Notable Quotes and Comments After 2018 Kentucky Derby

Racing
There was much jostling for position in the early stages of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Justify remained unbeaten with a powerful 2 ½-length win as the 2.90-1 favorite in the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

With 20 horses in the field and a sloppy racetrack, there was plenty of jockeying for position behind the fast pace and traffic when it came time for the stretch run.

Read on to find out what the trainers and jockeys thought about their horses in the first jewel of the Triple Crown and what the had to say about this year’s Derby winner.


“We saw something really great. That’s greatness right there. When he won his second race we were in [American] Pharoah territory.”

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, comparing 2018 Kentucky Derby winner Justify to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah

“Going into the race the main concern was just getting him out of the gate. This horse is so talented. I keep using the term ‘above average’ because he has a mind to him as well. It was a sigh of relief when I got him out of the gate and I just stayed out of his way. Bolt d’Oro came to my outside the first time by the wire and I figured if we were going fast up front, they’re going fast behind me as well.”

Mike Smith describing his Kentucky Derby win aboard Justify


“I really thought I was going to get there. It felt great to be in the position I was in. My horse tried so hard and I can’t wait for his future. We had a great trip and he ran so hard.”

Jose Ortiz, rider of Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic

“I’m very proud of him. He attended a very fast pace. We knew going in that Justify looked like a big monster and we didn’t want to be too far away. Jose [Ortiz] executed it perfect. I asked him to follow him even if the pace was a little quick to keep him in close range. We thought he was the horse to beat and it was true. Very proud of our horse.”

Trainer Chad Brown discussing the runner-up finish by 2017 champion 2-year-old male Good Magic


“I had a perfect trip. That’s why I was looking forward to today, because I knew there was a lot of speed. He was the only horse that came from behind. I was proud the way he did it. He finished good; I’m satisfied the way he did it.”

Javier Castellano, who guided Audible to a third-place finish

“Audible ran best of our horses. Javier [Castellano] told me he couldn’t get going early in the race. He said the horse had trouble with the track and the kickback. He just couldn’t get him going. It’s frustrating when something like this happens. Javier said he thought he might have been on the best horse if he could have got going earlier.”

Trainer Todd Pletcher on Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Audible


“I got slammed out of the gate pretty good. I would have liked to be a tad bit closer, but I ended up with a pretty good trip without getting stopped. I got in a little situation turning for home as I had to weave through a couple of horses but I got a clear run down the lane. He had a good chance to really run down the lane. He ran hard and good. Fourth is huge.”

Drayden Van Dyke, after riding Instilled Regard to a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby


“At the three-eighths pole, I had a wall of horses come back into me. He got stopped dry, stopped dry. My argument, in the end, would be that he probably would have been third.”

Kent Desormeaux, rider of fifth-place finisher My Boy Jack

“He got stopped cold. Awesome performance to recover and run fifth. Love, love, love his heart.”

Keith Desormeaux, trainer of fifth-place finisher My Boy Jack



“I was surprised how good he handled the sloppy track. I got a good break and tried to stay as close as I could. I got a bit of a wide trip but it happens in a race like this. He moved very good on the far turn but horses passed me in the end.”

Luis Contreras, who rode sixth-place finisher Bravazo

He ran really well. I’m very pleased. He was in contention at the eighth pole. His odds were 69-1 and he ran way better than that.”

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas on sixth-place finisher Bravazo


“It went pretty good at first, then horses came backing up in front of me and I had nowhere to go. I had to check him a little bit and after that he came back. When I asked him he was there, he was coming.”        

Irad Ortiz Jr., after finishing seventh on Hofburg


“It started out really, really good. We had a good position inside. We were making up some ground and then on the backside we had to wait behind a horse that was stopping. We were forced to drop back and re-rally and that’s tough to do. We’re very proud of our horse.”

Tom Amoss, trainer of eighth-place finisher Lone Sailor


“He broke well. It’s tough obviously starting that far outside. We got into a good position in the far turn but just couldn’t make up that much ground.”

John Velazquez, after riding Vino Rosso to a ninth-place finish


“I knew he was up against it, especially since we were going to try something different with him. You have to take a chance. He earned his way and he ran 10th and there were some good horses behind him.”

