Notes & Quotes From the KY Downs’ Turf Sprint: Totally Boss

(Totally Boss punches ticket to the Breeders’ Cup with win in the KY Downs’ Turf Sprint / Coady Photography & Courtesy of KY Downs)

From the KY Downs Media Team:

When Totally Boss first came into trainer Rusty Arnold’s barn last fall, he was a horse in need of a change in scenery and, most importantly, a dose of fire in his belly.

Trainer Rusty Arnold — Totally Boss (1st):

“(Trainer) Brian (Lynch) had him and he asked me to take him,” Arnold recalled. “Brian gave him to me because at the time he wasn’t winning on the dirt and he didn’t go anywhere on the dirt for me, but he ran well on the grass last year.”

“We thought his race at Churchill showed he belonged, the race where he got beat,” Arnold said. “His first two were condition allowance races but when he got beat in that race, that was a good field. We thought at that point he was a good horse.

“Jim Hill picked the Ellis Park race after that. He said ‘I’m afraid if we go to New York, it may rain and things may go wrong.’ He said ‘Let’s go to Ellis’…and he barely got up there (for the win) but it was great because it got us in for this race.”

“He just turned into a good horse,” Arnold said, adding that Totally Boss would not have another race between his expected start in the Breeders’ Cup. “He’s been unfortunate not to win them all this year actually. Mr. Hill takes him back to his farm after every race (Margaux Farm), freshens him up and keeps him 2-3 weeks depending on how much space we have and then he sends him back to me and it works. They say he loves it there, they turn him out and he’s a happy horse and he has really, really trained well.”

Jockey Florent Geroux — Totally Boss:

“He was loaded today,” Geroux said. “He broke sharp. Actually, to be honest, there was not a lot of speed in the race. When he broke sharp, I just took it from there. He put me closer to normal, but he was traveling great. And when I asked him turning for home, he gave me his usual kick. He’s a nice horse, and I think Rusty has him near the top of his form right now.”

Trainer Vicki Oliver — Smart Remark (2nd):

“He’s a really nice horse. He’s always shown a lot of ability,” said Vicki Oliver, trainer of Smart Remark. “I was surprised he was on the lead to be truthful. But he actually loved the course and moved really well. I think 6, 6 ½ (furlongs) is a better distance than 5, 5 ½, which is a little too short for him.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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