“He was flying leaving there. He was two in front leaving the gate.
“He didn't finish first, but he's still the winner. He's such a free running horse that I couldn't take that away from him. At the top of the stretch, I really thought we had it, but I knew we were in trouble when I saw Doug's (O'Neil) horse (I'll Have Another) coming.”
JOHN VELAZQUEZ (Went the Day Well, fourth) – “We didn’t break out of there well and it was screwed up from there on. I was actually just beating Julien (Leparoux, Union Rags) into the first turn, so that’s how far back we were. The horse next to me clipped heels coming out of the gate, so now I’ve got to steady and go inside of him. We go to the first turn and he gets pushed over and I have to steady again. Now I’m far back with Julien. Now I have to go around the horse in the first turn, got outrun three-wide, went back to the inside, and I got a good trip from there, but I was so far back I couldn’t make up that much ground, no way, not on this kind of track the way it is today.”
Does that make this one of the worst Derby trips you’ve had? “Nah, not at all, are you kidding? I just got shut off and I lost my position twice, but in the first quarter-mile. There were a couple Derbys where I clipped heels and was practically on the ground. This was not my worst trip, but it was a bad trip.”
JOEL ROSARIO (Creative Cause, fifth) – “He was doing everything perfect as we went around; everything was good. Turning for home, we were in great shape, but he seemed to get a little tired the last part.”
MARTIN GARCIA (Liaison, sixth) – “I broke good and then my horse handled the track well. We expected to him to run that good and he did.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX (Union Rags, seventh) – “He broke a step slow and he usually breaks well from the gate. Then he got bumped and we dropped far back. After the first turn and on the backside, I tried to find room inside but I had nowhere to go where I can make a move. At that time, I knew it was going to be tough to come back. It’s unfortunate.”
JOSE LEZCANO (Rousing Sermon, eighth) – “He broke well and got good position early. But he didn’t seem to have a lot steam today. He gave me a little run when I asked him to, but it wasn’t enough.”
RAMON DOMINGUEZ (Hansen, ninth) – “He ran well. We didn’t have any excuse. He was a little bit eager in the first part of the race as I suspected he would be. After the first three-sixteenths of a mile, he came back to me beautifully and we sitting in a good spot. He didn’t finish as good we would have liked. Today it appeared it was a little too far.”
GARRETT GOMEZ (Daddy Nose Best, 10th) – “He left the gate well, placed me in a wonderful spot all the way around the track. At the half-mile pole, I was traveling OK but I need him move forward but he was a little hesitant about doing so. He just didn’t finish up the way we were hoping. It’s a shame since he handled everything else so well. Hoepfully he goes on with a stellar career.”
JON COURT (Optimizer, 11th) – “The inside post hurt us, but it was a perfect trip. I just couldn't get him to the outside. I'm happy with his effort.”
RAJIV MARAGH (Alpha, 12th) – “Not the finish I was expecting but in the early part of the race it was happening really good, just the way I had hoped – a speed duel and just settle down. But after that he just couldn’t pick it up.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (El Padrino, 13th) – “My horse broke so slow from the gate. He was standing good but for some reason he didn’t break good. But when I saw the number three (Take Charge Indy) cross me right away and I nearly clipped heels. I needed to stay behind after that and try and find position and try and make a good run.”
SHELDON RUSSELL (Done Talking, 14th) – “No complaints. He’s a pretty easy horse to ride. Just a dead-aim closer. When I asked him to go at the half-mile pole, I think he had gotten so much dirt, it’s really hard for a horse to pick up when you’ve gotten that much dirt, especially in a 20-horse field. I was right next to Went the Day Well when he picked it up and I just couldn’t go with him.”
COREY NAKATANI (Sabercat, 15th) – “I was a little bit wide but I was right behind the horse I wanted to track. I was right behind (Joel) Rosario, (Creative Cause) thinking that he’ll get me from Point A to Point B. We were in about the four-path, which was a really good spot to be. The way the track’s been playing you had to be forwardly placed. As fast as they went I thought for sure we’d be able to come and pick up the pieces. It’s just been carrying speed all day, as you can tell with the track records. I just feel bad for this little horse, and Steve (Asmussen) and Mr. (Ron) Winchell, because this horse has been doing so great. Just happened to catch a track where it was really fast.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO (Gemologist, 16th) – “I had a beautiful trip. I saved all the ground into the first turn, very comfortable down the backside. We were able to relax right behind the speed. Unfortunately, I don’t know why he didn’t run his race today. It was hot today. Who knows? Unfortunately today wasn’t his day.”
WILLIE MARTINEZ (Trinniberg, 17th) – “I couldn't be prouder of my horse. A mile and a quarter just isn't his game. I wasn't surprised to see Bodemeister go to the lead, but I didn't want to be that close.”
LUIS CONTRERAS (Prospective, 18th) – “I clipped heels at the start and I almost fell. I just had a bad trip but I was just happy to be part of the race. It was a great experience.”
CALVIN BOREL (Take Charge Indy, 19th) – “I had a super trip, a dream trip really, but I knew we were in trouble at the quarter pole. He just stopped. He got choked up and that's not like him.”
COLM O’DONOGHUE (Horse, 20th) – “He broke really good from the gates and he traveled really well down to the six-furlong marker, but the surface was too slow for him. He needs a really sound surface.
“In American terms the track is rated ‘fast’ and obviously the fractions are really quick, but he really needs a sound surface where he can really feel everything underneath him.”
How did he handle the break with the rest of the field coming over on him? “He was fine. He had loads of tactical speed and he’s able to stop-start, but he found that the surface is just too slow for him. There’s just that difference between the Tapeta surface, obviously, and the dirt.
“In the lane he was really backing off and they were coming around him so when he wasn’t handling it I wasn’t going to push him. He’s got a long year ahead.”
Dr. Larry Bramlage said the colt overheated and was fine after getting some water and being swabbed down. “His rider knew what was happening and just quit asking him.”