Bob Baffert describing the trip for 10th-place finisher Solomini 

“The track [condition] didn’t bother him. We stayed on the fence and made a nice run at the end. He ran the way he was supposed to.”

Flavien Prat, rider of Solomini  (10th)


“I had perfect position. My horse tried very hard but he got tired.”

Paco Lopez, rider of Firenze Fire (11th)


“We all had a thrill. Mr. [B. Wayne] Hughes was having a thrill and was like ‘wow,’ and we were all excited. I was excited. Then, when the real running started, he just didn’t have it. Victor [Espinoza] said he tapped him a few times and when he didn’t respond, he knew he was in trouble.”

Mick Ruis, trainer of 12th-place finisher Bolt d’Oro

“I had a great trip. I just didn’t have enough horse to run with them. I was where I wanted to be. I was stalking the favorite all the way around but I was pretty much done at the half-mile pole.”

Victor Espinoza, rider of Bolt d’Oro (12th)


“We broke well and were in a good spot into the turn. We got to the rail and rated well on the backstretch. When I asked him to go he didn’t respond.”

Jose Lezcano, rider of Flameaway (13th)



“We just got bounced around a lot. Congrats to the top three, especially the winner, who’s a freak. My horse didn’t like the conditions today, but we’ll regroup.”

Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of Enticed (14th)


“The distance was just too much for him.”

 Corey Lanerie, rider of pacesetter Promises Fulfilled, who faded to finish 15th

“He [Justify] was right next to us the whole way and we just weren’t able to hold him off. It was an unbelievable performance by the winner, on this track, going that fast. He never stopped. He may be a super horse.”

Dale Romans, trainer of Promises Fulfilled (15th) and Free Drop Billy (16th), describing the performance of Kentucky Derby victor Justify

“It’ll be fun one year whenever Dale [Romans] wins the Derby. He didn’t fire.”

 Robby Albarado, rider of Free Drop Billy (16th)


“My horse did not like the wet track. I was happy with the trip I had on the outside. I was about to take a good position but floated two-three wide on the first turn. He just didn’t handle the off-going very well.”

Florent Geroux, rider of Louisiana Derby winner Noble Indy (17th)


“I tried to get him into the best spot I could breaking from that far out but he never really handled the kickback.”

Ricardo Santana Jr., rider of Combatant (18th)

“The draw just crushed him. He went about a mile and a half today. There’s nothing anybody can do about it. The winner was brilliant. It’ll be exciting to watch Justify go on.”

Steve Asmussen, trainer of Combatant (18th)


“He broke and put his ears back. A couple of jumps after the start, everyone was on top of me and I couldn’t get the spot I wanted. We will see in the next race if he will be any better. I didn’t think liked the track either.”

Luis Saez, rider of Arkansas Derby winner Magnum Moon, who ran 19th in his first career defeat

“Magnum Moon, Luis (Saez) said he didn’t like the track at all. He said the kickback got to him.”

Todd Pletcher, trainer of Magnum Moon, after the Arkansas Derby winner finished 19th of 20


“He just got knocked over coming out of the gate and then he got knocked over again going into the first bend, but he’ll be fine. He was never used to getting that much kickback. It’s a totally different experience, you know, so, we’ll be fine. We’ll take him home and give him a break and come back [for the Breeders’ Cup Classic]. We’ll look forward to the Classic with him.”

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of United Arab Emirates Derby winner Mendelssohn, after his charge endured a tough trip in a last-place finish

“He got beat up out the gate and proceeded to check on the first turn and was never in a good place. The race was over (for him) then. The track condition did not bother him he had a rough trip early on.”

