Woodward (G1) Quotes

December 10, 2019

Eddie Plesa, Jr., winning trainer of Itsmyluckyday (No. 2): "It's like when you have a child that does something out of the ordinary, exceptional, that you know he could do; that's what it felt like. I mean, horses aren't your children, but we take great pride in our horses; we take great pride in our craft. He did what he needed to do in a manner nobody would dispute was spot on or that he was the best horse today."

How much did the blinkers help? "They helped some. I'm not going to say, 'Oh, it was the blinkers, I'm a genius.' That's not the case. Paco [Lopez] rode an outstanding race, a perfect race. He did what we talked about. We didn't want to give Moreno a breather. We didn't want to have to depend on anybody else, and the outcome was Moreno ran a fantastic race. He just came up a little bit short today against us under different circumstances, and I think they're two great horses."

"It's what racing's all about. You could play this stretch drive to anybody, whether they're a racetrack fan or not, and they're going to recognize something special just happened."

When Moreno spurted away down the backside, were you concerned? "Not really, because by the time we could process that, he got back up there."

Were you worried about being disqualified? "No, not at all. It never, never entered my mind. I didn't think there was a chance in the world."

What are you thinking when they were on even terms at the top of the stretch? "I'm thinking we're going to win the race, because that's the kind of horse we have."

"This isn't a usual stop for me. I'm New Jersey and Florida. If you have something out of the ordinary, you'll bring them up here, but it's kind of my background. I'd rather be a big fish in a smaller pond than a small fish in a big pond. But when you have a horse like this, he takes you to wherever the big races are."

"I told the owners, the partners, 'Get tied on. This is going to be as exciting a second half of the year as last year was the first half of the year.' So, between last year's first half and this year's second half, we're going to have a great year."

Paco Lopez, winning jockey aboard Itsmyluckyday (No. 2): "My horse is a great horse. The other horse [Moreno] came over and bumped into my horse. I didn't bump that horse. [Before the race] Mr. Plesa said to me, 'Hey Paco, what do you think about blinkers?' The last time, the horse looked outside and inside and was looking too much. We worked him in the blinkers and I worked him twice, and he was unbelievable in the blinkers both times."

Eric Guillot, trainer of beaten favorite and runner-up Moreno (No. 4): "Our horse got bounced up, bam-bam-bam. Who knows? The horse ran his race. Sometimes you run second, sometimes you win. It was Eddie [Plesa's] turn. My horse is consistent. He ran his race. What are you going to do? Go to bed, rest, get up in the morning and start all over again."

Junior Alvarado, jockey aboard beaten favorite and runner-up Moreno (No. 4): "I got bumped four or five times. My horse was running good and kept getting bumped. In the last part, he got bumped and pulled himself out of the race. I did what he likes to do; he likes to be in front. I took the lead and he was doing it nicely. Turning for home, I asked him and he was there for me. I don't know if [Itsmyluckyday] would have beat me if he hadn't touched me because we were going head-to-head down the stretch until I started getting bumped, and [Moreno] lost his action."

Dale Romans, trainer of third-place finisher Prayer for Relief (No. 5): "He ran a great race. They ding-donged all the way around there. They ran fast early and they ran fast late. It was a good race. They finished up running."

John Velazquez, jockey aboard third-place finisher Prayer for Relief (No. 5): "It was a perfect trip. I was telling my trainer [Dale Romans], we got to the eighth pole and I got him into the clear and he kind of hung on me a little bit. I don't know why he did that, I thought I definitely had them anytime I wanted. After galloping out, he let his air out and goes on again, so I know I had horse."

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