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Political Headlines; Triple Crown in Doubt; All Hail the "Jeopardy" Queen

Aired May 19, 2014 - 08:30   ET


WILL CAIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: By chance, for whatever reason, Hillary Clinton decides not to run, you better have an answer to that question I just asked you.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: What can Hillary Clinton do about that through (ph)?

MARC LAMONT HILL, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. But (INAUDIBLE) say is impossible because she's already running a shadow campaign.

CAIN: She's running. It doesn't mean that she's definitely (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: What can Hillary Clinton do about that? Is it her fault that people are talking about her as the front-runner before she's even come out? What can Hillary Clinton do to fight back this inevitability?

HILL: I don't think it is -

BOLDUAN: Is there really anything?

HILL: There's nothing she can do. That's the downside of being a superstar. You know, she's a global icon who's running for the presidency by proxy.

BOLDUAN: Let's all be honest, good problem to have, I guess.

HILL: Good problem to have.

CAIN: Right.

BOLDUAN: All right, let's talk about someone who may run, may not run. There's a lot of - it's the season where -- are they going to run or are they going to not run? Jeb Bush, speaking in a - at a -- making a commencement speech. Part of the speech, this is what he said. We do not have the sound bite, so I will read it to you, in part, if I can find it in my papers. He essentially said there's room for, if you like politics -- you do have it now? OK. Let's listen to it. Here we go.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH (R), FORMER GOVERNOR, FLORIDA: If you feel inspired to serve your fellow citizens, don't let the ugliness of politics keep you from pursuing public office.


BOLDUAN: John King said it perfectly, so I will give him credit, is this a little bit of Jeb Bush saying, listen or do what I say not necessarily what I do.

HILL: Oh, that's exactly what it is. That's exactly what it is. And that also makes me feel like he's priming for a potential presidential run.

BOLDUAN: Do you think?

HILL: Oh, yes.

BOLDUAN: We know he's considering it, right?

CAIN: I think - yes, we all think we have tea leaves we can read into every single statement and parse it, are they going to run, are they not? He was giving a commencement address.

BOLDUAN: It's the fun of it.

CAIN: Jeb I don't think yet has given us evidence that he really, really wants to be president of the United States, that he really, really wants to run. And in order to win, he's going to need to really want it.


BOLDUAN: How do you show - how do you show, I really, really want to win, I really, really want to run? How do you show that?

HILL: I think it comes with certain policy moves you make. Like he could have made a different stance on immigration, for example. One that might speak to the base of the GOP right now, as opposed to a more moderate position, which he has taken, essentially, arguing immigration -

BOLDUAN: If he changes his position on immigration at this point, that's going to -

HILL: Then he'll be like every other Republican nominee for the last 20 years.

BOLDUAN: OK, let's say - here's one headline for you. I want to get your guys quick take on this. "Washington Post," over the weekend, from Emily Badger. "What you need to know about Joaquin Castro, the likely next head of HUD." What - what are you laughing, how I pronounce his name?


HILL: No, no, no, no, no. That's (INAUDIBLE).

BOLDUAN: That's how he pronounces his name.

HILL: No, no, it's an awesome pronunciation.

BOLDUAN: What are you laughing about?

HILL: Well, the idea that -- we were sort of giggling in the green room about this guy's chances of being president one day, not going to happen.

BOLDUAN: Oh, OK. Well, then why do we need to know so much about him? Because, you know, the moment you -- this was even hinted at, the next sentence is, could he be vice presidential?

CAIN: Look, Joaquin Castro's extremely charismatic -

HILL: Joaquin.

CAIN: Joaquin Castro is extremely charismatic. He's also the mayor of the seventh largest city in the United States. However, the resume is a little thin right now. That's why the attempt to appoint him to HUD to see if he can be VP in 2016, I think we might actually agree on this, the Joaquin Castro party is a little early.

HILL: Yes.

