October 19, 2021

Kentucky Derby 144 Jockey/Trainer Quotes & Post-race Transcript

Justify stands in the Kentucky Derby (G1) winner's circle at Churchill Downs on Saturday May 5, 2018, surrounded by his numerous connections (c) Bob Newell/Horsephotos.com


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Mike Smith, rider of Justify (1st)

“Going into the race the main concern was just getting him out of the gate. This horse is so talented. I keep using the term ‘above average’ because he has a mind to him as well. It was a sigh of relief when I got him out of the gate and I just stayed out of his way. Bolt d’Oro came to my outside the first time by the wire and I figured if we were going fast up front, they’re going fast behind me as well.”

Jose Ortiz, rider of Good Magic (2nd)

“I really thought I was going to get there. It felt great to be in the position I was in. My horse tried so hard and I can’t wait for his future. We had a great trip and he ran so hard.”

Javier Castellano, rider of Audible (3rd)

“I had a perfect trip. That’s why I was looking forward to today, because I knew there was a lot of speed. He was the only horse that came from behind. I was proud the way he did it. He finished good. I’m satisfied the way he did it.”

Drayden Van Dyke, rider of Instilled Regard (4th)

“I got slammed out of the gate pretty good. I would have liked to be a tad bit closer but I ended up with a pretty good trip without getting stopped. I got in a little situation turning for home as I had to weave through a couple of horses but I got a clear run down the lane. He had a good chance to really run down the lane. He ran hard and good. Fourth is huge.”

Kent Desormeaux, rider of My Boy Jack (5th)

“At the three-eighths pole, I had a wall of horses come back into me. He got stopped dry, stopped dry. My argument, in the end, would be that he probably would have been third.”

Luis Contreras, rider of Bravazo (6th)

“I was surprised how good he handled the sloppy track. I got a good break and tried to stay as close as I could. I got a bit of a wide trip but it happens in a race like this. He moved very good on the far turn but horses passed me in the end.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., rider of Hofburg (7th)

“It went pretty good at first, then horses came backing up in front of me and I had nowhere to go. I had to check him a little bit and after that he came back. When I asked him he was there, he was coming.”

James Graham, rider of Lone Sailor (8th)

“I had a great trip. I was on the fence the whole way and got a little unlucky.”

John Velazquez, rider of Vino Rosso (9th)

“He broke well. It’s tough obviously starting that far outside. We got into a good position in the far turn but just couldn’t make up that much ground.”

Flavien Prat, rider of Solomini (10th)

“The track (condition) didn’t bother him. We stayed on the fence and made a nice run at the end. He ran the way he was supposed to.”

Paco Lopez, rider of Firenze Fire (11th)

“I had perfect position. My horse tried very hard but he got tired.”

Victor Espinoza, rider of Bolt d’Oro (12th)

“I had a great trip. I just didn’t have enough horse to run with them. I was where I wanted to be. I was stalking the favorite all the way around but I was pretty much done at the half-mile pole.”

Jose Lezcano, rider of Flameaway (13th)

“We broke well and were in a good spot into the turn. We got to the rail and rated well on the backstretch. When I asked him to go he didn’t respond.”

Junior Alvarado, rider of Enticed (14th)

“I don’t think he got over the track well today.”

Corey Lanerie, rider of Promises Fulfilled (15th)

“The distance was just too much for him.”

Robby Albarado, rider of Free Drop Billy (16th)

“It’ll be fun one year whenever Dale (Romans) wins the Derby. He didn’t fire.”

Florent Geroux, rider of Noble Indy (17th)

“My horse did not like the wet track. I was happy with the trip I had on the outside. I was about to take a good position but floated two-three wide on the first turn. He just didn’t handle the off going very well.”

Ricardo Santana Jr., rider of Combatant (18th)

“I tried to get him into the best spot I could breaking from that far out but he never really handled the kickback.”

Luis Saez, rider of Magnum Moon (19th)

“He broke and put his ears back. A couple of jumps after the start, everyone was on top of me and I couldn’t get the spot I wanted. We will see in the next race if he will be any better. I didn’t think liked the track either.”

Ryan Moore, rider of Mendelssohn (20th)

“He got beat up out the gate and proceeded to check on the first turn and was never in a good place. The race was over (for him) then. The track condition did not bother him, he had a rough trip early on.”

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Bob Baffert, trainer of Justify (1st), Solomini (10th)

“We saw something really great. That’s greatness right there. When he won his second race we were in (American) Pharoah territory.”

