Trainer Derek Ryan had some harsh words about Saturday's Whitney Handicap, where Blame upset heavily favored Quality Road by a head.
Ryan's runner, Musket Man, finished third, beaten just a length-and-three-quarters after pressing the pace set by Quality Road.
A good effort, but it could have been better, according to Ryan, if Haynesfield, ridden by Ramon Dominguez and trained by Steve Asmussen, had done his job and pressed Quality Road instead of Musket Man doing so.
"What happened to the setup," asked Ryan. "Haynesfield was supposed to run with Quality Road. It was in all the papers. Dominguez said he was going to the lead. Asmussen said they weren't going to change his style. One of these days I'll get a race to run the way it's supposed to."
Haynesfield delayed the start of the Whitney when he broke through the gate, but once the field was ready to go, he broke alertly and chased in third behind Quality Road and Musket Man.
Asmussen didn't comment except to say that the horse wasn't injured.
"What is it? Everybody's afraid to beat (Todd) Pletcher?" Ryan asked of Quality Road's trainer. "They're afraid they'll never ride for him again. I can't believe it. Instead of running a proper race, they're sucking (up) to Pletcher."
Pletcher didn't respond specifically but did point out that Dominguez rides regularly for Asmussen.
But Ryan wasn't done. He then took a shot at Quality Road, who had his three-race win streak snapped in the Whitney when second, beaten a head by Blame, after getting away with a half-mile in a relatively easy :48.06. "He got everything his own way and when they looked him in the eye, he quit," Ryan said. "Don't get me wrong. He's a good horse but he's not great like we're making him out to be."