[image url="http://cdn.bloodhorse.com/images/content/lpincay_large.jpg"]Laffit Pincay, III[/image]
Laffit Pincay III has served as one of the primary on-air hosts for HorseRacing TV's day-to-day coverage of live racing for the past five years.
He has also filled a variety of additional roles for HRTV, including serving as host of its "Pursuit of the Cup" show, which provides weekly updates leading into the Breeders Cup, along with "Target Louisville," which annually chronicles the road to the Kentucky Derby.
He will be involved in ESPN's coverage of this year's Breeders' Cup from Monmouth Park.
This past summer, Pincay worked CBS's telecast of the Virginia Derby from Colonial Downs. Pincay is the son of legendary, Hall of Fame jockey, Laffit Pincay, Jr.
A non-Breeder's Cup question. Your dad has been very supportive of Panamanian jocks trying to make it here. Recently he's taken an interest in Fernando Jara, who recently moved his tack out to the west coast after an eventful/historic year on the East Coast culminated in disappointment. We have been friendly with him and have been watching his races when we can. We are happy that your Dad's agent is with him, which has been one of the problems out here. What do you think of his chances on the West Coast as well as the difficulties that very young jocks face in this sport here in the US? I don't think there is a young jock who has accomplished more at 18/19 and yet he can't seem to buy a mount.
It's hard to fathom that an 18-year-old jockey that has won a Belmont and Breeders' Cup Classic with that kind of talent could have trouble sustaining businesses regardless of where he rides. Sometimes success can come too easy and too quickly. It will happen from time to time, where a jockey will win a major race on one of racing's biggest stages and thereafter expect to ride nothing but 3-5 shots. I'm not saying that's what happened here (my father wouldn't endorse anyone that doesn't have a solid work ethic). But it does happen. Perhaps a change of scenery is what Fernando needs... I wish he and Bob much success together.
How does it feel to be the resident "sex symbol" of HRTV, and are you in a serious relationship?
Not hitched yet...and now I have to fight my old man in that capacity as well. I can't shake this guy. The ladies love the original pirate!
I have really enjoyed watching you and listening to your commentary. Thank you! With regard to the Breeder's Cup - I usually concentrate on trifectas and/or bet a lot on just one of the races. Which BC race this year do you think is the best betting race? Do you have any "hunches" for a "can't miss" trifecta?
Juvenile 1) Pyro 2) Slew's Tiznow 3) Tale of Ekati...do box them.
Your dad, Cordero, and Baeza were my all time favourite jocks. How much of a shot do you give Tiago in the Classic? To me, he seems to be the most improved of the 3-year-olds.
Tiago is only getting better, and between the Mosses, John Shirreffs and Mike Smith...is there an easier horse to root for on Breeders' Cup Day? Probably not. However, the Classic won't be run over the cushion. I realize he won the Santa Anita Derby on the dirt, but he beat King of the Roxy that day. Not Any Given Saturday, not Curlin, not Street Sense, and certainly not Lawyer Ron. If there was NOT a Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile this year, I would say (from a pace standpoint), he'd deserve a better look. But make no mistake; the mere presence of the Dirt Mile has made things tougher for the closers in the Classic. The would-be front running speedballs sure to fade simply aren't there. They'll be running Friday. Between the compact field, lack of a suicidal pace and, oh yeah, the fact that they are running the Breeders’ Cup at Monmouth 'you'd better be close at the quarter pole' Park...Tiago has his work cut out for him.
Baton Rouge, LA:
I really enjoy you on HRTV, I think you do a great job and have some important insights. Keep up the good work! Have you ever had the desire to ride?
I fell off a stationary horse on a merry-go-round at Magic Mountain when I was 5. That was the extent of my riding career.
Glen Gardner, NJ:
You might get this a lot, but did you ever want to be a jockey? Have you ever tried? Thanks and good luck in your career.
I never wanted to be a rider. It's too dangerous and there's too much dieting involved.
Non horse media has been hyping The Green Monkey as the most expensive, yet unraced Thoroughbred in history. What's your take to putting so much promotional weight on an untested horse, and how can we coax the non equestrian media to put as much energy into following proven equine athletes as they do for a youngster just because of the price tag attached? That said, do you think The Green Monkey may live up to his hype?
That's a lot of jack to pony up (excuse the pun) on one animal. Can he live up to the hype? Sure... if he wins the Donn next year, followed by a win cross-country win in the Big Cap. Let's not forget his jaunt to the Mideast where he duplicates Dubai Millennium’s blowout in the World Cup. Perhaps some time off, then a cameo at Del Mar- where he draws a bigger crowd than Cigar and wins the Pacific Classic. He has to go to Saratoga! How much time in between the Pacific Classic and the Woodward? I forget. So now its Breeders’ Cup Classic Prep time. He'd have to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup, a la Bernardini, and make it back to tinsel town just in time to claim horse of the millennium with a Skip Away like performance in the Classic. Then maybe...just maybe...he'd live up to the hype.
Los Angeles, CA:
Is there a race your father won that just stands out above the rest?
His ride on Skywalker in the '86 B.C. Classic comes to mind. Skywalker simply did not belong on the same track as Turkoman or Precisionist. Turkoman had a Silky Sullivan-type late kick, and Precisionist had sprinter speed that he could carry 10 furlongs. My father kept Gary (Stevens) boxed up and Precisionist never did get out until Skywalker was long gone. He then busted the race wide-open going into the far turn, thereby establishing enough of a cushion that Turkoman never did overcome. I'm a big Pat Day fan (who rode Turkoman), but that win was satisfying after what happened in '84 with Gate Dancer and Wild Again. I still say Wild Again should have come down, but I'm not exactly coming from what you'd call an objective point of view.
