Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf
Friday, November 1, 2019
- Aron Wellman
- H. Graham Motion
- Anthony Beck
- Manuel Franco
THE MODERATOR: Manny, I want to start with you, and just tell us about your trip. You were able to sit back a little bit further than you have in the last couple starts.
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MANUEL FRANCO: First of all, I want to say thank God first and to the owner and Aron and all the owners involved with her.
Yeah, like you say, I was able to get the position that I wanted going into the first turn, and that’s what we planned, and it worked out great.
THE MODERATOR: Graham, can we hear about it from you, please.
H. GRAHAM MOTION: Yeah, I mean I was — after watching the colt race today and having run in these two-year-old races on the grass, I was a little anxious after that race. I saw so many horses. In particular, I saw the West Point horse who I thought had a terrible trip, and I just said to Manny in the paddock: We can’t afford to get in that position.
And he did a great job. At one point, I was afraid we were going to be on the lead there for — but I think Manny rode an outstanding race. I’m just so appreciative to have this filly. Shared Account was a special mare for me. Aron and I came up with this idea of going to Laurel with Gainesway as well. We discussed the plan.
We wanted to get her here in the best shape. We realized we ran the risk of maybe not getting in, but that was what got her here, was the best timing, and we took the chance, and it paid off. And just really very happy to be here. Feel very lucky to be here.
THE MODERATOR: Anthony, can we hear from you? It’s been 25 years since your last Breeders’ Cup winner. You mentioned that outside.
ANTHONY BECK: I think it’s even longer than that, to be honest. But I have to pay tribute to Bill Graves. This is one of the last yearlings that he selected for Saratoga sale. Eclipse — Aron bought the filly, and I said immediately after, I said: Can I come in for half? I thought she was a lovely filly.
H. GRAHAM MOTION: And I said: Can I train her?
ANTHONY BECK: And I have to say that was the best decision. It was Aron’s idea, to be honest. And Graham has done an amazing, absolutely amazing job with her. We don’t — that’s very obvious.
I’m very grateful to be here because I love the sport of Thoroughbred racing. This is the absolute top of the stage, the best two-year-old turf fillies in the world. The fact that Eclipse Partners and Gainesway owns her is just absolutely unable.
THE MODERATOR: Aron purchased at Saratoga for $350,000. Can you tell us what you liked about her from the beginning?
ARON WELLMAN: She’s just a really athletic, racy-looking filly. And when we go to the sales, we’re typically bargain shopping, which is a hard thing to do, especially at Saratoga.
But what I like to do is find athletic fillies with big pedigrees and track them through the ring and hope that we get them within our budget. And this filly was no bargain at 350,000 at the time, but I thought that there was plenty of upside and a lot of inherent residual value.
And she has just been a dream. She’s been a total machine from day one. She went down to Stonestreet. Ian Brennan broke her, did a phenomenal job with her. We handed over to Graham, and it’s been just unbelievably smooth every step of the way.
We have mapped out the plan. Graham has executed it to precision, Manny has ridden to precision, and it’s just so special to be here with Anthony and Gainesway Farm, it’s been so good to Eclipse. All of our partners in the filly are here today. And without our partners, there is no Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. So we have them to thank for putting their faith in the filly and our program. And to do it with Graham, we have some history together, and it’s just very special, very emotional achievement.
THE MODERATOR: Graham, she’s won going one turn, going two turns, turf and dirt, what can you do with her going forward, what’s her best track?
H. GRAHAM MOTION: She actually handles the dirt pretty well in the morning, which is why we weren’t concerned about trying her on it. But we always felt this would be a future obviously out of that mare. She’s a two-time turf filly who is only going to get better with age, I think. I think it’s probably more of a surprise that she’s doing this as a two-year-old. I should say a shout out to Manny, his first Breeders’ Cup win.
THE MODERATOR: Manny Franco with his first Breeders’ Cup winner today. Any questions?
Q. What do you have in mind for her the next 60, 90 days?
H. GRAHAM MOTION: I haven’t even thought about that. I really haven’t. We’ll get together and think about it. I mean, I think she’s earned a little rest here probably, back off for a little bit, I wouldn’t be in a big hurry to run her back, obviously. I think she’s going to be a better filly next year, if that’s possible.
Q. Anthony and Aron can you talk — Aron you had great success at Saratoga with buying yearlings now and bringing partners on, Tapritz and now of course you have a Breeders’ Cup winner. How soon did your guys’ partnership kind of come about? That — was it that night, and then Anthony if you could elaborate a little bit more on Phil.
ANTHONY BECK: Well, I can answer both questions. The moment the result sheet came through about, I don’t know, a few minutes after she was sold, I texted Aron and said, Please, could I have half. She’s a really beautiful filly and we were lucky to get her. What was the other question?
Q. The training with Phil.
ANTHONY BECK: Well Phil Graves was one of the very best horsemen I’ve ever known in my whole life and a complete total gentleman, sort of part of my family. And he knew the filly’s family very well and that was also one of the reasons why I really liked him.