More Rebel Stakes Quotes - Baffert included

December 10, 2019

Winning Bob Baffert, trainer Cupid - "You never know what they're going to do when they ship, and when there are 14 horses (in the field). He missed the break a little bit, and I had told Martin (Garcia) that the last time we went there we got destroyed leaving the gate. Once he got the lead down the backside, he was going pretty fast. He showed he's improving and he's a fast horse. Down the backside, he looked like he was really doing it easier than the time said. Turning for home, I don't know what it was, but he looked a little green there and lost a little momentum. He was on the rail tight and was probably looking around. He was maybe too close to the rail, and I've seen horses do that. He's a lightly raced horse.

"I am so happy that he ran so well, especially for Martin. He works so hard getting these horses ready and he got the win. I'm happy for the Coolmore (owners) gang, too. I knew going in he was a nice horse. But he never had been tested and that was a pretty strong bunch. That was like the Tapit Rebel.

"We got a little beat up that last couple of times we were at Oaklawn (this year). The last time we went there Jimmy said they were booing him. We kept throwing 3-year-olds at them and we finally found the right one. I'm just very happy."

When Whitmore came at him late: "I was sweating at the break when he didn't break. I was worried they were going to close up on him like that they did with Collected last time. But once he got him rolling....When that horse came rolling down the middle of the stretch I thought we'll see hat he's made of. That's when we realized what he's made of. He started to kick back in. That what you want to see this time of year, them showing some grits and some guts. He looked fantastic in the paddock and the post parade. He was ready to run and he ran like he looked.

"We'll bring him back here, as long as he doesn't get light on us. He likes a little time in between his races. I'm just really happy."

Winning jockey Martin Garica, Cupid - “It’s hard for horses to break their maiden and then step up to this kind of company with this many people around and win, but he did. He’s still green. When we hit the top of the stretch, he got lonely and he locked in on the other horse that was coming up on the outside he responded one more time. He showed a lot of ability and we know he can run. He really proved today that he is improving. The distance doesn’t matter, he can go as far as he wants.”

Trainer Ron Moquett, 2nd with Whitmore: “I'm sick of Baffert. As bad as I felt all day and night, I'm more sick of Bob Baffert. That horse was able to get his second quarter in :24. These caliber of horses don't come back from that. When you're a $900,000 Tapit, bred to be what he is, they don't back up. You give them a 24-second quarter ... nobody went with him. I thought somebody would go with him.”

NOTE: Moquett had food poisoning and was questionable to saddle Whitmore for the Rebel.

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