Monday, August 05, 2013

Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) Quotes

Steve Asmussen, winning trainer of Justin Phillip (No. 4): "Last year's Vanderbilt was a good opportunity for him, and I thought he was unfortunate not to win that day. For everything to work out, to have him in this position today - a good draw, a good set up - was very rewarding. I can't say enough about how much respect I have for Justin Phillip as a racehorse. He hasn't held any of the mistakes we made with him against us. We were trying to win the Derby with him when he was 3! He has a lot of talent, and you want to get that done. For him to travel as much as he has, run as fast as he has, and probably put up his best race today - 1:08 2/5 in a Grade 1, put him over a million dollars - it's very rewarding."

Will you consider the Grade 1 Forego on August 31 with him? "You consider everything with him. He's allowed us to do that. He's never ducked anybody. He's been nominated to about everything in the country. I'm just very happy with this win today."

John Velazquez, winning jockey aboard Justin Phillip (No. 4): "It was very good. The speed developed the way I expected it would. I was right behind those two horses [Gentlemen's Bet and Delaunay], and I was aware of the horse that was inside [Bahamian Squall], so I kind of got him pinned down inside there. I made my move around the three-sixteenths pole, and he responded. When you ride these kinds of horses, and they respond to the things you want to do, it makes me look good."

David Fawkes, trainer of runner-up Bahamian Squall (No. 1): "He ran huge. He ran a great race. He was pinned down inside. The jock [Luis Saez] said he didn't like the fact that he was pinned down in there, and Johnny [Velazquez on the winner, Justin Phillip] didn't let him out. He said if he gets a clean outside trip, he thinks he might have run the winner down. I don't think he got clear until the eighth pole, and when he did get outside he made a huge run. I'm happy."

Luis Saez, jockey aboard runner-up Bahamian Squall (No. 1): "I had a bad position because my horse was inside the whole way, and I couldn't get out early enough. When I did have room outside it was too late. But he ran good, he's a good horse."

Ron Moquett, trainer of third-place finisher Gentlemen's Bet (No. 2): "I'm proud of him. He's lightly raced and he had constant pressure. and he battled them all and he never gave up. I thought that the post position probably hurt us as much as anything."

Joel Rosario, rider aboard third-place finisher Gentlemen's Bet (No. 2): "It looked like a perfect trip but I was inside. I wish I was on the outside, maybe we would have had a [better shot], it's hard to say."

Tom Amoss, trainer of beaten favorite and fourth-place finisher Delaunay (No. 3): "I thought he broke sharp and had very good position. They were going fast, but he's used to that. When he hadn't separated himself from the field by the eighth pole, I knew we were in trouble. I'm going to give him a little time. His last two races weren't good, and he's telling us something."

Rosie Napravnik, jockey of beaten favorite and fourth-place finisher Delaunay (No. 3): "We broke well, but he wasn't that comfortable with the track. He was changing leads back and forth down the backside. He tried super hard and was sticking his neck out there, but he couldn't get a hold of the track."

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