat today, the depth of this race?
ELLIOTT WALDEN: Well, when we came in, we felt like we were really live, and felt like he was one of the horses to beat. But then you look at it and think you could run this race ten times and you might have five different winners. So we’re just blessed to get the job done. Bill’s done a great job, been very patient with him through a couple little bumps in the road. Kept him sound and happy, and the culmination is the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 1:31 and change. It’s just an awesome feeling. Very, very classy horse.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports