(Rock Your World wins G1 Santa Anita Derby / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
JOHN VELAZQUEZ, MEDINA SPIRIT, SECOND: “The horse ran well, but the winner took the lead on a fast track and kept running. My horse kept coming and kept coming but couldn’t catch up.
“He did have some left in the tank at the end and he kept coming, but the other horse got away pretty well and opened up again. It was too hard to catch up.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, DREAM SHAKE, THIRD: “We had a good trip and it was a bit, you know, drawing gate side was not the best spot but the horse was travelling well and the race went well.”
JOHN SADLER, ROCK YOUR WORLD, WINNER: “We have been laying in the weeds. I thought it would be good to start this horse off on the turf, much like Omaha Beach, and develop. The plan was to run him a couple of times on the turf and now it was time to get the points. We gotta get the points to think about going to Kentucky. We knew we had to be either one or two today to have enough points to go. Umberto Rispoli has been a great addition to our jockey colony here. The post dictated our strategy. I saw Umberto in the paddock this morning at 8 a.m. and I told him go big or go home. We had to get out of there with the scratch inside of us. It worked out great and I’m very excited.”
KOSTA HRONIS, PART OWNER, ROCK YOUR WORLD, WINNER: “It (nerves) kind of started Wednesday at the draw and it gets harder to sleep at night. I finally decided to put my iPad down and not read anything, then I’m watching the TV yesterday and I got excited again and didn’t sleep. Things came together and thank God, John Sadler has done a great job, Juan Leva and Alex Bosano, everybody on the backside they made all this happen. They did a great job with the horse. We told Umberto to be aggressive, but if somebody was going to go let them go. But I think he just felt comfortable, it was just kind of the thing you had to come out and compete right off the bat and he did. He rode a great race, think he knew he had the horse to do it.
“We get to go to the Kentucky Derby, that’s going to be a fun day. We’re going to try to enjoy this for today and with three year olds, he’s only had three starts, making his fourth start in his career in the Kentucky Derby, I guess we really have nothing to lose. Just go in there and enjoy it.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Hronis Racing LLC and Talla Racing LLC.