Kevin Attard Joins TDN Writers’ Room

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Kevin Attard with Starship Jubilee | Michael Burns

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more successful claim in the past decade than Blue Heaven Farm’s Starship Jubilee (Indy Wind). Plucked for $16,000 from Jorge Navarro of all people in February of 2017 at Gulfstream, the now 7-year-old mare has taken trainer Kevin Attard on the ride of a lifetime, and scored her greatest triumph yet with a victory in Saturday’s GI Woodbine Mile S., becoming a multimillionaire in the process. Wednesday, Attard joined the TDN Writers’ Room podcast presented by Keeneland as the Green Group Guest of the Week to tell he and Starship Jubilee’s rags-to-riches story.

“We were just looking for horses to bring back to Woodbine at the time,” Attard recalled of he and dad Tino Attard’s thought process back in 2017. “At Gulfstream, it’s really tough to claim, you’re always kind of shaking for horses that look legit on paper and have good form to them. So we had gotten out-shook a lot of times with a couple of claims we had put in. She had come across on form like she had some potential, had run some decent enough races, seemed like she was appreciating stretching out a bit. So we took a chance and we were lucky enough to win the shake that day. And the rest is history.”

Now with 19 wins in 38 starts and hardly any duds in her past performances, it’s clear that Starship Jubilee has something special about her. Attard tried to pinpoint what it is that makes the mare so consistent.

“She’s just a very competitive horse,” he said. “Even in the morning, she’s not an easy filly to train in the sense that when she wants to go, you have to have a good exercise rider on her. And Ricardo Pilgrim, who’s been galloping her, has done a great job with her here at Woodbine. So we’ve been fortunate with that. She’s very feisty, has a lot of sass and attitude about her, and is not a typical mare that you can just hug or cuddle up to. She’s got some fire and if you’re not on your toes, she’ll bite you. She could kick you. She’s really a handful when she wants to be, and I think that translates onto the racetrack. She just brings that attitude with her to the track. Whether it’s competing against the fillies and mares or the boys, she’s just ready to lay it down and give her best.”

Elsewhere on the show, the writers reacted to the development of the first guilty pleas stemming from March’s FBI indictments and debated the wisdom of restrictive new whip rules. Then, in the West Point Thoroughbreds news segment, they discussed Tiz the Law (Constitution) skipping the GI Preakness S. to train up to the GI Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. Click here to watch the podcast; click here for the audio-only version.

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