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Breeders' Cup 2017

Derek Ryan Plays the Blame Game

Musket Man wins the Illinois Derby 2009

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."

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Older Comments about Derek Ryan Plays the Blame Game...

Seem like you are a gambler that is breathing thru a painfull lost, horse that can brake or hit the gate doors usually do not start good even though look fine to the vet behind the gate. Do not start good and perform poorly.....
Mike, dear friend I can assure you that I've looked up the race six times, including the first, which I saw in person at a sports book in Caracas, until I saw that Haynesfield hits his door in the starting gate, I can assure you also that not have happened this mishap, Haynesfield out another, and another had been the result. Tell Mr. Ryan might not be as fussy and if you want to go further than what good has achieved in his career, to look for Bob Baffert or go to the grave of Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons Thanks .... PS: The worst hockey I've seen in my life is called Pat Valenzuela, I leave you there, buddy.
I saw the race my friend blindadosalas... he broke through gate but didnt run of... they let him run because he was fine... the problem was the jockey.. he was strangling horse down the backstretch if you saw.. he totally took Haynesfield out of his running style and also Musket man out of his... QR actually after watching race numerous times did stink... I never heard of people complaining about a jockey who slows down the pace and wins.....Johnny V rode the horse perfectly...Maragh rode to win , Dominguez rode like an apprentice and Gomez got lucky that there was any pace otherwise he doesnt win..No knock on Blame hes a real nice horse.... Watch the race blind before you make excuses for an awful ride....
I am sorry your sad commentary indeed, my friend Mike. Clearly you do not know fully about what happened prior to the start of the race. In case you did not know, Haynesfield will hit the starting gate, yet they let it run. obviously did not come with the same intention. I suggest that before making accusations joyous, look first, find out and then "shoot" ... Okay? Thanks ...
congrats to Derek Ryan for finally sticking up to these juice trainers and to these jockeys who dont even give an effort in these races...He was totally right.... Dominguez rides for both and he was certainly not gonna screw with these trainers and lose possible future business... He rode the race like an apprentice... Ryan , Maragh and I guess the owner of MM had the balls to take the race to QR and not ride for second... And another thing ,, Ryan should have told the reporter that Blames crew owes them a thank you for pushing the pace alittle otherwise they go 50 to the half and Blames looking for his mother in the race.... Great job MM crew for trying to win a race.. and its about time somebody takes it to these juicers and figures out what drugs there using and suspends them for good,,,,, in most sports altering the outcome of a sporting event is a felony.... Id be checking these guys very carefully....
This is great stuff from Musket Man's trainer. Taking shots left and right! At Asmussen, at Pletcher and the jocks... You have to admit it was strange that Dominguez didn't at least try to send Haynesfield to the front.

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