Todd Pletcher (trainer, Liam’s Map, 1st) – “I was very concerned. The one thing Javier (Castellano) talked about is that he’s a horse with a lot of speed, but he’s not always quick away from there on the first step. We were hoping he’d get a clean break, but he didn’t and was behind horses. I was very concerned at that point.
“What was so impressive is that he recovered a couple times. He got steadied about the five-eighths pole and didn’t have anywhere to go. But every time Javier had to tap on the breaks a little bit you could see Liam’s Map jump back into the bridle. I kept hoping. I kind of lost him at the five-sixteenths pole, but when I saw him turning for home I could see he had some momentum.
“Those are bittersweet moments when you retire one, but it’s always great to get a stud with momentum, coming off a big win. It’s hard to find horses this talented, so it’s certainly bittersweet.
“Thing going into today is that he seemed to have brilliant speed and the ability to carry it over a distance of ground. He has the high cruising speed. The thing he did today was he overcame adversity, so he took it to another level today.”
Javier Castellano (jockey, Liam’s Map, 1st) – “I expected to be on the lead, but unfortunately he didn't break sharply. In this game you have to a Plan B. I think the key was patience. He showed a lot of patience. He waited behind horses and it was phenomenal. He showed great skill. He can run on the pace or off the pace. I had to fight a little to put him behind horses, but when he was in the clear, he exploded.”
Bill Mott (trainer, Lea, 2nd) – “He ran a great race.”
Jose Lezcano (jockey, Lea, 2nd) – “He broke real nice and he was going easy. He gave me a good kick to go to the lead, but I knew the other horse (Liam’s Map) is a good horse and he would be coming after me. He went by me easy, but my horse ran a big race.”
Christophe Clement (trainer, Red Vine, 3rd) – “My horse ran a great race, a great race. But, the first two finishers ran a better race. Hopefully, we'll win with one of our other three horses this weekend.”
Joel Rosario (jockey, Red Vine, 3rd) – “He ran his race. At the turn he kind of backed up a bit, but I was on the inside saving all the ground, so everything worked out well. We were just probably third best. The horse that won, he got all the trouble in behind and still won the race. I was happy with my race. He’s a nice ride, he’s a beautiful horse to ride and he’s an easy horse to ride. He goes out and tries every time.”
This was Todd Pletcher’s eighth Breeders’ Cup victory and he is now ranked fifth among all Breeders’ Cup trainers. Javier Castellano has now won five Breeders’ Cup races.
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