Woody Stephens presented by RTN (G2) Quotes

December 10, 2019

Jim Barnes, assistant to Bob Baffert, winning trainer of Bayern (No. 9): "You just have to draw a line through the Preakness. He lost all chance at the start. We were up against it here because we drew the one hole. He left the gate running, set some serious fractions, and finished very strong."

Gary Stevens, winning jockey aboard Bayern (No. 9): "That was a powerhouse performance. He had a bad experience in the gate in the Preakness. Jimmy Barnes and Bob's crew did a great job getting him ready by schooling, schooling, schooling him. Then when I saw we drew the one hole, I thought 'Oh no, he's going to be standing in there a long time,' so I was worried. But he made a perfect break and when I asked him he turned in what was an awesome performance today. He really deserved that win."

Kory Owens, trainer of runner-up Top Fortitude (No. 12): "I like the way he ran. Like Mike [Smith] said, he gave he gave the explanation why the horse wasn't up as close as I thought he should have been. I didn't expect these horses to get that far in front of him. He said the horse just wasn't getting a hold of the racetrack. I liked the way the horse shipped over here. It's the first time he actually traveled a little bit. I'm comfortable he's able to ship and run. It gives me more options later this year to go somewhere else."

Mike Smith, jockey of runner-up Top Fortitude (No. 12): "He ran really well. The track is a bit on the dry side right now and he struggled with the footing, but he has a lot of class. He never stopped trying. I wish I could have gotten a better hold of it. I'd like to have seen what would have happened then."

Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey aboard third-place finisher and beaten favorite Social Inclusion (No. 11): "He got a perfect trip, I guess. That horse that won, won very good. It's tough."

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