$1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) Quotes

December 10, 2019

Bob Baffert, 1st, American Pharoah: "He's amazing horse. With the way he works, he's always been a professional horse from the start. We were hoping he could do something like that and he showed it today. We're so excited about him."

In rating off the pace today instead of setting it: "He's matured substantially. We just worried about getting a clean break and he did, and then Victor rode him with a lot of confidence. When that other horse (Bridget's Big Luvy) got off to that lead, it was either that he's going to rate or he's going to be empty today. He's a good horse and he keeps moving forward. I don't want to get ahead of myself. but Dortmund is another one who we don't yet know how good he is. We're got a one-two punch and that's a good position to be in."

Jockey Victor Espinoza, American Pharoah, 1st: “The way this horse runs is unbelievable. I don’t feel like he’s running that fast and then I look back and he’s so far ahead. He was doing it by himself and doing it easy.

About the Kentucky Derby: “I’m excited. It’s the first time I’ve gone into it in back to back years with horses like this. I think I’m even more excited this year. Bob (Baffert) and I go way back. He’s always been a help to me.”

Ron Moquett, Far Right, second: "I'm very happy for the owners. They're a great group of guys. Today we saw a great race by a superhorse. Mike said that when he saw that horse kick clear he was just going to do enough to get second and he did. At that point it didn't matter if it was two lengths or 10 lengths, second is still second.

We'll hope for maybe some different circumstances [in the Kentucky Derby] and just like everybody else going there we'll need some of the best luck. We certainly showed we belong."

When will you ship to Churchill Downs? "I'll let him cool out for a day or two and let him tell us when it's time to go. We're in no hurry and it'll be up to him."

Mike Smith, Far Right, second: "Victor was going so easy and I saw when he called on him he had plenty of horse. I knew I couldn't beat him at that point so I just rode for second and got it. I saved what we could save and we'll hope that down the road we have a different scenario and I'll have a fresh horse." "Proud of the horse," said Far Right's majority owner, Harry Rosenblum of Little Rock, Ark. "Another eighth of a mile and it might be a different story."

Ramon Vasquez, jockey Mr. Z, 3rd – “He’s a nice horse. He tried hard and really fought hard at the end. Hopefully this qualifies him for the Kentucky Derby. I’m glad the connections gave me the chance to ride him.”

D. Wayne Lukas, 3rd, Mr. Z: "I was real please. We kind of put it back together today. I thought we were going to be second, and then damn, he gassed a little bit there. I put the blinkers back on and we got back to what he needed. Coming back in two weeks (from the Louisiana Derby), I think if we'd had more time we could have been a clear second. Obviously, we were not going to beat the winner. The winner is a special horse. Bob had him trained to the minute. He's special. With our horse, it's on to the (Kentucky) Derby. We picked up enough points to get in."

Todd Pletcher, 4th, Madefromlucky: "He ran hard and finished well."

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