Trainer Quotes from the 143rd Running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks

May 06, 2017 Churchill Downs Communications

Bob Baffert, trainer of Abel Tasman (1st) — “It’s just exciting to win the Kentucky Oaks. We’d like to have a horse in the Derby but I’m so happy for the China Horse Club. They trusted me with the filly. And ‘Big Money’ Mike (Smith), what can you say? Incredible ride. We knew she was doing really well coming into this race. We got a nice, hot pace and it worked out. They were going pretty fast but I have a lot of respect for Paradise Woods and she was getting a lot of pressure. About the three-eighths pole he started moving and I thought we might have a shot. She’s a beautiful filly to train. She shipped beautifully and we knew we had a chance.”

Kenny McPeek, trainer of Daddys Lil Darling (2nd) – “I like winning races, but she ran fantastic.”

Bill Mott, trainer of Lockdown (3rd) – “I’m really pleased. We came in a bit of an underdog and she really ran well. She was maybe eight lengths back. I lost her a bit going into the first turn, you know, we’ve got pink colors and there was so much pink I was getting distracted.”

Neil Drysdale, trainer of Vexatious (4th) – 'I think it was a bit of a shock to her running in the slop. She has a big long stride. I'm very, very pleased. We all are. She's still developing and keeps improving with each start. She still has some growing to do. I'll talk it over with Calumet and we'll decide on what's next for her.'

Mark Casse, trainer of Salty (5th) – “I’d like to see the race again, but from what I saw, she ran pretty well. She normally breaks slowly, but today she broke well and we had to lose ground. I wanted the trip that the winner had, but we didn’t get that today. Overall, though, I know she ran well.”

Eddie Kenneally, trainer of Sailor’s Valentine (6th) – “I’m happy with the way she ran. (Jockey) Corey (Lanerie) said she cruised around there and the surface was not an issue. I thought, watching her, that she was traveling very nicely and she had a big shot at the top of the stretch. In the end, we felt like she probably doesn’t want to go a mile and an eighth. She emptied out the last sixteenth and just could not go with those horses the last part. We’ll probably point for shorter races going forward. (The Acorn June 10 at Belmont Park) is a possibility.”

Michael Matz, trainer of Tequilita (7th) – “Luis (Saez) said she kept getting pushed out, that there was a horse inside her that came out. He said she was happy and she finished strong.”

Kelly Breen, trainer of Miss Sky Warrior, (8th) – “First reaction was she lost her right front shoe. I am not blaming anything, but it’s not easy to win the Kentucky Oaks with three shoes. Our game plan was to stick it to her and try and make the lead. Twenty-two and change is fast and we’ll regroup.” 

Steve Asmussen, trainer of Ever So Clever (9th) – “A lot of things went wrong. We will try to get them tomorrow.”

Doug O’Neill, trainer of Mopotism (10th) – “Mario (Gutierrez) said she wasn’t handling the track at all; she was slipping and sliding. We had high hopes coming in but it didn’t happen today. Thankfully it looks like she came out of it OK and will live to fight another day.”

Richard Mandella, trainer of Paradise Woods (11th) – “What are you going to do? That big race at Santa Anita (the Santa Anita Oaks) might have taken a little too much out of her.”

Mike Tomlinson, trainer of Jordan’s Henny (12th) – 'She ran her race for about a mile. She's probably a better miler. She has had a hard campaign this winter and probably needs a break, so we'll give her one. We're proud of her. She always tries and was right there for a mile or a little more.'

Brendan Walsh, trainer of Wicked Lick (13th) – “She never got a blow in. She was too far back going into the first turn, and then we were dead.”

Wayne Catalano, trainer of Farrell (14th) – 'I had a perfect set up. It was a speed-favoring track. I know from being a jock, on a track like that, I knew how the front two were going to ride, so I was laying where I wanted. It was up to her at that point and Channing (Hill) said she couldn’t handle the track at all. I knew it was going to be tough because of the track. We’ll go back to the barn and go over her, scope her and have Dr. Bramlage go over her and make sure she’s OK.”

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