What they said: Pegasus connections' post-race quotes

January 27, 2018 01:18pm

In the minutes after Gun Runner scored a 2 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Pegasus World Cup, reactions started pouring in from connections -- both the winner's and those of 11 other contenders.

Per Gulfstream Park's publicity department, here's a comment on every horse in the field.

Trainer Quotes

Steve Asmussen (Gun Runner, 1st):
 “I’m so impressed for him to come through like he did today, to overcome the draw. I’m just so proud of the horse. What a dream come true.”

“He has improved with every opportunity. Even when he didn’t have success, he moved forward from it. So pleased to be in his presence. This memory will be with us forever. To be able to share it with my family, just a wonderful ownership group. What a special horse.”

“It’s the cherry on the top, this one. This race, the world’s richest horse race after him being named Horse of the Year on Thursday night. For him to be able to go out on top and go back to his next career with everybody feeling the way that we have, and it’s built up to this point. I’m just so proud of the whole team and happy for them. How much love that this team and Florent have for this horse is just a beautiful thing.”

“He has qualities we all wish we had. He doesn’t have to have success to move forward. He never doubts himself. With the success he had this year you try to do exactly the same thing over. He knows what’s up. And how cool and collected he was and laid down and waited for the day. And the 10 post. We’re not capable of dealing with it and he is. We’re just blessed to be in his presence and he just drags us along with him. “

“You’re rooting on him. But when he broke like he did and got in the position that he did, we felt wonderful about it.”

Bob Baffert (West Coast, 2nd; Collected, 7th): “Collected, he was out there and he was in a good spot and [jockey] Mike [Smith] was happy but Gun Runner, he stayed on him. Gun Runner, he was impressive. Unless he took a step back, I knew we couldn’t beat him. He’s just a really good horse. We just got outrun.”

“West Coast, he came with a huge run. I was proud of both of the horses. West Coast, turning for home I thought Gun Runner might be a little empty but his tank is so big and he just kept going. He’s just a great horse. He just kept on running. I was proud of my horse. He just keeps getting better. I can’t really complain. We just got beat by a really good horse. He was tested the whole way around there. It was a good horse race. I just came up a little short.”

Antonio Sano (Gunnevera, 3
rd): “I’m so happy and so proud for my horse. The horses that beat him were both champions. I don’t think many people thought he had a chance to win but he showed he’s a very good horse and he ran a big race.”

Jockey Quotes

Florent Geroux (Gun Runner, 1st):
 “This feeling is hard to describe, it’s a dream come true. We wanted the horse to prove that the Breeder’s Cup and all of last year was not a fluke and the horse was there, in only one word, the horse was unbeatable.” 

On becoming a U.S. citizen Friday: “It’s great, you know a little more pressure today than yesterday, but this is why I came here, for opportunities like this. I’m grateful to have become a citizen of the United States.”

Javier Castellano (West Coast, 2nd): “I loved my trip and the position I had on the first turn. I saved all the ground and followed the big horse in the race, Gun Runner, every single step of the way. I think he ran a huge race and I’m very proud of my horse and the way he did things today. It was such a great performance from both horses. I had every opportunity to beat him and was just second best. The one good thing about this race is I won’t have to deal with (Gun Runner) anymore; he’s retired and I think my horse is really going to step out and become a top, top horse.”   

Luis Saez (Gunnevera, 3rd): “It was a tough race but he ran well. He tried. When he came to the stretch I saw those horses in front and I knew we were trying for third because Gun Runner is a champion. He can really run. We got third and that's fine.”

John Velazquez (Seeking the Soul, 5th): “It was good. Obviously I didn’t have any speed so I knew where I was going to be. I saved ground where I could, had a perfect trip and when I got to the quarter pole that was it. He took me to the eighth pole and he was done.”

Joel Rosario (Stellar Wind, 6th): “She broke well and by the 3 ½-furlong pole, I got a little bit unlucky and got pushed in and had to stay to the inside. The nine, Toast of New York, was stopping. I wish it was a better trip than that but sometimes that's just how it goes.”

Mike Smith (Collected, 7th): “The wind is blowing really hard so it dries that track out a little bit. When Gun Runner kind of pushed me at the half-mile pole, Collected got to struggling. I said, ‘Uh oh, we might be in trouble.’ Gun Runner just ran a tremendous race. Hat’s off to him.

“Collected ran great, he just struggled a bit over this sandy racetrack. He’s not really used to it, never run on one. I was hoping he’d really like it, like Arrogate did. Arrogate actually loved it. Collected runs a little higher, whereas Arrogate got lower, got into it, really got a hold of it. That might have been the difference. And you’ll notice, Gun Runner runs that way, downhill. They get right through that sand, get a hold of it and they're gone. But he ran well. I was really proud of him until he couldn't hang in there anymore.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. (Sharp Azteca, 8th): “We broke and I asked him but he just couldn’t make the lead. I put myself in a good position on the first turn.  He tried; this wasn’t the trip he really wants and he never stopped trying.”

Jose Ortiz (War Story, 10th): “My horse broke really well, but Gun Runner broke best. They went super fast and they just never came back. When we got to the quarter pole we just couldn't keep up.”

Frankie Dettori (Toast of New York, 12th): “A mile and one (eighth) is too sharp for him. I was always on my back foot chasing the pace. He got tired.”


comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Top Stories