“I've got to thank (trainer) Steve (Asmussen) and (assistant) Scott Blasi. They got this horse here and it's a pretty tough campaign just getting here, to have enough graded earnings. For him to run this big in this race is impressive."
“That's my job is to sense it and to know how fast I'm going and that's why I was where I was. I knew if I slowed him down anymore than what I already was he's going to bunch up his stride and he's not going to run the race that I need he thinks to run to keep going. It didn't set up for us, he ran a great race, the winner was just a little bit better today. I ended up having a great trip with the outside post that we had. It's difficult when you're out that far to save as much ground as we did. He ran a tremendous race."
And how did he finish once you assumed the lead?
“He just kept running. He keeps grinding and he keeps going once he's got that cruising speed and the way the race set up there was no pace so it didn't set up for his style. I was wanting it to go 22 and change and 46 and change. I imagined sitting eight, nine lengths back and tucking in where I want to be. It ended up being no pace like I thought might happen so I got lucky enough to make the right call. He ran a tremendous race.”
RAJIV MARAGH (Mucho Macho Man third) – “I had a great trip. My horse gave me a great feeling all around the race track. At every point in the race that I needed something from him, he gave it to me. He was just third. He ran 110 percent. He kept coming on all the way through to the wire. He ran an amazing race.”
JESUS CASTANON (Shackleford, fourth) – “It was an easier pace than some expected, but we were willing to take it. He led on his own and ran really, really big. I rode him a little bit away from the gate and he did the rest on his own. When they came to me, he picked it up really nice and gave me a good run down the stretch. I’m very happy with his run and he’s improving, this horse. He’ll be better and better down the road.”
GARRETT GOMEZ (Master of Hounds, fifth) – “I really like him. It was a great run for his first time on dirt. We had a really good trip. Who would have thought they would slow it down to 48 and change. Down
the backstretch they threw the airbrakes on and it cost us. We were at the mercy of the pace. He ran sensationally through the dirt. I’m looking forward to riding him in the Belmont Stakes."
SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN (Santiva, sixth) – “I thought we had a phenomenal trip. Hard to believe. We saved ground, but today just wasn’t his day to win. He didn’t disrespect himself at all. He ran pretty well and was right there.”
JOEL ROSARIO (Brilliant Speed, seventh) – "I had a good trip. My horse after the first turn was a little bit aggressive. I just tried to hold him back a little bit and take my time on the inside but I couldn't. Maybe that doesn't happen and I can finish maybe third or something like that. But I got a good trip. I got on the outside, probably a little wide but for the Derby you got to make sure you don't get stopped or anything like that. Whatever you can find where you're clear you have to take."
JULIEN LEPAROUX (Dialed In, eighth) – “He had a good trip. It went the way we planned it in the back, but they didn’t back up to us today.”
ROSIE NAPRAVNIK (Pants On Fire, ninth) – "I couldn't have wished for a better trip. We had to adjust minimally into the first turn but we were in a good spot and he ran so well. He galloped out past them. I think the best feeling was when I just kind of tapped him to see what I had about the 4 1/2 and I angled him out to the outside and I had some left and I was like, 'Oh boy, I wonder where we're going from here.' "
CALVIN BOREL (Twice the Appeal, 10th) -- “No excuses. He tried. He gave me a little spurt, but it wasn’t to be.”
ALAN GARCIA (Soldat, 11th) – “Everything was good with him but by the three-eighths pole, he was done but hopefully we will do better next time."
RAMON DOMINGUEZ (Stay Thirsty, 12th) --“I’m happy with his effort. He tried hard. We just couldn’t get there. No excuses.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO (Derby Kitten, 13th) – “I was in a good spot most of the way and had a good trip. My horse’s style is to race from far back and that’s where we were early. My horse didn’t handle the dirt and he’s probably better on turf or Polytrack.”
KERWIN CLARK (Decisive Moment, 14th) – “It was all right, but we were stuck down on the inside. I really thought coming to the top of the stretch that he’d show more speed. He tried he really did.”
JON COURT (Archarcharch, 15th) – “He just didn't feel comfortable in the last 16th. I never was really comfortable in the race. My saddle slipped coming out of gate. I don't know why, because the equipment was on perfectly. He had never felt like that underneath me, so I had the vet take him back as a precaution. He just didn't pull up comfortably enough."
VICTOR ESPINOZA (Midnight Interlude, 16th) – “He come out of the gate good but he just didn't have enough. By the five-eighths pole I had no horse. I had a good trip actually but I was surprised I didn't have enough. He got a little bit warm before we went into gate, the crowd noise might have bothered him a bit but we had no excuse."
MIKE SMITH (Twinspired, 17th) – “I had a great trip, but maybe he just didn’t handle the track. No other excuses.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Watch Me Go, 18th) – “I am disappointed he didn't run better.”
PATRICK VALENZUELA (Comma to the Top, 19th) – “I had a perfect trip. He just can’t go the mile and a quarter. I can’t complain.”