Ryan Moore, rider of Mendelssohn, who finished last of 20

2018 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve
May 5th, 2018

Winning Time: 2:04.20
  • Purse: $2,000,000
  • Distance: 1 1/4 Miles
  • Age: 3 yo
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Winning Time: 2:04.20
Results
Win
Place
Show
1st
7 Justify
$7.80
$6.00
$4.40
2nd
6 Good Magic
$9.20
$6.60
3rd
5 Audible
$5.80
4th
15 Instilled Regard
6th
13 Bravazo
7th
9 Hofburg
8th
8 Lone Sailor
  • Owner / G M B Racing
  • Breeder / Alexander - Groves - Matz, LLC.
9th
18 Vino Rosso
10th
17 Solomini
11th
1 Firenze Fire
12th
11 Bolt d'Oro
13th
4 Flameaway
14th
12 Enticed
15th
3 Promises Fulfilled
16th
2 Free Drop Billy
17th
19 Noble Indy
19th
16 Magnum Moon
20th
14 Mendelssohn
Scratches
Payoff
Pick 3
4-9-7
4-9-7
$3,275
Pick 3
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-9-7
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-9-7
$104
Pick 4
10-4-9-7/21
10-4-9-7/21
$69,885
Pick 5
7-10-4-9-7/21
7-10-4-9-7/21
$620,828
Pick 6 Jackpot
6-7-10-4-9-7/21
6-7-10-4-9-7/21
$17,117
Daily Double
OAKS/DERBY-14-7
OAKS/DERBY-14-7
$17
Daily Double
9-7
9-7
$44
Exacta
7-6
7-6
$70
Consolation Pick 3
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-1-7
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-1-7
$6
Future Wager
POOL 4 EXACTA12-8
POOL 4 EXACTA12-8
$81
Future Wager
POOL 4-12
POOL 4-12
$8
Future Wager
SIRE EXACTA 15-4
SIRE EXACTA 15-4
$505
Future Wager
POOL 2-24
POOL 2-24
$7
Future Wager
POOL 3-12
POOL 3-12
$14
Future Wager
POOL 3 EXACTA 12-10
POOL 3 EXACTA 12-10
$246
Future Wager
POOL 2 EXACTA 24-10
POOL 2 EXACTA 24-10
$70
Future Wager
SIRE-15
SIRE-15
$55
Future Wager
OAKS/DERBY EXACTA 14-12
OAKS/DERBY EXACTA 14-12
$36
Future Wager
POOL 1-24
POOL 1-24
$4
Future Wager
POOL 1 EXACTA 24-10
POOL 1 EXACTA 24-10
$52
Superfecta
7-6-5-15
7-6-5-15
$19,618
Super High Five
7-6-5-15-10
7-6-5-15-10
$183,580
Trifecta
7-6-5
7-6-5
$71
Race Replay
Play
Payoff
Pick 3
4-9-7
4-9-7
$3,275
Pick 3
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-9-7
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-9-7
$104
Pick 4
10-4-9-7/21
10-4-9-7/21
$69,885
Pick 5
7-10-4-9-7/21
7-10-4-9-7/21
$620,828
Pick 6 Jackpot
6-7-10-4-9-7/21
6-7-10-4-9-7/21
$17,117
Daily Double
OAKS/DERBY-14-7
OAKS/DERBY-14-7
$17
Daily Double
9-7
9-7
$44
Exacta
7-6
7-6
$70
Consolation Pick 3
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-1-7
OAK/FRSTR/DBY-14-1-7
$6
Future Wager
POOL 4 EXACTA12-8
POOL 4 EXACTA12-8
$81
Future Wager
POOL 4-12
POOL 4-12
$8
Future Wager
SIRE EXACTA 15-4
SIRE EXACTA 15-4
$505
Future Wager
POOL 2-24
POOL 2-24
$7
Future Wager
POOL 3-12
POOL 3-12
$14
Future Wager
POOL 3 EXACTA 12-10
POOL 3 EXACTA 12-10
$246
Future Wager
POOL 2 EXACTA 24-10
POOL 2 EXACTA 24-10
$70
Future Wager
SIRE-15
SIRE-15
$55
Future Wager
OAKS/DERBY EXACTA 14-12
OAKS/DERBY EXACTA 14-12
$36
Future Wager
POOL 1-24
POOL 1-24
$4
Future Wager
POOL 1 EXACTA 24-10
POOL 1 EXACTA 24-10
$52
Superfecta
7-6-5-15
7-6-5-15
$19,618
Super High Five
7-6-5-15-10
7-6-5-15-10
$183,580
Trifecta
7-6-5
7-6-5
$71

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