BOLDUAN: A little early.

HILL: About eight years too early.

BOLDUAN: Oh, wow, we have finally reached a line where there's too early to talk about something in politics.

CAIN: Yes.

HILL: Exactly.

BOLDUAN: Ah, and on that we take a breath. Continue fighting about Karl Rove now. Thanks, guys.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: All right, that was good.

Coming up on NEW DAY, California Chrome, one step closer to making history, but could the shine come off the chrome because of nasal strips? The horse's owner joins us live.

Plus, who is "Jeopardy's" winningest female? It could be our next guest. Now just a few thousand dollars away from the title. What's her secret? "Jeopardy's" newest superstar, next.


CUOMO: You know you're a big deal when you've got "the boss" introducing you with a song. California Chrome is certainly that. Big win Saturday at the Preakness Stakes. Could be the first horse in 36 years to win the triple crown. But now his owners are warning California Chrome may not race at all. The issue here is right here. Take a look at that. That's a nasal strip. It may not be permitted at the Belmont Stakes. Could be an issue. Joining us this morning is Steve Coburn, co-owner of California Chrome.

Congratulations to you. Thank you for joining us. And tell us that your horse will race.

STEVE COBURN, CO-OWNER, CALIFORNIA CHROME: Well, I think -- thank you for having me, first of all. But I think Art Sherman is already on top of that, our trainer. This horse has been running with these nasal strips and if I'm not mistaken, they don't do any enhancement at all.

What they do is actually help the horse cool down after the race by keeping the nasal passages open because the horse that runs, all the blood capillaries in the nose and everything are fully, you know, they're fully exposed - I mean fully developed or out there where they're supposed to be. So they just -- it's actually -- if you read a package, it actually just helps the horse cool down after the race.

CUOMO: So what if they say to you, you slap them on right after the race is over so the horse can cool down? Will you put him in there?

COBURN: I don't know. We want to run. We really do. I think the people in New York want us to bring this horse there. And I think they want to see him run.

CUOMO: So what are you telling us? If they say to you, hey, you know, we don't allow these strips, how serious are you about maybe pulling the horse when you've got a triple crown right there, just an arm's reach away?

COBURN: Well, I can't answer that honestly. This is a question that I'll have to take up with my other partner, Perry Martin, and Art Sherman. You know, he knows what's best for the horse and that's why we pay the man to make sure this horse is where he needs to be. So, you know, we'll just have to take it one day at a time from here to there. So, I know the horse is scheduled to ship out, but we're going to wait and see what happens.

CUOMO: Is there a legit health concern? Like has anybody told you that something bad could happen to the horse if it doesn't have the strips?

COBURN: No, nobody's told me anything like that.

CUOMO: So what's pressing your concern? What's driving it? Superstition that this is the way the horse knows to run?

COBURN: That, and the fact that he's run with them for quite some time now. And if I'm not mistaken, the standard breeds, the sulky (ph) horses, they -- you see a lot of them horses with those nasal strips on and -- so I don't know if when the rule came into play, but I know I've seen horses with these nasal strips on before. It could have been a different track. I really don't know. I can't be honest about that. But, you know, we've seen them on the sulky horses, the standard bred trotters and pacers in New York.

CUOMO: So what happens - what happens if they allow them to race or they don't allow the strips and you race him anyway and he wins the triple crown, are we going to see like California Chrome brand nasal strips that are made for humans?

COBURN: I don't know.

CUOMO: That's a good idea.

COBURN: I can't answer that. I really can't.

CUOMO: Come on, that's a good idea right there, Steve.


CUOMO: Come on. If you got nothing out of this interview, you got that.


CUOMO: That's a good idea.

COBURN: Yes, that might happen. It could happen. It probably will. I don't know the truth about it, but it might happen.

