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HAL’S HOPE WINNING QUOTES

John Velazquez (jockey, Quality Road, 1st) - “He was acting perfect in the gate; there were never any concerns there. Once we got out, he just did everything nice and easy. With the way we’ve been breezing him, when that other horse (You and I Forever) came up beside him, I had to let him know it was time to do some running, and he just took off from there. I was never really worried.”

Todd Pletcher (Quality Road, 1st) – “He’s been perfect in the morning (schooling) and we were pretty confident that he would be all right (loading in gate), but there’s always a difference between the morning and the afternoon. We thought there might be more speed in there than it turned out, but they went pretty slow fractions as the race unfolded and he was comfortable on the lead in 25 and 48 and change while Johnny (Velazquez) let him come out off the rail and relax. When that other horse (You and I Forever) came up inside him, he kind of eye-balled him and just went on from there. It was a good race. He likes the Gulfstream track and we’ll point him now for the Donn (Handicap (G1) on Feb. 6). Then he might get a little break and point for the big races in summer and fall.

Todd Pletcher (Harlem Rocker, 1st) – “I was a little disappointed in Harlem Rocker, but the slow fractions didn’t help him and he didn’t have anything to close into.”

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