“Scooter” Dickey, trainer of Flat Out (No. 1, 4-1) by telephone: “The post position doesn’t make any difference to him. I
like my chances, and the horse is doing well. He arrived there yesterday and
went around the track this morning.”
Drew Coontz, assistant to Chris Block,
trainer of Giant Oak (No. 4, 5-1): “We decided this would be the place to go
after the Stephen Foster at Churchill. We didn’t move early, but we did go with
Duke of Mischief in the race. [Giant Oak has] been doing great.”
James Bond, trainer of Tizway (No. 5, 6-1):
“This is a great bunch of horses. Strong. It’s a great, great field. This is
about as good as it gets. He’s training up to this race as good or better than
he came up to the Met [Mile]. We gave him a few easy weeks after that. He’s been
training at Oklahoma; he seems to thrive on it. He’s got a
great post. He’s pretty ratable. He’s sound now, and I’m able to train him every
day. Rajiv [Maragh] and I both believe he’ll get the distance.”
Al Stall, Jr.,
trainer of Apart (No. 10, 6-1):
“There will never be another Blame, as far as we’re concerned. We’re just
hoping Apart can pick up some pieces. We’re just excited to be here and happy to
run for a $750,000 pot.
“Apart has made a few mistakes.
He’s a little spotty in his running. He’s there, he backs up, he comes on again.
We feel if he ever just puts it together, which he is supposed to do with age
and maturity if you look at his pedigree, he’ll be right there in one of these
John Kimmel, trainer of Friend Or Foe (No.
2, 8-1): “[Skipping the Evan Shipman] was a
last-minute change, obviously, because the track was unsuitable for us. I always
thought the horse was able and ready at this point to run in Grade 1
competition, but I was trying to give him good experience around two turns. His
two experiences here last year he kind of got banged up in the middle of the
first turn of the Travers, and he did come back and run a bang-up race in the
Empire Classic. I just think he's a bigger, stronger, more mature horse and I'm
real happy we drew inside. We can kind of come out forwardly and get good
position on the inside and I'm very optimistic about this
don't think he'll be too far out of it being on the inside. I think he'll come
out forwardly. If somebody wants to make the lead in front of him, they'll have
to use their horse a little bit. So I can kind of see him sitting in the pocket
behind a little more of a contentious pace if it actually does develop that
“I tell you, you look up and down and you can make a case for
everybody in here, and, certainly the horse that wins this will go right to the
head of the leader board in the division. So, I'm just excited to be in here,
and I'm excited to be in here with a horse that I really think has a legitimate
chance to show himself as a 4-year-old this year.”
David Fawkes, trainer of Duke of Mischief
(No. 11, 8-1): “With the quarter-mile stretch at Churchill Downs, I think he
moved a little early [in the Stephen Foster]. He made the lead around the eighth
pole and flattened out. He still ran a good race. He isn’t quite as keen early
in the races. He’s more willing to sit back and let the races develop and make a
“It’s a wide-open division. I
don’t see any standouts. I think his numbers are good enough to win this race.
I’m not unhappy with the post position. Hopefully he can settle in behind the
early horses and go from there.”
Nick Zito, trainer of Morning Line (No. 3,
10-1): “[Morning Line and Commentator] are comparable. Commentator was a
type of horse that stayed close. Morning Line stays close. They both have a lot
of courage. Ironically, they are going to be ridden by John Velazquez. We just
think he’s got a really good chance. He won here by 11 lengths going a mile and
“He has to be in the race early.
Johnny will put him into the race and get a good spot. Fitness-wise, he is very
fit. I have no excuse fitness-wise. It’s only a month ago he ran. He’s had two
great works since then. We’ll see what happens. I thought he would be 4-1, 5-1,
or 6-1 [on the morning line]. It just shows you how deep the field is and how
strong it is, obviously for a horse of his magnitude to be 10-1. He’s still a
Grade 1 winner and he has run tremendous races. There are a lot of good horses
in here. I have a theory of where you have to beat them all, and I actually
think in this particular race, you have to beat them all. They look that good.
Morning Line has a lot of talent. Hopefully, it works out for him.”
Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable, owner
of Rail Trip (No. 7, 12-1), by telephone: “I’m happy with the post. I prefer
being somewhere to the middle and out.
“I’m hoping he’ll move forward
off [the Easy Goer]. He had to make the pace all by himself and he got a little
tired. Rick is very pleased with him. If Rick is happy, I’m happy.
“I think his foot issue is behind
him. He had a ligament injury, and Dr. Bramlage recommended turning him out. It
took him a while to work through it. Hopefully we’ll never see it again.”
Michael Maker, trainer of Headache (No. 8,
20-1) by telephone: “I think it’s a good post position for his style. I
don’t think the post is too significant, but I can’t be disappointed with that.
He’s doing fantastic, and he’ll gallop up
to the race.”