CUOMO: But, you know, this -- one of the compelling things here is that it's such a story. This horse was never supposed to be here. This isn't the way race horse breeding is done. And you were never supposed to hold on to him when you got offered a big payout for half of him like that, 51 percent. And yet you've kept doing the improbable all along the way. Did you ever think you would have gotten to where you are today?

COBURN: Yes, I did.

CUOMO: How so?

COBURN: I've been saying it since the day I saw him. Well, I just saw the colt. I saw him when he was a day old. I saw him in a dream three weeks prior to that and he was exactly like my dream. And I told my wife, I said, this horse is going to do big things. I don't know what yet, but he's going to do big things.

And he's proven us right so far. We believe in our horse. We believe in our trainer. And he is proving to America right now that he is America's horse. I just found out this morning he got a 105 buyer for the Preakness yesterday. That's six races in a row that this horse has won. He's going to be tested if we go to the Belmont Stakes because, you know, he does have a target on his back. So - but he'll be tested. There's going to be some fresh horses that come in and some new players in the game. So, you know, we're just going to have to wait and see how the chips fall where they may.

CUOMO: You think he has it in him?

COBURN: I know he has it in him.

CUOMO: Can you tell anything about the horse, that there's any sense that the horse knows what's coming? Or is that just something we project on to the animal?

COBURN: No, this horse -- he's a very, very smart horse. He's very intelligent. He knows when he gets on a new track, you know, every horse, they put them on a track to get a feel for the dirt. They can, believe it or not, they can actually feel the dirt. And get him on a track, get him trotting on a track, then you gallop him on the track so this horse can get a feel and Willy Delgado (ph), our exercise rider, he tells Art what kind of condition this horse is in.

And when this horse goes to the paddock and gets his blinkers turning (ph), you know, we put blinkers on him, he knows it's the real deal. And my wife and I, we see the horse before every race, the day before every race and we give him his treat. His Mrs. Pasture horse cookies. And then we see him the day after the race. So, when he sees us show up, he knows it's the real deal. So -- and the blinkers go on, he really knows it's the real deal. It's time to play.

CUOMO: Now it's easy to justify the decision. But just to remind people, on April 5th, after he won the Santa Anita Derby, you were offered $6 million for a controlling stake, 51 percent. That's a lot of money. You turned it down. How hard a decision was that at the time?

COBURN: It wasn't' hard at all. Not for me and not for my partner because we believe in our horse. If you don't believe in what you're doing, don't do it. And we believe what we did was right.

CUOMO: Well, look, the big prize, history, you'll be joining, what, maybe not even a dozen horses in history to get this done. When do you get the word from the officials on whether or not your horse can run with the strips?

COBURN: I really don't know. Art Sherman, they had to leave here very early this morning to catch their flight home. And I'll probably know in a day or two what the situation is. And we'll go from there.

CUOMO: All right, Steve. Hopefully we see Chrome in it. It would be great to see some history made. Certainly great for you, but the rest of us as well. Good luck going forward.

COBURN: Well, thank you, sir, very much. Thank you.

CUOMO: All right. We hope to see you again.


BOLDUAN: I like that guy.

Coming up next on NEW DAY, it has been quite a run on "Jeopardy" for Julia Collins. In fact, she's now the longest running female champion of all time. She's going to join us next to talk about what the ride's been like and how she's done it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


ALEX TREBEK, GAME HOST: An eight-day total of $170,610.

That's going to make you the new "Jeopardy" champion. Look at this folk, $198,710. And a 10-day total of $220,610 and as I keep saying, she'll play again tomorrow.


PEREIRA: That's a sound our next guest has gotten very used to hearing. Julia Collins a "Jeopardy" superstar, the longest running female champion of all time.

Ten games. Tonight she returns to try and set another record. She's only about $2,000 away from becoming the winningest female in "Jeopardy" history. Julia joins us this morning from Chicago. Are you getting used to being called that yet, a "Jeopardy" champ?

JULIA COLLINS, JEOPARDY CHAMPION: I don't know if you get used to it but it never stops being excited.

