Jockey talk for the 77th running of the Longacres Mile

JOCKEY MARIO GUTIERREZ, TAYLOR SAID, WINNER: “I had two horses that I could have ridden for The Mile, but I didn’t get to make the decision. I love St Liams Halo, and I hadn’t ridden Taylor Said in a while. Glen (Todd) and Troy (Taylor) knew both horses really well, and they said I’d get the Mile with Taylor Said. He was really sharp today. He was pulling pretty hard. I didn’t want to choke the race out of him, so I let him go a little wide into the first turn. I was surprised to see so many horses going for the lead. The pace felt pretty fast, but I know this track pretty well. If this was my first time riding at Emerald Downs, I might have started panicking, but I know good horses can carry their speed on this track. My horse hesitated once he got the lead. I think he was used to the shorter stretch at Hastings. When Winning Machine came back, my horse kept going. He’s a fighter, too. This win is very special for me. Glen (Todd) is like my dad and Troy (Taylor) is like my grandpa. I’m so happy I could win this race for them. They’re my family.”


JOCKEY JAVIER MATIAS, WINNING MACHINE, SECOND: “I thought someone would go early. I had the inside post, so it made sense for me to take the lead. He ran so big, I’m so happy with how he ran. (Taylor Said) passed us easily, but my horse came right back. I don’t think we ever got the lead back, but he dug in the whole way. I had to ride him pretty hard.”


JOCKEY DAVID FLORES, AWESOME GEM, THIRD: “I had to do the best with what I had. I had nowhere to go outside, so I was just looking for a pocket to go through. I finally got through, but it was too late. The leaders were already seven lengths ahead at the top of the stretch. I’m proud of my horse. Things didn’t go his way, but he showed his spirit.”


JOCKEY RUSSELL BAZE, BAILOUTTHEMINISTER, FIFTH: “I wish I would’ve had a cleaner trip. I was in the second tier of horses, and then all of a sudden a horse stopped right in front of me. I had no choice but to pull back out. Once I got clear, I was able to gain some ground. I know this horse can route, he just didn’t get a chance today. That’s horse racing for you.”


NOTES: Taylor Said (10-7-2-0-$277,971)*This year 7-6-1-0-$259,583*Taylor Said is the first horse since Silver Double in 1970 to win the Longacres Mile after making his previous start at Hastings Racecourse/Exhibition Park*This is the second EmD stakes win for Mario Gutierrez. He won the 2009 Boeing Handicap on Holy Nova (dead heat with Elusive Horizon). Holy Nova was co-owned by Glen Todd and Patrick Kinsella*This is the second EmD stakes win for trainer Michael Puhich: Charlies Paradise, 1996 Pepsi-Cola Handicap; Taylor Said, 2012 Longacres Mile*Taylor Said is the fifth BC-bred and the first since Kid Katabatic in 1997 to win the Longacres Mile.


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