BALTIMORE, MD. 05-16-2008-- Millennium Farms’ Student Council rallied through the mud to capture the $250,000 Maryland Lottery Pimlico Special (G I) for 4-year-olds and up Friday.
Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Student Council scored his eighth career win. The son of Kingmambo was last down the backstretch in the 1-3/16-mile test but first under the wire in 1:54.87 after he caught frontrunner Gottcha Gold inside the 1/16th-pole to win by just a neck. Sir Whimsey finished third.
Millennium Farms’ Ro Parra, who grew up in Maryland, was a client of leading trainer Dale Capuano when he campaigned horses at Pimlico and Laurel Park.
Race-day scratches, which included morning-line favorite A.P. Arrow and Wanderin Boy, whittled the field down to seven runners. Student Council paid $16.40. He headed a $63.60 exacta and a $302.80 triple.
Student Council, who had been winless this year in three starts, won the Grade I Pacific Classic and the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup in 2007.
Trainer and Jockey Quotes
Ro Parra (winning owner, Student Council) – “We took him to Japan and in hindsight, I wish we hadn’t. When he came back he was tired. We were disappointed in the Santa Anita Handicap (sixth-place finish). We thought we were going to win the race. Steve had him ready for this race. I spoke to him just an hour before the race, and he told me to smile in the winner’s circle.
“I was born in Ecuador, South America, and I grew up in Maryland, in Lexington Park and met my wife there. I was telling someone earlier that I’d been to at least 15 Preaknesses, always in the infield, never in the grandstand. This is the first time I’ve been to Pimlico and watched a race in the grandstand.”
Shaun Bridgmohan (winning jockey, Student Council) – “There looked like there’d be a lot of speed in there. He’s such a great horse and he’s got such a great stride to him that midway down the backside he grabbed a hold of me and wanted to go. At that point, I had nowhere for him to go. I had to sit there and wait and bide my time and wait a little bit longer. I’ve been watching races all day. I didn’t want to take him out of his game.”
Eddie Plesa Jr. (trainer, Gottcha Gold, 2nd) – “I was hoping he would be able to get there, but by the time we got near the wire, it was too late. I was very satisfied with his race and Chuckie did a great job again.”
Chuck Lopez (jockey, Gottcha Gold, 2nd) – “The horse ran his race I think. I was able to slow him down and give him the opportunity. I mean, the winner just came and got him.”
James Toner (trainer, Sir Whimsey, 3rd) – “He ran well. He tried hard and did everything right, but Edgar said he wasn’t comfortable with the track. He tries hard, this horse. He gives you everything he’s got.”
Edgar Prado (jockey, Sir Whimsey, 3rd) – “He wasn’t handling the track too well. He had a little trouble in the first part. He was trying, but in the second turn, two horses stopped in front of me, so I had to go around them. I think he could have been a lot closer, but we lost ground and momentum.”
Bruce Levine (trainer, Temporary Saint, 4th) – “I’m not sure he wants to go that far. He floated the last eighth of a mile. Maybe we’ll find something for him, maybe a mile and a sixteenth and one turn.”
John Velazquez (jockey, Temporary Saint, 4th) – “We had good position. I thought we had a chance to win it. Down the lane he just flattened and got very tired.
Neil Howard (trainer, Grasshopper, 5th) – “I don’t think the track was a problem. I think he handled it OK. It just wasn’t his day today. He’ll come back and run like he can.”
Robby Albarado (jockey, Grasshopper, 5th) – “I have no excuse. I had a good trip and good spot. He just wasn’t good enough today. That wasn’t the real Grasshopper.”
Erick Rodriguez (jockey, Ryan’s For Real, 6th) – “He didn’t break well, and the ‘2’ got the lead very easy in front of me. I sat right behind him and he was going well. But as the race progressed, he seemed to give up at the half-mile pole.
Mark Shuman (trainer, Xchanger, 7th) – “I thought we’d be sitting fourth or fifth and then make a run. But no one wanted to go and he just didn’t have enough.”
Garrett Gomez (jockey, Xchanger, 7th) – “We had a great trip. He either didn’t handle it or he’s just not good enough to be with these.”