PEREIRA: You're in very rarefied air. There's only three other people in the history of the "Jeopardy" that have won as much as you have. That is quite an honor.

COLLINS: Thank you.

It's been a lot of fun. I feel like I've been very lucky to be able to be on the show as long as I have. I think everybody who watches the show or wants to be on the show just wants to play. I've been really lucky to get to do that so much.

BOLDUAN: And you've been darn good as part of it. I don't think luck has much to do with this one, Julia. What is -- I don't know if this is a trade secret. But what is your strategy? What is your "Jeopardy" strategy?

COLLINS: There are a lot of strategies out there. Mine is probably the first one, try to be the first one to ring in and to answer the question correctly. I don't do anything too fancy. But I try to just keep control of the game board. That's the real key.

CUOMO: How do you know all this stuff?

BOLDUAN: Exactly, and can you teach us, please?

CUOMO: Are you constantly studying? How do you know?

COLLINS: I read a lot. I think that's the biggest thing. I read a lot and I have a really good memory. I loved to read when I was growing up. I still read a lot now. I read a lot of things. I read "Us Weekly", I read "The New York Times", I read CNN, I read novels, I read non-fiction. I think that's a big part of it. But also I just I think I'm lucky to have a good memory. And I think I've trained that part of my brain to work as well as possible. I was an art history major in college. And so I did a lot of memorizing and learning facts and information. That's really where I excel. I'm happy I found a great outlet.

PEREIRA: I think that's the one-two punch -- right. Because if you absorb the information and it goes in one ear and out the other, it's not going to be of any use to you.

I'm curious, what do you do for a living? I wonder if this will give us more clues in how you're able to do so well at this.

COLLINS: Right now I'm between jobs and just enjoying my time on "Jeopardy". But I've been working in supply chain in various areas professionally, I was a management consultant for a few years, and I got a Masters in Supply Chain Management. I worked in inventory management and planning.

PEREIRA: So very interesting.


COLLINS: Yes, pretty wide range.

BOLDUAN: We love firsts. We personally together, we love busting through the glass ceiling on anything. Does it matter to you that you are -- can be the winningest female in "Jeopardy" history?

COLLINS: I mean it's very exciting. I do like to focus on that I'm right now in fourth place overall for all "Jeopardy" winners. I think that's -- that I fall in the ranks of people who are really great at this no matter what their gender. That to me is the bigger deal. But I'm a proud product of single-sex education. I'm a big proponent of women being the best they can be. It's exciting to have my own little tiny place in that.

CUOMO: Nothing makes the case for gender equality like achievement. So by actually winning, you say everything you need to say.

PEREIRA: Go get it girl.

Are you one of those types that yells at the TV when you're watching "Jeopardy"? Because I know we all do at home -- right. If you're watching a game.

BOLDUAN: That would be the one question I know the answer to.

COLLINS: Absolutely. I've done it -- I've even done it at the gym which is very embarrassing.


CUOMO: Do people try to stump you all the time? Are they like what is the capital of Djibouti?

COLLINS: A little bit. I won a bottle of wine at work at by knowing the capital of Djibouti which is also Djibouti.

CUOMO: That's why I know it. It's hilarious.

BOLDUAN: Julia, the things you could teach. Yes, so much.

PEREIRA: We're very pleased. We cannot wait to see the outcome of today. We don't want to put any undue pressure on you. We expect you to win because you're representing all women all the time.

COLLINS: Thank you for the vote of confidence.

CUOMO: I want you to win so you can be the champ and I could say I talked to you.

BOLDUAN: Yes, exactly.

PEREIRA: That's right.

BOLDUAN: Thanks Julia.

COLLINS: That's a great reason, too. Thank you.

PEREIRA: Julia Collins, longest running female "Jeopardy" champ from the Chicago area. We'll be rooting for you. We can't wait to hear the results.

