May 30, 2023

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Transcript 2020

Vequist wins the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (Coady Photography)

Transcript for the Nov. 6th, 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland.

  • Sol Kumin
  • Michael Kisber

Breeders’ Cup World Championships Friday, November 6, 2020 Lexington, Kentucky, USA Keeneland Race Course Sol Kumin Michael Kisber Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: A challenging year, as when mentions of the masks. But again, such a successful year for your various partnerships and this one with Aunt Pearl. Purchased overseas before she had ever run. It’s kind of a new venture. Tell us a little bit about that.

SOL KUMIN: So we had, we have been buying a decent amount of the horses, actually, unproven the last few years, Mike and I together. Liz Crow, who bought Monomoy Girl and British Idiom for us both, along with Brad Weisbord had an idea of going to Europe and trying to do the same things. And so we put a group together and Mike and I were sort of the first two that were part of it and then we filled it in with some other members. And they went over there and they did a lot of hard work and this was one of the fillies that they bought in that group. So obviously a terrific job by the team scouting the horse out. And from the beginning we knew she was one of the better ones in the group. I think she obviously turned out to probably be the best one. Brad Cox has liked her from the beginning. Paul Sharp did a great job breaking her in Ocala and we really are happy about where we are.

THE MODERATOR: The race prior to this, a nice win over this Turf course in the Jessamine here at Keeneland, so obviously you knew she liked it here. And both of you, I know not just owners, you’re very involved, you’re handicappers as well. So she’s speed and that was it for today. Was that the plan with Florent, just get out there and try to relax?

MICHAEL KISBER: Well, she had, we talked, I talked with Brad about her before the race. She had natural speed. There was no reason to take it away from her. And I will add that Brad was exuberating Monomoy Girl-type confidence here and that really kind of freaked me out, like, how could this happen twice? But that’s what he was exuding. So I was like, Well, on paper a lot of speed in the race. He’s like, I’m not worried about it. Well, Brad, will she set off horses? I’m not worried about it. So she’s in a league of her own as she demonstrated.

THE MODERATOR: And confidence from a trainer like Brad that way must give you all a great deal of confidence as well. You’re both no strangers to the Breeders’ Cup with a lot of success. Tell me a little bit about some of the people in this new partnership, the new people in this partnership.

MICHAEL KISBER: Well, Brad, he’s a great ambassador for the game, and he’s put together a stellar team with Liz Crow, and success speaks for itself. People have reached out to him and it’s entirely possible Sol and I would have taken larger percentages of the horse, but for Brad’s desire to get more people involved in the game. So while we own a majority of the horse, there’s two other, three other partners in the horse that are good people. They have been around the game a long time. And I think for them it was their first Breeders’ Cup win, so hats off to them.

SOL KUMIN: They are thrilled. It’s great.

THE MODERATOR: Well, it’s good to get in with a group. We’ll ask for questions from the press box for the two of you. While we’re waiting on that, so with all of these partnerships, you know, Monomoy Girl, I know you all are very busy, but you have one in a partnership in the next race coming up in the Juvenile as well. How do you manage all of this?

SOL KUMIN: Well, you have a team that helps. And we pay a lot of attention to it. Mike and I both spend a lot of time on this. Obviously, we have day jobs that we spend a lot of time with and family. Our kids are different ages, but they take up a lot of time. We just we pay attention. And we’ve kept the same group of partners, generally, Mike and I, in pretty much everything that we do and they’re really easy to work with. They trust us to make decisions. And they’re not really partnerships, they’re just a generally just a couple friends actually in each group, right? And so it makes it pretty easy to manage because it’s not a lot of people to manage really.

THE MODERATOR: So here’s a question. Would you consider bringing her to the U.K. and back to England for one of the big festivals next season. Is that an option?

MICHAEL KISBER: I’m going to leave that up to the trainer. I don’t tell the doctor what prescriptions to write, so I don’t tell my horses where to run — my trainers where to run their horses. It will be entirely up to — Brad’s a genius. He’ll plot out a campaign and whatever he plots out, Sol and I will be along for the ride and it will probably be a great ride.

THE MODERATOR: This has been such a challenging year for everyone, and the horse racing industry, obviously, has been the sport that’s kept going. How has this year affected you all or is it the same kind of business as usual?

SOL KUMIN: It’s affected everyone’s life, right? It hasn’t been business as usual. It’s been nice to have the horses running. When they stopped for that little period of time, the ecosystem stops and it’s just difficult. It became, it puts a lot of stress really on the business. I mean, it’s nice to have a distraction. There’s so much crazy stuff going on in the world that to be able to take off on a day like today and spend your day with good friends and partners and watch your horses run. I, mean yeah, picked my dad up today. Mike’s got a bunch of friends and family with him. It’s what it’s all about, so it’s been a great distraction

THE MODERATOR: As for Aunt Pearl, I know you’ll probably get with Brad, but what will be your next plans? Where does she go from here?

MICHAEL KISBER: Wherever Brad tells us she goes. I have one thing with Aunt Pearl I’m very proud of. She’s named after my Aunt Pearl, who is my grandfather’s sister, crazy sister from Asbury Park. And as what a small world it would be, one of our other partners, Stu Grant, knows Aunt Pearl’s daughter from Delaware.

THE MODERATOR: It is truly a small world. (Laughing). Got one more question coming on its way here. So yeah, I mean, obviously special. So you called Brad Cox a genius. You had a lot of trainers, top trainers. In what way do you see that talent in him? What makes him stand out?

MICHAEL KISBER: Well, I was the one who called him a genius. So he has just managed these horses that we have been involved with so superbly. With the experience of Monomoy Girl, who is a once in a lifetime horse and seeing how he’s handled it, I don’t believe many trainers could have handled that horse, could have handled the adversity that we had to overcome. He puts them in the right places, everywhere he spots them is where they belong, when they come to the races they’re ready. I’m in awe of it.

SOL KUMIN: I would add to that, he works as hard as any trainer I’ve been around, it’s a family affair with him, with his two sons in the barn all the time. They’re not doing much else, they’re watching races, when they don’t have horses running. They’re thinking about it all the time. He visits all the places where he has horses, he’s got a great team and a great staff in really every location. And he’s not afraid to give you bad news. If you buy a horse that’s not good, he’ll tell you. Doesn’t matter what you paid, doesn’t matter — I mean, he gives it to you straight and he tries to put them in good places. And I know Mike and I both really just appreciate the directness. And he’s just been a really easy guy to work with and we were there for his first Grade 1 win, he’s won a bunch since, we have bunch lucky enough to be partners with him on a handful of them, and I think he’s, he’s had just a breakout year this year, really happy for him.

THE MODERATOR: The same thing with Liz Crow. Who has purchased some phenomenal horses for you.

MICHAEL KISBER: Liz is amazing. I mean she’s really, I don’t know, because I don’t understand her job, much like she probably doesn’t understand mine, but she does it incredibly well and with little fanfare and very calm and very clear in her explanations to us, just a pleasure to work with.

SOL KUMIN: Hard working honest and just clearly very good at what she does. We just hope she can still buy the good ones for us, now that she’s buying horses for lots of people now.

THE MODERATOR: Well, you all have a lot of more action coming up today and then tomorrow as well and looking forward to seeing the horses, so best of luck. Anything else you would like to say? You probably want to get out and watch the next one.

MICHAEL KISBER: All right. Thank you.