Quotes from the Arkansas Derby

(Magnum Moon runs off to win the Arkansas Derby / Photo by Steve Higginbothom)

Thanks to the Media Team from Oaklawn Park for the quotes following the Arkansas Derby on Saturday:

$1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) Quotes:

Todd Pletcher (Magnum Moon) – “I thought it (his race) was very good. I’m very pleased with the outcome. A little concerned that he drifted out the last part, but it looked like he sort of halfway thought about jumping over the tire marks when he went the by the eighth pole where the gate was and sort of skipped over those. I think he was maybe just drifting away from that. Aside from that, I thought he finished with good energy and was pulling away from some nice horses. He showed his versatility. He’s won a number of different ways now and I think he’s proven that he’s the kind of horse that doesn’t need the race to unfold a certain way, that he’s able to kind of make his own race.”

Magnum Moon is scheduled to return to Palm Beach Downs on Sunday, Pletcher said, and “tentatively” fly to Churchill Downs on April 23. Will breeze once at Churchill Downs – “probably” eight days before the Kentucky Derby.

Winning owner Robert Low (Magnum Moon) – “He had me worried to death when I saw we were on the lead. But, Luis (Saez) gave him a masterful ride.”

Winning Jockey Luis Saez (Magnum Moon) – ”I thought there was going to be a little speed. We were in a good position, he broke really sharp. I’m not going to choke him. I am just going to stay there and he was very comfortable into the turn. He was traveling pretty good. When I came to the stretch I felt like he was looking at the gate marks so when we got there I touched him a little and he went. We will see what happens.”

Trainer Rodolphe Brisset (Quip, second) – “I guess that’s just the way the race set up (when asked if he expected Magnum Moon to be on the lead). We could have tried to go on the lead. I think Florent (Geroux) did the right thing.”

Jockey Florent Geroux (Quip, second) –”We had a good trip. He always breaks sharp and is always forwardly placed. When Luis (Saez on Magnum Moon) smooched to his horse, I knew he wanted the lead. I let my horse settle and he did very nicely. My horse ran hard. Solomini is a nice horse too. I’m very satisfied with his race.”

Racing Manager Justin Zayat (Zayat Stables LLC. co-owner of Solomini) – “He didn’t break as sharply as we would have liked. He was third best today. The winner is a really nice horse. We’ll talk to Bob (Baffert), but I thought it was a good race and now it’s on to Kentucky.”

Jockey Flavien Prat (Solomini, third) – ”We broke well and then settled off the pace. He ran a nice one.”

Like expected, he is picking it up nicely. Angel (Garcia, the exercise rider aboard for the Sunday morning workout) said he felt wonderful and was happy with him. I do expect to work him in company with Gettysburg next week. I think the gallop-out will pick up because of company, because of competition. I actually don’t think next week’s work will be faster than today. The difference will be company, and we’re right on schedule… Being off in 13, 25 (seconds to start the work) is what I was looking for, and letting him be who he is from there.

Trainer Steve Asmussen, after Gun Runner’s workout at The Fair Grounds on Sunday morning
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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