Quotes from the $400,000 First Lady

December 10, 2019

John Velazquez (winning rider of Dayatthespa)

“She came out of there (starting gate) very well. (One of the owners) told me (trainer) Chad (Brown) said make sure to drop inside going into that first turn. He didn’t want to be three wide early. She broke really well and the other speed went to the front, so it worked well. I was just holding it together and when I let her go at the quarter pole, she was all fresh. She finished unbelievable – really, really good. She started to look around a little bit around the sixteenth pole, so I hit her one time to keep her mind running but she was doing really well.”

Mike Smith (rider of runner-up Better Lucky)

“She ran really well. I needed to know her a little bit to ride her because she’ll turn off on you pretty easy. If I had anything to do over, maybe I should have rode her a little harder the first part and then left her alone. She jumped (out of the starting gate) so well (that) I just kinda left her alone and then she shut off.”

Joel Rosario (rider of third-place finisher Filimbi)

“It was good trip, perfect trip. The horse in front (Dayatthespa) just kept on going because she was much the best today. It looked like I might get a chance to get to her, but she kept on going. From the eighth pole to the wire, we were rolling but we just couldn't catch her.”

Julien Leparoux (rider of fourth-place finisher Centre Court) “I got a good trip. It was a good pace in front; she was relaxed and she came running. She finished fourth but she was very close to second. She ran good today. It was a different scenario from the races she’s been running this year but she ran better today than she has all year, so that was great.”

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