Quotes for the $5 Million Breeders’ Cup Classic

December 10, 2019

Martin Garcia (jockey, Bayern, 1st) – “It’s an amazing feeling, a dream come true. To compete in these races, especially this day, is a big thing for everyone. In this situation, you don’t take away when a horse likes to run on the lead. We let him run, and if anything happens, you make adjustments. In this race, he broke really good and I took advantage.”

On the inquiry: “I was pretty sure that I didn’t do anything. In racing, these things happen.”

Bob Baffert (trainer, Bayern, 1st) – “This has been so long in the making. When he hit the wire, I was just like…it’s been so many years in the making and to finally get it done (win the Classic) it was just so great, and with my wife, Jill, here, and my son (Bode). We go through a lot to get here, and then there was the inquiry and all of that.

“How about Toast of New York? He would not go away, and California Chrome, he showed up. Shared Belief didn’t get a chance to run. But, Bayern is really something. He showed up. That race at Saratoga (Travers), I should have never shipped him back there. He ran too hard. I knew he was a good horse, but on my part I should have just waited.

“At the start, I saw that he broke in, but the ground broke out from under him. He broke in and then Martin (Garcia) straightened him out. I was just watching him, but I love the way Martin knows him. Just put him on the lead. He’s very sharp. You know, Game on Dude, we never would put him on the lead and he had bad luck.

“I put the blinkers back on and he’s turned into a different horse. Bayern ran fast today. He was running faster because the ground was getting deeper, He has shown his brilliance and today he just stamped what kind of horse he is. I wasn’t worried about the fractions, They were solid. They’re always solid in a race like this.”

Jamie Spencer (jockey, Toast of New York, 2nd) – “Some things are meant to be and some things aren't.”

Jamie Osborne (trainer, Toast of New York, 2nd) – “He has run his heart out and he nearly pulled off the impossible. I’m incredibly proud of him and all the team. Yes, it hurts to come second. It would have been wonderful for Jamie (Spencer) to have pulled off a Breeders’ Cup Classic on his last ride.”

Victor Espinoza (jockey, California Chrome, 3rd) – “The outside post definitely helped me get the position I wanted, I had a good trip. On the backstretch I thought I had a chance to win, but I knew the other horse (Bayern) was going to be tough when he gets the lead like that. The last 16th he (California Chrome) was digging as hard as he could, but getting just a little tired. I wish he had one more race. It was a little too much for him today.”

Art Sherman (trainer, California Chrome, 3rd) – “I thought he had a good trip. No excuses. My horse ran his eyeballs. He was right there, right down to the money. I thought it was a great effort. He came back strong.”

Alan Sherman (son of and assistant to trainer Art Sherman, California Chrome, 3rd) – “He tried very hard. We’re happy with his race. It was a very exciting race.”

Mike Smith (jockey, Shared Belief, 4th) – “I was never able to get comfortable after getting hit at the break. I kept getting bounced around all the way around the turn and Moreno kept getting out and bumped through the backside. Even so, he ran a dynamite race.”

Asked if the tangle at the start cost him position, Smith said straightforwardly, “I think it cost me the race.”

Jerry Hollendorfer (trainer, Shared Belief, 4th) – “You saw what happened.”

Alex Solis II (part-owner, Shared Belief, 4th) – “I think it's pretty simple. Right when the gates broke the horse came over and Mike (Smith) said he got hit really hard and that slowed him down - then the whole field came over on him and Moreno was getting out on him. Obviously he got into a lot of trouble. From the beginning when we bought him until today he's been nothing but a great horse and a special horse and we're very fortunate to have him.”

Joel Rosario (jockey, Tonalist, 5th) – “Good trip. I was behind the speed. He wasn’t really happy with the track.”

Corey Nakatani (jockey, Candy Boy, 6th) – “I had a great trip. I was tracking Shared Belief into the first turn and down the backside. I asked him to go at the half-mile pole and he gave me what he had, but the other horses were a little better.

John Velazquez (jockey, Cigar Street, 7th) – “We had a great trip, but he was eating a lot of dirt and jumping up and down wasting a lot of energy. I thought he still ran very well.”

Jose Lezcano (jockey, Zivo, 8th) – “"I had a good trip. I think they were too fast for my horse. The speed kept going and never stopped and he finished good but couldn’t keep up."

Chad Brown (trainer, Zivo, 8th) – “Jose said he never felt comfortable on this track. He said he knew he was in trouble when Tonalist moved by him and he couldn’t keep up with him. He passed a few horses late, but Jose said his wheels kept spinning to the wire.”

(On big weekend): “To be here and enjoy the week like we did and walk away with three winners is a dream come true. Everyone at Santa Anita was wonderful to me and my clients. Hopefully, when over the next few days and we’re back in New York and back in our routine, we can share it all with my staff. “

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Imperative, 9th) – “It was okay. He's always slow at the beginning. I made this little move around the turn and it wasn't good enough”

Rafael Bejarano (jockey, Footbridge, 10th) – “He ran good. He just wasn’t good enough. I think everyone was happy with the effort.”

Joe Talamo (jockey, V. E. Day, 11th) – “Other than the start where it was very rough, I had a pretty good trip. I’m not sure where I finished. He just wasn’t up to the top horses.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. (jockey, Prayer For Relief, 12th) – “I had a good trip. I was a little far back and didn't want to be that far (back). They went a little fast in the beginning. He kept coming, but they were just too fast.”

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Tyler Baze (jockey, Majestic Harbor, 13th) – “Had a fine trip. I was where I wanted to be early, following California Chrome and Shared Belief, but, he just didn’t have that much to keep up.”

Javier Castellano (jockey, Moreno, 14th) – “We lost our race at the break when the seven (Bayern) shot out of there and ran into everyone. That pretty much took us out of the game.”

Eleventh Breeders’ Cup World Championships victory for trainer Bob Baffert and his first in the Classic Third Breeders’ Cup World Championships victory for jockey Martin Garcia and his first in the Classic

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