(King Fury / Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Brian Hernandez Jr. (winning rider of King Fury)

“They were going fast, and my horse, he actually jumped away from there (the gate) really, really good. Then going around the turn, he went to hopping up and down from the dirt. Once he got down to the fence and midway down the backside, he went to traveling so good. I got to the five-eighths pole and went ‘Man, they’re in trouble from this point’ because he was just doing it the right way and traveling and taking us the whole way. He was so powerful today that I knew I would just be able to pick my way through like we did. He was just there for me the whole way.”

Kenny McPeek (winning trainer)

“This has always been a really, really good horse. We were a little aggressive with him last fall. I’m going to give a big tip of the hat to the (co-owner) Three Chimneys team. They said, ‘Hey, send him to us for a little while. Let’s give him a little break’. He needed it. We tested him at the highest levels and he came back bigger and stronger.”

“I’m really proud of everybody involved. I’ve got a great team of people that help me. I channeled a little Alice Chandler today, because what a fantastic woman she’s been for horse racing. It’s an awesome win for (co-owner) Paul Fireman and his family. I wish he was here – I think he’s playing golf in the Dominican (Republic) right now. It’s a good day.”

On King Fury’s next race

“We’ll check him after this race. I think he’s going to handle a mile and a quarter without any trouble. Whether he gets in (the Kentucky Derby-G1), it’s out of our control. We’ll see how he bounces out. We think a mile a quarter would be great. We’ll look at the opposition. The Preakness (G1) is a great race too. It could be either-or, but it would definitely one or the other.”

Dallas Stewart (trainer and co-owner of third-place finisher Starrininmydreams)

“He’s a really nice horse. He showed his quality this afternoon. It was a really nice effort. We’ll get him back to Louisville and plan for the next one.”

 

John Velazquez (rider of fourth-place finisher Proxy)

“He was not loving this (sloppy track), that is for sure. I knew that in the first turn. He kept running at the end because he is a distance horse and he is supposed to pass horses.”

Mike Stidham (trainer of Proxy)

“I knew when Johnny had to (urge) him right away on the first turn that he looked like he was not handling the sloppy track. We had in the back of our minds to try him on the turf, and now that is something we will look at. Maybe not immediately but in the near future.”