- Mike Smith and John Sheriffs on the patient approach they took with Giacomo:
"I didn't pay that much attention to it (East-West comparisons)," Smith said. "I just paid attention to the steps we were taking (with Giacomo). He was getting better and better....If we would have wound this horse up four races ago, or three races ago, he might not have made it here the way he did, and he came here just right. “[SignonSanDiego]
"I was thinking if the East Coast horses were getting a lot of the press and there are so many Derby horses that can peak and then drop off," [Sheriffs] said. "But I knew that Giacomo was a pretty steady performer and didn't think he had peaked yet. I thought he had better racing efforts in him."Whatever we may think about what happened to make the race fall apart and give Giacomo a chance, Sheriffs gets full credit - he had the horse ready - he had two big bounce-back works coming in - and had enough in the tank to take advantage and get the job done; and Smith did a great job maneuvering for room in the stretch and getting him home.
"It's not like each race is so important. It's sort of like the combination of the races have to prepare the horse for the Kentucky Derby.” [Louisville Courier-Journal]
- Here’s some quotes from some of the losers.
Bandini looked soaked when they showed him about to enter the starting gate, and according to the chart was finished entering the far turn. "He was never comfortable at any time in the race," said Bandini's jockey, John Velazquez. "When I tried to ask him for run, he never leveled off." [Albany Times-Union] Pletcher said:
"Coming by me the first time, you could see Johnny slapping him on the shoulder trying to get him to settle down into the dirt, and he was just jumping up and down and climbing. It's hard enough to run well in these races, but you can't waste energy like that."When Pletcher added blinkers to Flower Alley, who was steadied behind SPANISH CHESTNUT approaching the five-sixteenths pole, he said the horse would be well back early, so I was suprised that he was involved in the suicidal pace up front.
Coin Silver (10th) didn't break well but had a favorable trip after that. Pletcher said Flower Alley (9th) "ran well." [Courier-Journal]
The last place finisher High Limit got his heels clipped.
Bobby Frankel's High Limit won't try the Preakness after a rough trip....
"I didn't know what happened," Frankel said. "Somebody jumped him from behind and grabbled both quarters of both legs, his ankle and his hock, and when we scoped him he had a lot of crud, so he had a double whammy going against him." [Courier-Journal]
In the give-me-a-f**king break category, Spanish Chestnut’s (17th) trainer Patrick Biancone said
"We knew the horse was going to be running on the front so we're very pleased with his effort.” [Courier-Journal]It's disturbing, to say the lease, that a hopeless 71-1 shot could have such a large effect on the world's biggest race.
- Wilko (6th) bled badly from his lungs. "He had a legitimate excuse and he still ran considerably well," Dollase said [Toronto Star] It’s something else with colt every race. Still, he tries every race, and, according to the chart, he began to advance four wide on the far turn, came out between horses six or seven wide for the drive and improved position while unable to threaten.
- Noble Causeway (14th):
"He was really, really rank with me," [Gary] Stevens said. "He left there like a quarter horse. I was out of horse turning onto the backstretch."Sun King has had probably the biggest decline in his stock from its peak than any other contender. He showed nothing, while Noble Causeway bumped with COIN SILVER at the start, was forced to check sharply when bumped by HIGH LIMIT nearing the wire the first time.
Edgar Prado, who rode Sun King, (15th), said: "He broke fine and was running OK for a while. But he had no finish." [Baltimore Sun]
Jerry Bailey on High Fly:''He was giving me the same feel he did [during a victory in the Florida Derby] at Gulfstream. But then they swamped me so bad, I wasn't sure where he finished.''[Chicago Sun-Times] 10th. Andromeda's Hero actually outfinished all the Zito horses except Bellamy Road.
My favorite quote is from runner-up Closing Argument’s trainer Kieran McLaughlin: "It was the thrill of a lifetime for an eighth of a mile." [NY Daily News] His jockey Cornelio Velasquez said: ''I thought we were there. We got the lead late, and after a pace like that, that should have been it.'' [Chicago Sun-Times]