Notes & Quotes From the G2 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland on Wednesday

(Concrete Rose captures the G2 Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland on Wednesday to earn a spot in Breeders’ Cup / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

(Rusty Arnold, trainer of Concrete Rose / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Rusty Arnold (winning trainer of Concrete Rose)

On the filly stretching out to the 1/16 miles of today’s race, her first start since winning her career debut at 5½ furlongs in August at Saratoga

“We thought the sprint was too short. We thought two turns was what she wanted. When she won that day, we pointed to this race. We had almost two months to be ready.

“We are going to the Breeders’ Cup if everything’s right; that was the plan. My biggest concern here was getting in the race. We were worried all week about getting in, and when we did we were pretty relaxed.”

Jose Lezcano (winning rider)

“She broke very good. The leader (City Diva) tried to slow the pace down around the first turn. She (Concrete Rose) did it for me. She set up very good and when I asked her at the quarter pole, she went on to win the race.”

John Velazquez (rider of runner-up Pakhet)

“We had a good trip, and we saved a lot of ground going into the first turn. Going into the second turn, I was starting to follow Irad (Ortiz on favored Fierce Scarlett) in there, and she didn’t seem to run the turn very well. Then down the lane I kind of pulled her to the outside and she came running, so it was a good effort.”

Corey Lanerie (rider of third-place finisher Belle Laura)

“I came around everybody. I was coming but not super fast. But I was closing in. I thought I had a little chance to win and I just kept riding for a piece (of the purse).”

Norm Casse (trainer of Belle Laura)

“She ran really well. Our barn in general has been really unlucky with our post positions. When you have the outside post, it is almost impossible to win from out there. We decided to take back and make one big run. She was picking up horses down the lane and she looked really good. She has an exciting future. Maybe if she breezes well we will entertain the idea of the Breeders’ Cup.”

 

We had a trip that we didn’t expect. I thought I was going to be close to the pace, but we got bumped a little bit leaving the gate so I was last and just bided my time. I made one run and it was a good one. At about the eighth pole I thought I was going to get there (for the win). I had figured (before the race that) I would save ground and kick on at the end and that is what he did.”

Julien Leparoux, Winning rider

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