Wow! Now, That Was a Horse Race: 2018 San Felipe Stakes & Let The Games Begin

(Bolt d’Oro, outside, and McKinzie do battle in the San Felipe Stakes / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)

The best set of quotes that I have seen in a long time, before, during and after the drawn-out decision to disqualify McKinzie and move up Bolt d’Oro in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday:

Before the DQ was announced, trainer Bob Baffert was ever the diplomat:

“They’re taking way too long for this. The longer this goes it certainly isn’t good. But, after the way that horse hit McKinzie at the top of the stretch . . . give me a break. It was game over.”

After the DQ was announced, Baffert — the Hall of Fame trainer was ever the competitor:

“That’s some bulls . . . Javier had a better story, I guess. I’m shocked, after the way he hit us at the top of the stretch. I don’t know what they’re looking at, but apparently he talked them into it. That’s why they should never talk to the jockeys, just watch it themselves.”

This should make for some interesting reading and watching as the camps from both Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie now prepare for the Santa Anita Derby and the upcoming Triple Crown trail — that leads right to Louisville, KY for the first Saturday in May.

 

 

I think the blinkers had him more focused. I was a little concerned early on, he was a little too head strong. Johnny made a good tactical move letting the pace setter go and then getting outside of the horse. He fought back hard, finished up well and galloped out with enthusiasm. This race was a big step in the right direction. I was pleased with the way he conducted himself. He seems to be maturing as he gets more experience.”

Todd Pletcher, Trainer for Noble Indy
  • 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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean