Saturday, June 07, 2014
Metropolitan Handicap (G1) Quotes
Todd Pletcher, winning trainer of Palace Malice (No. 1): "It's pretty extraordinary to have a horse win the Belmont a year ago and come back and win the Met Mile from the No. 1 post carrying 124 pounds and beating last year's Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner [Goldencents]. In the process, it's an unbelievable accomplishment."
"I actually thought he got away pretty cleanly. I thought he got to a really good spot, and then I got a little concerned that he started losing that spot a little bit. Johnny kept a little bit busy on him, and he found that seam later on that he needed."
John Velazquez, winning jockey aboard Palace Malice (No. 1): "When I finally got him through, he started running. He was [hesitant to go through]. The room was there, but I kind of have to keep him busy, keep him busy. The spot was there, but he went to jump from one side to the other one and I almost lost my spot. I got after him again, and he finally got through. Once he got through, he started running. [Out of the gate], the first jump was OK and the second jump he kind of grabbed himself a little. He didn't really bobble, he just stumbled a little bit, just a jump. After that I had to make sure I got him in the race."
Leandro Mora, assistant to Doug O'Neill, trainer of runner-up Goldencents (No. 4): "We needed a little tuneup. This was his first race since he finished seventh in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap] in November at Aqueduct. Too bad we couldn't have a race in between. We did all we could. We're extremely happy. We ran a great second, so we're fine. We're going for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita."
Mike Smith, jockey aboard runner-up Goldencents (No. 4): "My trip was perfect. Coming off a six month layoff certainly hurt us a bit, but he ran unbelievable. What a race."
Tom Albertrani, trainer of third-place finisher Romansh (No. 12): "We were in a good spot, and I thought Jose had him right where he needed to be. Sometimes the post position is a huge part of the race, and Palace Malice overcame a bit of a tough post to win, but I was still happy with our horse's effort."
Jose Ortiz, rider aboard third-place finisher Romansh (No. 12): "It was a perfect trip. He broke really sharp and I was in a perfect position on the outside just where I wanted to be. When I asked him I had a ton of horse under me. That pace - 1:33 - it worked out for me. Everything worked out for me. We got third, but I'm happy for his race. He's running better and better."
Dr. Larry Bramlage, on-call veterinarian, on fourth-place finisher Shakin It Up (No. 13), who was vanned off: "He pulled up past the wire. The jockey felt him to be uneven and he was lame in the left front. Dr. Verderosa [NYRA chief examining veterinarian) examined him. They didn't splint him or anything. He has no instability or external swelling They just gave him a ride home in the ambulance to further examine him to be sure there wasn't anything wrong. He wasn't perfect when he pulled up, but he's getting examined right now."
Read more articles in the Belmont Park category.