"I was wowed in the San Antonio. I was saying the same thing, 'Who is this horse?' He didn't do much running last time [in the Santa Anita Handicap], but I was very confident this is the kind of horse he is. He can do this.
“I saw them leave like banshee indians, but they do it all the time. That's how Mike [Smith] rides that horse. He likes going faster. The faster he goes, he runs the rest of us into the ground. But Imperative just dragged me up to them. The second turn, I was running over the top of them, pitched him out and went even faster. I got to them, maybe his nose on their rump, and I slowed him down and he got big breather from the three-eighths [pole] to inside the quarter [pole], and by the time we got to the eighth pole I hadn't even asked him yet. He was already passing them, and when I cued him, he just exploded. I restrained him the first three-quarters [of a mile]. I actually had to slow him down. I took a deep pull in the second turn and then once the horse that was laying third got outrun, I pitched him into that spot and turned him loose.
- Kent Desormeaux, rider of Imperative, winner of the 2014 Charles Town Classic
"I liked his pedigree. He's by Bernardini. It's hard to buy them at the sales. They're too expensive, so we saw him being in for a tag for $50,000, so we just jumped on it, gave it a shot. We saw the horse was running on the turf, the synthetic. So he never ran on the dirt besides the 2-year-old thing that he did. We just got him because of that, to run him on the dirt at Santa Anita. That's where I train. We got lucky with it, I guess. We put blinkers and a figure eight on him and it worked out perfect.
"Game On Dude is a great horse, don't get me wrong. . . . I just loved the way my horse was improving and coming along. So I just took a shot and came out here. I beat Game On Dude last time in the San Antonio. My horse kind of bounced in the Santa Anita Handicap because he'd run a huge race in the San Antonio. I did exactly the same training.”
“This is my biggest victory. Yes.”
- George Papaprodromou, trainer of Imperative