Post-Race Quotes: May 8, 2017

Grade 1 $2,000,000 Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs, May 6

Todd Pletcher (trainer, Always Dreaming, 1st)
“I knew we had a big shot with this horse and I was hoping it would happen. The trip unfolded not exactly the way we had planned. We knew for sure we didn’t want to be behind a wall of horses and that turned out okay. [Jockey] Johnny [Velazquez], of course, rode him great. This is so special to win this race with Johnny. We’ve been together for all these years and this is sweet. 

John Velazquez (jockey, Always Dreaming, 1st)
“This is the best horse Todd [Pletcher] and I have ever come to the Kentucky Derby with. Nothing against all the others, but this was the best horse. I got a good position with him early and then he relaxed. When

we hit the quarter pole, I asked him and he responded. He did it himself from there.”

Steve Asmussen (trainer, Lookin At Lee, 2nd)
g the one was tough. He’s the first horse in 20 years to run in the top three from the one hole. A lot of credit goes to [jockey] Corey [Lanerie] for navigating a very good course from there. To me, the Kentucky Derby, everything about it is a thrill. I’m just proud of the effort of Lookin at Lee and the whole team. Hats off to the winner. He ran an incredible race.

Corey Lanerie (jockey, Lookin At Lee, 2nd)
“My horse ran great. I’m caught with seconditis – second in the Preakness and now second in the Derby. I’m still very happy.”

Jerry Hollendorfer (trainer, Battle of Midway, 3rd)
“I thought our horse gave a nice effort. We had a good position coming into the lane but Todd’s horse was too good.” 

Flavien Prat (jockey, Battle of Midway, 3rd)
“We got a good trip. He broke well from the track, took me right there. He ran a huge race. He gave me everything he had.” 

Mark Casse (trainer, Classic Empire, 4th)
“We got wiped out at the start. That’s the problem with the auxiliary gate. McCraken came and nearly knocked us. Classic Empire really got clobbered. The track is impossible. Our horse ran extremely well, considering.” 

Julien Leparoux (jockey, Classic Empire, 4th)
“We got bumped around really hard at the start which put us in a very tough position early. He really only had one race before this but we’ll get them next time.” 

Chad Brown (trainer, Practical Joke, 5th)
“We got a beautiful trip from the 19 hole. I thought [jockey] Joel [Rosario] did as well as he could. My horse really got a dream trip, I thought. He even got to the inside where it appeared the track had been better the last two days. He cut the corner and he just couldn’t sustain his run. I thought he handled the conditions well and so did Joel. Can’t blame the track. I think today he showed he just has a limit to how far he can run. He’s a fine racehorse, he’s a Grade 1 racehorse. He just can’t go this classic distance. I’ll talk to the owners, we’ll give him a little bit of a breather, and we’ll focus on races a little bit shorter than this.”

Joel Rosario (jockey, Practical Joke, 5th)
“Going into the final turn I thought we were in a great spot but turning for home my horse just stayed in the same spot.”


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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