Thanks for joining us on NEW DAY.

CUOMO: What is the name of the "Jeopardy" song? You think she knows.

PEREIRA: We can all sing it.

CUOMO: We'll figure it out in the break.

Coming up next, we have a very special young man and he is becoming the newest member of the New Orleans Saints. How? By refusing to be defined by his limitations -- Devon Walker. "Good Stuff" coming up.


CUOMO: In true amazing champ ways -- Julia actually does know the answer to the question.

BOLDUAN: That's what I'm talking about.

CUOMO: -- Julia actually does know the answer to the question. Again, the "Jeopardy" theme song -- the name and its composer?

COLLINS: It's called "Think" and it was written by Merv Griffin.

CUOMO: That is correct. What was it originally titled?

COLLINS: That I don't know.

BOLDUAN: He Googled it.

COLLINS: You stumped me.

CUOMO: Well, well, well.

PEREIRA: Show off.

BOLDUAN: Do you know Mr. Cuomo.

CUOMO: "A Time for Tony" -- Italian.

CUOMO: Yes, but here is the difference. Julia knew it and Chris Googled it.

CUOMO: No, no, no. That's untrue. She Googled it in the break, and I knew it.

PEREIRA: You have a great time.

CUOMO: Good luck for you Julia.

COLLINS: Thank you.

BOLDUAN: I want a pop-up video of Julia throughout the show. We ask all these questions and we never know the answer.

CUOMO: She could be the constant factor -- Chris, you're wrong.

BOLDUAN: Exactly.

CUOMO: What did I say? 15.

BOLDUAN: Thanks Julia.

PEREIRA: You can't be wrong about this

CUOMO: Time for "The Good Stuff". Today's edition is Devon Walker. Devon was the starting safety for (inaudible) a leader of the team until a bad hit in 2012, he collided with a teammate, paralyzed from the shoulders down. But Devon demanded to stay with his studies and keep supporting his team.


DEVON WALKER, PARALYZED FOOTBALL PLAYER: I've always been a person not to start something and not finish it.


CUOMO: Over the weekend, two very important things happened. First, he graduated.


DREW BREES, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Devon Walker, congratulations.

He's one of those guys that -- so special, so inspirational. You know that he is destined for so many great things in his life. Just blessed to know him.


CUOMO: Drew Brees was there for an honorary degree. But Devon can also call himself something else now -- teammate of Drew Brees. That's because the second thing that happened to Devon was that he signed with the New Orleans Saints.


SEAN PAYTON, HEAD COACH: You see the leadership. And I think it permeated through the team. I think all of them became better for having been around Devon and the inspiration he's given. It just rubs off. It can't help but rub off on you.


CUOMO: Strong move by the Saints. Great for Devon -- thank you for being an inspiration.

PEREIRA: Well done. Well done team.

BOLDUAN: Good stuff and more good stuff, a double dose today. There's a reason for a double dose, the NEW DAY family is growing.

PEREIRA: Look at them.

BOLDUAN: Senior producer Lauren Mensch (ph) and her husband welcomed two twin boys Ryan Max and Benjamin Chase into the world. Born a minute apart. The competition already begins between those two adorable little munchkins. Congratulations to both of you.

CUOMO: Ryan Max and Benjamin Chase.

BOLDUAN: Such strong names.

CUOMO: No Chris in there.

PEREIRA: So excited for Josh and Lauren.

BOLDUAN: No Chris in there -- correct. And that's how it should be.

CUOMO: Still you get to make up for it with your kid.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Since it's a girl.

PEREIRA: Good luck with that.


CUOMO: Time for the "NEWSROOM," Carol Costello. Also known as Chris.


CUOMO: Everybody calls you Chris.

BOLDUAN: And every show, Carol. Just take it, please, and run.

COSTELLO: I will, Kate. Such good advice from you this morning. Have a great day guys.

"NEWSROOM" starts now.