On Solomini

“I knew he was up against it, especially since we were going to try something different with him. You have to take a chance. He earned his way and he ran 10th and there were some good horses behind him.”

Chad Brown, trainer of Good Magic (2nd)

“I’m very proud of him. He attended a very fast pace. We knew going in that Justify looked like a big monster and we didn’t want to be too far away. Jose (Ortiz) executed it perfect. I asked him to follow him even if the pace was a little quick to keep him in close range. We thought he was the horse to beat and it was true. Very proud of our horse. He held on for second there. We’re working our way toward that winner’s circle. It wasn’t to be this year. It was a tough field. But I’m real proud of this horse. He kept fighting all the way to the end and he showed that he’s a top-class horse.”

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Audible (3rd), Vino Rosso (9th), Noble Indy (17), Magnum Moon (19th)

“Audible ran best of our horses. Javier (Castellano) told me he couldn’t get going early in the race. He said the horse had trouble with the track and the kickback. He just couldn’t get him going. It’s frustrating when something like this happens. Javier said he thought he might have been on the best horse if he could have got going earlier. Magnum Moon, Luis (Saez) said he didn’t like the track at all. He said the kickback got to him.  Johnny (Velazquez) said Vino Rosso didn’t like it (the track) either. He just didn’t want to be out there. Florent (Geroux) on Noble Indy got his trip; he just wasn’t good enough.”

Jerry Hollendorfer, trainer of Instilled Regard (4th)

“We ran fourth. It’s a lot better than running back more than that. I’m not sure what we’ll do, but I think we’ll freshen him up (after this race).”

Keith Desormeaux, trainer of My Boy Jack (5th)

“He got stopped cold. Awesome performance to recover and run fifth. Love, love, love his heart.”

D. Wayne Lukas, trainer of Bravazo (6th)

“He ran really well. I’m very pleased. He was in contention at the eighth pole. His odds were 69-1 and he ran way better than that.”

Bill Mott, trainer of Hofburg (7th)

“His trip was a bit rough.”

Tom Amoss, trainer of Lone Sailor (8th)

“It started out really, really good. We had a good position inside. We were making up some ground and then on the backside we had to wait behind a horse that was stopping. We were forced to drop back and re-rally and that’s tough to do. We’re very proud of our horse.”

Jason Servis, trainer of Firenze Fire (11th)

“He ran great and we beat the odds to get here.”

Mick Ruis, trainer of Bolt d’Oro (12th)

“We all had a thrill. Mr. (B. Wayne) Hughes was having a thrill and was like ‘wow’ and we were all excited. I was excited. Then, when the real running started, he just didn’t have it. Victor (Espinoza) said he tapped him a few times and when he didn’t respond, he knew he was in trouble and he just didn’t feel like beating him up. We’ll see how he comes back and scope him; see if there was any mucus or anything like that. We’ll see how his legs are and in a few days we’ll go from there. He’s always been a nice sound horse. We’ll just see what he does.”

Mark Casse, trainer of Flameaway (13th)

“Jose (Lezcano) said he was running real nice and he felt good and thought he was doing good. Said he switched leads and then he started backing up. So I am just going back to make sure he is OK.”

Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Enticed (14th)

“We just got bounced around a lot. Congrats to the top three, especially the winner, who’s a freak. My horse didn’t like the conditions today but we’ll regroup.”

Dale Romans, trainer of Promises Fulfilled (15th), Free Drop Billy (16th)

On Promises Fulfilled

“He (Justify) was right next to us the whole way and we just weren’t able to hold him off. It was an unbelievable performance by the winner, on this track, going that fast. He never stopped. He may be a super horse.”

On Free Drop Billy

“He was laying in position, but it looked like he was never getting a hold of (the track). I don’t know.”

Steve Asmussen, trainer of Combatant (18th)

“The draw just crushed him. He went about a mile and a half today. There’s nothing anybody can do about it. The winner was brilliant. It’ll be exciting to watch Justify go on.”

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Mendelssohn (20th)

“He just got knocked over coming out of the gate and then he got knocked over again going into the first bend, but he’ll be fine. He was never used to getting that much kickback. It’s a totally different experience, you know, so, we’ll be fine. We’ll take him home and give him a break and come back (for the Breeders’ Cup Classic). We’ll look forward to the Classic with him.”

2 Comments on Kentucky Derby 144 Jockey/Trainer Quotes & Post-race Transcript

  1. i keyed GOOD MAGIC and nailed the ex. But HOFBERG// considering the horribly wet track, his vast inexperience, steadied twice, finishing strongly,tells me that this horse has tremendous upside.

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