Sunday, March 10, 2013

$300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) Quotes

Trainer Todd Pletcher (Discreet Dancer, by phone from Tampa Bay Downs): “We were pleased with his first back. We thought it was a good performance and we thought he’d move forward for this race. Obviously, we benefited from the bad luck for the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, but we’re happy to win and we felt he was going to give us a good effort today.

(Next start) “I honestly don’t know. It’s doubtful we’ll be able to run him back at Gulfstream so we’ll just take our time and figure it out.”

Jockey Javier Castellano (Discreet Dancer): "My plan was to break out of the gate and get a good position because my horse is a speed horse. My goal was to wait for Fort Larned and see where he would go. I had a beautiful post in the race and could do whatever I wanted. I could control the pace. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for Fort Larned, he stumbled out of the gate really bad. Thank god both him and Brian are OK, but that's the game sometimes it doesn't go our way. When I saw the horse stumble I thought I would be able to win, so I held my horse and didn't let him go too fast trying to save something for the end. It worked out perfect for us.

"Fortunately Fort Larned didn't put anyone in danger when he took off in front of us and everyone was able to see how the race would develop. I'm very fortunate today and very thankful to Todd. He put a great effort into this horse. This horse was a sprinter and now he stretched him to a mile and was able to get it done. I give Todd all the credit."

Trainer Ian Wilkes (Fort Larned): "He grabbed his left front right in the middle of the heel. His second jump he just overreached and stumbled. Brian said he stood well and was just fresh getting back to the races. This was the first time anything like this has happened.

(Smiling)"He won, I didn't get paid, that's the problem. He's a very intelligent horse and I'm glad he didn't run off the track. We just want to make sure he's OK most importantly. It'll take a few days to make sure he's OK because he fell on his head."

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Fort Larned): "The second jump out of the gate he stumbled really bad and fell on his face. I don't know what else to say. It's really weird because he warmed up better today than he did before the (Breeders' Cup) Classic. He was really on his toes. He did everything right until that moment."

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