Post-Race Quotes: April 2, 2017

Grade 1 $1,000,000 Florida Derby
Gulfstream Park, April 1, 2017

Trainer Todd Pletcher (trainer, Always Dreaming, 1st)
“I think the whole program really helped today. We brought him along gradually, opted for the allowance race on Fountain of Youth day and I think all that paid off. The horse has been training exceptionally well and we were confident he was going to run as well as he’s capable of, and thankfully he did. I have to be honest with you, he was training so well that I would have been disappointed had he not run well, but that was a very impressive performance. Certainly, that’s why we were here today to hopefully get the points to go on. With two mile and an eighth wins and the way he galloped out today, I’m confident he’ll get the trip. Like always, you want them to stay healthy and you have to have some good luck for the next five weeks.”

Julien Leparoux (jockey, State of Honor, 2nd)
“I had a really good trip. We took the blinkers off. He was a little keen the last time at Tampa so we took the blinkers off and tried to rate him a little bit. He was a little keen on the first turn but he switched off on the backside and he was just second-best. We got through on the fence and he gave me all he’s got. He was just second-best.”

Mark Casse (trainer, State of Honor, 2nd)
“He was rank and he calmed down a little bit. Maybe off of this race he will relax a little bit more. I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw him in Kentucky.”

Javier Castellano (jockey, Gunnevera, 3rd)
“I had a good trip. I saved all the ground in the first turn and the way he ended up, I didn’t have it today. I was riding, riding all the way in the race. He never grabbed the bit, he never pulled like he always used to. Maybe he was affected by the track – the track was speed today.”

Antonio Sano (trainer, Gunnevera, 3rd)
“(Javier) Castellano told me the post position was a little problem, but the horse wasn’t comfortable in the beginning. He finished strong but the horses in the front weren’t stopping. I’m happy. This is an important race to win, but it was a good race for the next one.”

Grade 2 $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby
Fair Grounds, April 1, 2017

Brian Hernandez, Jr. (jockey, Girvin, 1st)
“He’s such a talented horse. He puts a lot of confidence in you. Today my biggest thing was when I saw Local Hero settle as well as he did, I wanted to stay behind (him) and give myself a target. Every time I needed him he was there for me. Turning for home, he got to switching leads back and forth, but he was kind of just messing around.”

Joe Sharp (trainer, Girvin, 1st)
It doesn’t feel bad (to have a Kentucky Derby horse). He’s a talented horse. We’re enjoying the ride. It’s great connections and a great owner and it has been a real team effort.”

Tyler Gaffalione (jockey, Patch, 2nd)
“We had a great trip. He’s still young and learning, but today he really ran a big race. There was a lot of traffic out there. Once we dove inside and found a path, he really accelerated and finished up really good. He’s pretty handy and you can do whatever you want with him. He listens very well.”

Florent Geroux (jockey, Local Hero, 3rd)
“I had a great trip and we had a good pace in front. He was nice and relaxed and (traier) Steve (Asmussen) and his team did a great job getting him ready for today. He was a different horse today than last time he ran. I was in position to win the race and they just outran me at the end.”

US Racing Team
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.
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