Todd Pletcher (Trainer, Mshawish): “I have a lot of respect for Valid. I know him from running against Liam’s Map and Madefromlucky this year, he’s a tough horse to get by. I was a little concerned when he made the lead. You know when you go to fight with him he’s going to fight back. I think Javier (Castellano) knew that as well. That’s why he stayed out a little and not try to engage him, but still he dug in.
“I thought it was a quality effort. The time was good and I’m happy to see him win a big race on the dirt because he’s always trained well on it.
“I think the immediate options are on Feb. 6, either the Donn or the Gulfstream Park Turf that he won last year. We’ll see how he comes out of it and assess the fields and how he’s training. We’d like to get back to Dubai with him. He was a quality third in the turf race there last year. So now we have a lot of options open for him, not only here, but also in Dubai. He could go in the mile, the Gold Cup, or the mile-and-an-eighth turf.
“It’s kind of why we want to run today – to find out if in fact he is a dirt horse and if the Donn is an option. If not, we’d just fall back on the turf. Now, we have both options.”
Jockey Javier Castellano (Mshawish): “It was kind of a little rough in the beginning. I like to ride the horse like a European turf horse and I like to cover up a little bit like I did today and find one run and make a big strong move, and it worked out great today. I think in the Cigar Mile when he ran the first time on the dirt, I think I may have moved to soon and tried to ride him like a dirt horse and he hung. I paid my price and I learned something good out of my mistake. Today, I rode more patient. There was a lot of speed in the race and I tried to cover up behind the speed and make one run. It paid off today.”
U.S. advisor for Al Shaqab Racing Bradley Weisbord (Mshawish): "Wonderful day. Brings back recent memories to last year when we started with a bang, winning seven of first eight. Both of these those - [Marshua's River winner Sandiva and Mshawish] - all the credit goes to the European team. They were bought publicly and privately and they were sent to America in great shape and Todd Pletcher has continued on with them. They're shining here. Championship meet, championship horses, and it hopefully sets us for the rest of the year."
Mshawish covered the mile in 1:34.61. Barry Rose, whose father Harold Rose owned and trained Hal's Hope, winner of the 2000 Florida Derby, presented the winning trophy.