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PA DERBY DRAW QUOTES

Edited Press Release — Trainers reactions following post draw for Saturday’s Pennsylvania Derby:

Robertino Diodoro trainer of Keepmeinmind, (No. 2, (ML: 8-1) “I would have liked to have been a little further out, but we’re ok there. There will be plenty of pace in there, and we just have to get a little bit of racing luck and see if Joel (Rosario) can work out a good trip. He is long overdue. The race is run on dirt and not on paper, but at least there looks like there is a chance that there will be a nice pace for him.”

Bill Mott trainer of Speakers Corner (No. 3, 12-1): “I like him at the distance. I understand we haven’t run at the two turns. I have been looking forward to doing that. It’s all trial and error. I suspect he will be OK doing it. Meanwhile, he has to do it. I think it’s going to be a proving ground with the ones who are in there. We are going to have to be on our game to compete with them. Meanwhile, we have always felt that we belong with this group. With this trip, you need to have some stamina. I am hoping he is able to show that.”

Jimmy Jerkens trainer of Weyburn (No. 412-1): “It’s better than being stuck way outside and it’s better than being stuck on the inside. He should be OK. We are hoping he is a little fresher here. It may be by coincidence, but his best two races of his career have been off layoffs — three months and two months. We are hoping the freshness element makes a difference.”

Penny Pearce trainer of I Am Redeemed (No. 5, 20-1): “I am just relived we didn’t get the one-hole. I like being in the middle of the pack, and hopefully stay out of trouble. It’s a big step-up but it’s a once in a life-time opportunity, and this is his home track, he loves this track, he is fit and ready, and he always gives all he’s got.”

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Bourbonic (No.6, 12-1): “He continued to close well in the West Virginia Derby he just ran out of ground the last part. He’d definitely benefit from a hot pace. You never know how these races are going to fold out for sure, but on paper it appears to be a race that should have an honest pace, and that would benefit both of ours.” 

American Revolution (No. 10, 15-1) “He’s trained very well since we had him. We didn’t have him for his first start. He trained very well leading up to the New York-bred maiden and he seemed like a horse that wanted more distance so we weren’t surprised he was able to step up in the Derby at Finger Lakes then he came back with a strong effort in the Albany so this is clearly the toughest competition he’s been up against, but we like he’s doing, and we like the way he continued to improve with each start.” 

“There some good horses in there. Both our colts are doing well. It looks like a race that should have a good honest pace, and we’re hoping that they can both step up.”

Doug O’Neill, trainer of Hot Rod Charlie (No. 7, 5-2): “It’s a lucky number. I like seven. With a mile and an eighth race on a mile track like that, there is probably no real bad post. We were hoping to be on the outside of Medina Spirit but he is on the outside of us. In these kind of races, you have the top jockeys in the country and we feel very blessed that we have the continuity of Flavien and Charlie and we are optimistic and we will see what happens.

On Having Hot Rod Charlie (7), Midnight Bourbon (8) and Medina Spirit (9) next to each other: “That would be a great Flavien Prat question. No matter where we are, everyone just wants to get in those doors and get a good, clean break. And then just play the pace. I am sure Flavien will be sending and we will just kind of play it by ear.”

Bob Baffert, trainer of Medina Spirit (No. 9, 2-1): “He is doing well, I will see him (Tuesday) before he ships. I’m in buying mode right now (at the sale at Keeneland).  I would have preferred to be in the middle but I can’t worry about that. We didn’t want the one. Johnny (jockey Velazquez) will figure out something. Once they draw the race, that’s it. They have all the heavyweights (Hot Rod Charlie 7, Midnight Bourbon 8, Medina Spirit 9) right next to each other. The break is always important. Once they draw, we don’t worry about it. The break is important no matter what post they have.”

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