On a speed-favoring track, where jockey Bejarano noted there
was a lot of kick back, Bejarano knew he had to get Goldencents to the front
right off the bat. In fact, he went to
fast that he ran the half mile in a very speedy 44 3/5 seconds! “I wasn’t worried at all (about the fast
fractions) because I know how good this horse has trained. He broke so good from the gate, but the six
horse (Broadway Empire) wanted to go the lead and put pressure on me. I made sure (my horse) got clear and then at
the three-eighths pole, I knew what he would do.”
Even trainer Doug O’Neill
was a bit scared of
those fast fractions. “My only doubt was
when they went a half in 44-and-change.
But Raffi (jockey Bejarano) knew he was on the best horse and he rode
him the easiest way to get in the winner’s circle. What a horse.
We were really confident, but you never know.”
Trainer O’Neill mentioned of the season that
Goldencents is having, “He's been a horse we've been so blessed, knock on
wood. He's been injury-free,
and he's been all over the place. He's
been to New York. He's been in
Louisiana. He's been to Maryland, and
obviously he's been out here in California.
So he's been out all over the place.
Just been thriving. Nothing seems
to bother him. He's got speed and stamina and class, and that's a great
combination. So he's just a dream of a
horse to have around.”
In fact the fractions in this race were insane. The quarter was 22 seconds flat, the half was
44 and 3/5 seconds, and the three-quarters was a blazing 1:08 3/5 seconds!!
5/2 favorite Verrazano had a troubled trip from the 10 hole
and for a horse that needs to be on or near the lead, he just couldn’t get
there. Jockey Johnny Velazquez remarked
about the ride, “He got a horrible trip into the first turn and got banged
around pretty good. He lost all chance.”
Trainer Todd Pletcher said, “It was just one of those things. This track
is so speed favoring and everyone is just send, send, send. It changes
While the rest of the field that tried to catch up to
Goldencents had faded, Golden Ticket came from way off the pace to get up for
second, beaten by 2 ¾ lengths. Brujo de
Olleros rounded out the trifecta.