On Sunday morning, all was well at Bill Mott's barn, at least for the horses.
“Everybody came back good,” the Hall of Fame trainer said outside his barn. “I feel like I've been run over by a truck.
“Obviously, there's a lot of excitement on a day like that,” added Mott, who saddled Royal Delta to victory in the Grade 1 Beldame and Flat Out to win the Grade 1 TVG Jockey Club Gold Cup. “You've got a number of big runners and some it worked out well, and others it didn't. The good thing is that everybody did come back good, and it looks like we have another chance, another day.”
All four of Mott's “Super Saturday” horses will be pointed to the Breeders' Cup, with To Honor and Serve (fourth in the Grade 2 Kelso) and Ron the Greek (sixth in the Gold Cup) joining Flat Out in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on November 3 and Royal Delta looking to defend her title in the $2 million Ladies' Classic on November 2.
Mott, who also won last year's Classic with Drosselmeyer, has never started three horses in the 1 ¼-mile race.
“It's hard enough to get one,” he said.
Declaring himself impressed by Royal Delta's easy 9 ½-length victory, Mott characterized Flat Out's win as “very professional” and was hopeful Ron the Greek could rebound over a Santa Anita track he likes.
“It didn't surprise me whatsoever,” he said of Flat Out, who headed a game Stay Thirsty in the Gold Cup. “I thought he was sitting on a race that I thought the outcome could be that. I suppose I was little surprised in Ron the Greek, that he didn't fire. Usually, he's been so consistent for us, but he seemed to not really like the racetrack that much. That's the only thing we can figure out right now.”
Despite To Honor and Serve's poor performance, the Grade 1 Woodward winner is still headed to Santa Anita.
“He really didn't try at all,” said Mott. “He broke a little sluggish, got bumped a little leaving the gate; he just put in a dull effort. He's coming off a very big effort in Saratoga … maybe it just took a little more out of him than what we could see. He was eating well, feeling good, worked well. But he didn't have it in the race yesterday.
“The only good thing is, I believe that – win, lose, or draw – it was the best way to get him to the Breeders' Cup Classic.”
Mott plans to ship his horses the Sunday or Monday before the Breeders' Cup. He went out early in 1987 with Theatrical, the horse that brought him his first Breeders' Cup win, in the Turf at Hollywood Park, but that was, he said, because of Theatrical's personality.
“It was just to get him settled in and make him feel at home,” Mott explained. “These horses are all very professional. Ron [the Greek] could probably fly the plane out there.”
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