Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) Quotes

December 10, 2019

Shug McGaughey, winning trainer of Mr Speaker (No. 9): "He definitely redeemed himself; his last race was very disappointing. He trained well coming up to today and we changed our game plan; I wanted him back. Jose [Lezcano] rode a great race on him. We're tickled that Martin [Panza] carded this race and we're tickled to death that we won it."

"I had a concrete reason [to dismiss his last race], but you always have your doubts. Does he belong in the top layer of horses or not? I think today he proved he does. My confidence was shaken a little bit; he was a different horse [before the Pennine Ridge], it was like he had never been in the paddock before. He went to the post and was looking up into the crowd. But today, he was an entirely different horse."

"I thought we were fine. I was keying on the horses that were second and third; I wasn't worried about the horse in front. I thought he was going to fire today; it was just a matter of if he's good enough."

Jose Lezcano, winning jockey aboard Mr Speaker (No. 9): "I got a perfect trip. We broke, and I got the position I wanted. I let him settle. Last time, he was a little aggressive. It was a five-horse field, he broke, and no one wanted to go, so he took the lead. Today, on the backside, I made a little move to try and hold my position. Then I followed a horse I saw running; I think I followed the right horse (No. 4 Adelaide)."

T.J. Comerford, assistant to Aidan O'Brien, trainer of beaten favorite and runner-up Adelaide (No. 4): "He ran well. Colm [O'Donoghue] is happy with him, and [O'Brien] is happy with him. He ran a good race."

Colm O'Donoghue, jockey aboard beaten favorite and runner-up Adelaide (No. 4): "I had a trouble-free trip. He sat beautifully and ran strong the last two furlongs."

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