One time on HRTV, I heard you say that you thought that Lawyer Ron would be an odds-on favorite for the Classic. Why did you believe that?
Had Lawyer Ron run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the way Lawyer Ron had been running upstate...he would have been odds-on in the classic. His two performances at Saratoga were out of control. His race at Belmont...not so much. Or did Curlin just run that well? We'll find out this Saturday. What was most disconcerting about his race in the Gold Cup was that he ran off. He was rank, pulling Johnny V. out of the saddle. That's not Lawyer Ron now...that's Lawyer Ron from a year ago. For some reason, however, a lot of speed-oriented horse seen to pull while negotiating that unconventional turn and a half-mile and a quarter at Belmont. Don't ask, I read it somewhere. I wouldn't expect to see any of those antics this weekend at Monmouth. In other words, if you're a fan of the Lawyer- fear not. He'll run well...just not as well as his stablemate.
Bobby Frankel seems to know how to get horses ready to run. Do you think Argentina, Precious Kitten, or Balance could spring an upset this Championship Saturday?
Bobby Frankel is an amazing trainer. His numbers speak for themselves. Nobody gave Intercontinental a shot in the F/M turf 2 years ago, and look what she did. She and Precious Kitten do share a few characteristics. One is- the knock regarding distance. The difference- the F/M turf was run at a shorter distance that year due to the circumference of Belmont's turf course. No such luck for P.K. this year. Mile and 3/8ths looks like its too far. As far as Argentina is concerned- don't leave her out of the exotics. She runs to the level of her competition and always seems to get a piece. Hard to believe she still hasn't won a race on U.S. soil.
G'Day Laffit, What's your most embarrassing on camera gaff?
Wow- there's been so many. Just last month I called the wrong winner of the Cotillion at Philly Park. Those darn stakes saddle towel colors throw me off every time.
I think Awesome Gem has a chance for a big score. What's your thoughts?
It’s been a sensational year for West Point, but this would be an upset of Arcangues-like proportions. That's not a knock against him, I just happen to believe that this year's classic field is as deep and talented as we've seen over the last decade. Between Lawyer Ron and the BIG 4 three year olds- we're in for another classic in the classic.
Thanks for the time. Can you share the names of two of your favorite all time horses and a couple of the most brilliant victories you've witnessed?
I've ever seen Secretariat, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, and Seattle Slew come to mind...but I never saw any of them in person. Well, I did see Affirmed- but I was four. As far as the best races I've ever witnessed- Smarty Jones's Preakness was unbelievable. Pimlico was frenzied and actually shaking (trust me- I was on the roof.) And Ghostzapper's Breeders' Cup classic win at Lone Star was remarkable. That was a tremendous field- and he made them look common. It's too bad Smarty was injured that year...the Classic between he and Ghostzapper may have been one for the ages.
Richmond Hill, Ontario:
Do you think Dylan Thomas will send chalk players plunging into the Moulin Rouge dumpster a la Dancing Brave?
The difference between he and Dancing Brave is that Dancing Brave never acclimated. He was a mess from the time he arrived. Legend is- he actually dropped like 100lbs from the time he arrived to the day of the race. Dylan Thomas, from what I understand- is doing very well. I don't know if he's as good as Daylami, High Chaparel, or Fantastic Light...but he has a ton of ability. And the competition isn't as deep as it has been in recent years. English Channel is as honest as they come, but the more it rains the more you have to lean towards the Arc winner...even if he has a bad habit of leaning himself. (Is the inquiry sign still up at Longchompe by the way?
I talked to you in passing in the paddock on Kentucky Derby day and I know you were big on Any Given Saturday that day. Will he be your play again in the Classic, especially after showing his talent previously on the Monmouth Park track in the Haskell? If not, why not?
Expect a repeat of his Haskell. He's going to be in a great spot, sitting just behind Hard Spun and Lawyer Ron. I have no concerns about him getting the mile and a quarter. He'll get first run on the stalkers and closers- and you know he loves the track.
Evergreen Park, IL:
Laffit, with a two to one edge over Curlin, a one win-two loss tally with Street Sense, I believe Hard Spun should take Horse of the Year honors if he can win Saturday. Your thoughts?
No question. This is the title bout, the championship game, the finals. This is why the Breeders' Cup was created. To decide eclipse awards and horse of the year on a neutral playing field. The best of the best colliding with everything on the line. No longer would championships be decided on paper, by comparing resumes and speed figures. If Lawyer Ron, Any Given Saturday, Street Sense, Curlin, or Hard Spun wins the classic...they may as well be presented with the H.O.T.Y. hardware along with that of the Breeders’ Cup. If there is a major upset however...and Noshoba remains perfect...she deserves a long look.
San Gabriel, CA:
Who are your BC Picks?
It's Any Given Saturday or bust! I've been following him since he broke his maiden at CD last Nov. Things didn't work out in the Derby. Keep in mind, he was third inside the eighth pole and came out of the race with a nasty bruise. Expect a repeat of the Haskell.
Other than him, I like Pyro a lot in the Juvenile, Aidan O'Brien's Achill Island in the Juvenile Turf, Proud Spell in the Juvenile Fillies, and I don't think Dylan Thomas can lose in the Turf.