(Trainer D. Wayne Lukas at Churchill Downs / All Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Pimlico Media Team:


Winning Trainer D. Wayne Lukas (Seize the Grey): “I thought when he was cruising down the backside, I turned to my wife and said, ‘I think we’re home free.’ He was running over that ground so easy. I didn’t know how he’d handle (the track)

“It doesn’t get old. It’s still the same. In 1980 I had the first one here I ever ran, and it still feels the same.

“2735 owners. Isn’t that something, to make that many people happy? It’s a helluva concept. It really is. To see that many people happy in racing is really special. I’m happy, but I love the fact I could make them happy

“I’m going to wait 48 hours, and then I’ll make a decision (on the next race)

“When he ran in the Pat Day Mile, I thought it set him up absolutely perfect.

Winning Jockey Jaime Torres (Seize the Grey): (From NBC Telecast) Very excited and very thankful to all the people that have been beside me, helping me. My family, I thank them. A lot of people, a lot of jockeys, we came from the bottom and to afford flights and things like that is hard, but they still do it because they love me,and I appreciate that a lot. My family surprised me here today. I have no words. It’s amazing.”

Trainer Kenny McPeek (Mystik Dan, 2nd): “He ran good. Wayne’s amazing. What can you say? Stolen on the front. He said he was going to go. I think Brian made the right move. Obviously, speed held. That’s why they call it horse racing, right?”

(Did he think he could reel Seize the Grey in?) “Looked like it. He had him in a good spot, turned the corner well. Just didn’t catch the horse on the lead.”

(Can you put the whole ride with Mystik Dan in perspective?) “Oh, it’s been fantastic. He’s a lovely horse. If you’d told me a horse would go in 47-and-on-1 and keep going …. But Brian and I talked about the pace of the race. We were pretty sure he was going to go but we honestly thought we would run him down…. It’s racing. Racing is like unfair boxing. You get punched in the mouth six or seven times, but you get to hit them once and it feels so good you say, ‘Let’s do it again.'”

Jockey Brian Hernanez Jr. (Mystik Dan, 2nd): “Unfortunately, we were second best today. You have to congratulate the winner, because he did it all on their own terms. My horse ran well, they both ran two weeks ago, to win the Derby like he did and then come back today and run a respectable second, you have to be proud of him. We kind of expected Seize the Grey to show some speed coming out of there. I didn’t think he’d be that quick, but he set his own fractions, and he went some legitimate fractions, and he was able to kick away as well.”

Trainer Brad Cox (Catching Freedom, 3rd): “I liked the trip we were getting. I thought we had a big chance turning for home. I thought he ran well. He leveled off a little bit late but overall good effort. He ran really well and beaten a nose by the Derby winner. The winner kind of controlled the race — went quick enough but really didn’t have any pace pressure. I think he cleared off by a length and a half up the backside. Obviously, that got him home. He was able to get there.”

“My first thought is to totally give him time. We’ll get him home, ship him back to Churchill tomorrow and we can see how he comes out of it and go from there.”

Jockey Flavien Prat (Catching Freedom, 3rd): “I had a good trip behind Mystik Dan. We had every chance, but we just couldn’t get past the top two.”

Trainer Chad Brown (Tuscan Gold, 4th): “It looked like he hated the track. He was under the whip on the first turn. He was backing up the whole way. It just didn’t work out. I was optimistic that maybe he would care for the track with his breeding, but it really didn’t work out. I saw a horse that was really fighting the track the whole way. He was getting hit in the first turn, if you watch the replay you can see (jockey Tyler Gaffalione) was already engaging him with his stick to stay with the pack.”

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Tuscan Gold, 4th): “You know everything really didn’t go to plan. I got pushed back a little bit going past the wire the first time. He was really reacting from the kickback in the face, his first time running in slop, it was all new for him. He’s a lightly raced hors; he’s still learning; and he has a ton of potential. It was a good experience for him. I didn’t really see the winner go out like that, didn’t expect that to happen like that, but that’s racing, anything can go.”

Jockey Joel Rosario (Just Steel, 5th): “Perfect trip. It was a beautiful trip. I laid behind those first two (the winner and Imagination) in the first turn. Had a little trouble out of the gate but I can’t complain. The winner is a nice horse. He’d been running really well. I’m very happy for Wayne Lukas and for Jaime. He got it done – I couldn’t get it done!”

Trainer Butch Reid Jr. (Uncle Heavy, 6th): “He kind of got stuck on the inside the whole trip, but Irad (Ortiz Jr.) said he loved him. It was kind of even-paced and he needed a little help with the speed to back up to him and it just didn’t happen today. But he said he felt great, felt fine, galloped out good and strong.”

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Uncle Heavy, 6th): “We broke good. The plan was to come off the pace. We made a run. He was moving good but they just kept going and never came back.”

Trainer Bob Baffert (Imagination, 7th): “I talked to him right after the race, I just congratulated him. I said, ‘You got me!’ He said, ‘I thought you would be on the lead!’ I knew he was going to be there. I think (Imagination) liked the track. I think he wanted to run. He is still learning. I think we are learning his style. I saw a lot today that I can change going forward. I don’t think he wants to run like that. We didn’t really have a plan. We thought it would be Wayne or us. Frankie (Dettori) probably thought he was in a good spot. At the end of the day, it was a great tactic. That’s the way Wayne and I have won these races, on the lead. I don’t know if we would have gone with him what would have happened. It’s great for MyRacehorse because they bring people into the game.”

Jockey Frankie Dettori (Imagination, 7th): “We were 2-3. Couldn’t get him to relax. Tried to switch leads, and he just didn’t go.”

Trainer Jeff Engler (Mugatu, 8th): “Obviously, really disappointing, but Joe (Bravo) just said that he hated the slop and he wouldn’t even pick up the bridle. He just kind of took care of him. We’ll get him on a fast dirt track or better conditions. It was a little bit of a long time before legging up and I think he was getting a little anxious. He seemed to settle down once he got on the track, but Joe said he just hated it, and he wasn’t going to beat him up. Disappointed, but he’ll come back.”

Jockey Joe Bravo (Mugatu, 8th): “I thought he was better than what he did today. Maybe he didn’t like the mud. I don’t know. It just wasn’t his day.”