ABEL CEDILLO, MONGOLIAN GROOM, WINNER: “I would like to thank the trainers and owners. I had a lot of help and thank you Enebish Ganbat, for trusting me. He told me don’t change anything, just do what you do with him . . . just stay close, and I saw McKinzie didn’t go so I took the lead.”
MIKE SMITH, McKINZIE, SECOND: “I thought I could go with the two outside horses, but they seemed like they were determined to get it. So I let them go figuring they’d entertain each other and we’d do what we do. That horse ran a huge race today. We lost the battle, but this ain’t the war. Hopefully we’ll come back and be ready.”
ENEBISH GANBAT, MONGOLIAN GROOM, WINNER: “Honestly, I didn’t expect he was going to win because he was running against two of the best horses on the dirt and the best two trainers, Baffert and Sadler. I told everyone I’m happy if he comes in third. I bet $500 on show.
“I guess last time (Pacific Classic on Aug. 17) he got tired because it was very hot, he was sweaty and we did a hard jog. Today we did a light jog; he was fresher today.
“I told the jockey to do what he had to and he did OK, the horse won at 25-1. That’s horse racing. I expected him to hold off McKinzie through the stretch (through interpreter Josie Goldberg). My horse was not stopping. He continued to go.”
“I didn’t think he’d win. He was up against the two best horses in America in McKinzie and Higher Power. I thought I’d be happy if the horse finished third. I didn’t think my horse would win.”
Goldberg: “He (Ganbat) went to a university in Russia, and the Russian mentality is, ‘You fight to the end,’ and that’s what the horse did. He wasn’t going to stop until he won. He didn’t tell Abel anything, except, ‘You know your job.'”
Asked about the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Ganbat said even though this was a “Win and You’re In” race, the horse has not been nominated to the Breeders’ Cup. Breeders’ Cup rules state: “The winning horse in a Challenge Race shall receive automatic selection into the Championship race that corresponds with the division of the Challenge Race won, provided the horse is Breeders’ Cup nominated before the Championships pre-entry deadline.”
Ganbat is a native of Mongolia who began training there in 1999. He began training in the United States in 2010.
NOTES: The winning owner is Mongolian Stables.