Position Draw Reaction: More Positives Than Negatives
STEVE ASMUSSEN (Quintons Gold Rush, Pick 20, Post 20):
"It was obvious that we were going to get either one or 20. I expect he will show quite a bit of speed from out there. And if it rains this weekend, I hope he can throw some mud back in their faces early. We certainly weren't looking for the 20, but there are benefits to it."
BOB BAFFERT (Wimbledon, Pick 7, Post 6 ):
"I wanted the inside, hoping to get five. I feel good about it because if you move on him he'll take off on you. This way, he's there inside already, following in the pack without having to do too much maneuvering."
RAFAEL BECERRA (St Averil, Pick 5, Post 9):
"We decided to take the 9 hole at the last minute. The six horse (Friends Lake) can be tough to load in the gate. We hope to get out of there with no problems, in good shape with the speed outside. Hopefully, he gets a good break and we can go on."
PATRICK BIANCONE (Lion Heart, Pick 14, Post 3):
"We had a meeting at 4 o'clock with the jockey, Mike Smith, to talk about this. He wanted to go inside and I was thinking outside. He is extremely polite and said, 'Boss, if you want to go outside we'll go outside.' But I asked him again and he said, 'Boss, go for the three.' I could not refuse. He's the jockey and we picked what he likes."
MICHAEL DICKINSON (Tapit, Pick 16, Post 18):
On taking Post 18 - "It's a long way out, by the hot dog stand. I'd sooner be near the rail, and I thought about taking Post 2. But Ramon (jockey Ramon Dominguez) said he'd rather be outside, so I took 18. When passengers begin to fly the airplane, it's time to get off. Ramon is the jockey, and if he'd rather be outside, then that's where we'll be."
ROBERT FRANKEL (Master David, Pick 2, Post 8):
"I played it safe and took a spot in the middle. I don't think he's going to be in the first bunch; he'll be back a ways. I think the race sets up for Lion Heart to go to the lead and then what Smarty Jones does will dictate the race."
C. BEAU GREELY (Borrego, Pick 10, Post 12):
"The 12-hole is a good spot. We just played around and saw what the others did and took what we thought was best."
ROBERT HOLTHUS (Pro Prado, Pick 17, Post 19):
On the draw - "There was not much to it. At least he won't be in the gate long and I didn't want to be down on the inside."
JOHN KIMMEL (Friends Lake, Pick 3, Post 6)
On taking Post 6 - "We were very pleased with the three assignment. I knew I would go for 7, 8 or 6, and it turned out to be 6. I want to be in the forward part of the race. You have a cleaner shot to negotiate your way toward the rail around the first turn."
RICHARD MANDELLA (Minister Eric, Pick 1, Post 7 and Action This Day,
"I took the safe bets with the posts - somewhere in the middle. Action This Day is going to want to drop back, so taking the inside will allow him to save some ground."
KRISTIN MULHALL (Imperialism, Pick 4, Post 10):
On the draw - "I am very happy. It is exactly what we wanted. Kent (jockey Kent Desormeaux) called and said to start at 10 and go down from there. I never dreamed we would get it. He will load last and that worked out great. He will drop back and make one run and hope to get lucky."
JEFF MULLINS (Castledale, Pick 15, Post 16):
"That was the spot we wanted all along. And we got it even though we had the 15th pick. This way if the horse in 14 comes out at the break, he'll hit the 15 horse and not us. We've got a little horse and we didn't want to be stuck down inside. On the outside, he'll be free to make his run."
JENNIFER PEDERSEN (Song of the Sword, Pick 18, Post 2):
"I spoke to my owner (Ernie Paragallo) earlier in the day and he said, 'Does it really matter?' We didn't have much of a choice, really, picking so late. But I figure a shorter trip [from the inside post] is better than a longer one."
TODD PLETCHER (Pollard's Vision, Pick 9, Post 17 and Limehouse, Pick
"We knew Limehouse was going to be in the 1 or the 20. He ran well in the Hutcheson and other races from the inside. And I wasn't real strong one way or another on it, but Jose (Santos) definitely wanted the inside, so we took the 1. With Pollard's Vision we took the 17 because of the horse's eye (he is blind in his right eye) and because we thought we could force the hand of some of the speed horses like Lion Heart and Smarty Jones to draw inside of us."
JOHN SERVIS (Smarty Jones, Pick 11, Post 15):
On the draw - "We got plenty of room early, and I think we can force the hand of the speed inside of us. I am happy, because we are the first horse in the auxillary gate and you can leave a little margin of error from there so we don't get squeezed off early. I wanted to be outside most of the speed."
RICHARD VIOLETTE JR. (Read the Footnotes, Pick 12, Post 14):
On the draw - "We got very fortunate. Post 14 might have been one of my first choices because of the gap between 14 and 15. There's certainly more room there than in the middle of the gate, where there might be more of a crush. I really love the spot."
NICK ZITO (The Cliff's Edge, Pick 8, Post 11 and Birdstone, Pick 13,
On the draw - "We talked about it this morning (with The Cliff's Edge) and he will load first. That was our first instinct and we said we might as well go with it. It is not that big a deal. He'll load and that's it."
On Birdstone - "He is the forgotten horse. He got sidetracked, but he was brilliant as a two-year-old and is doing good. I couldn't ask for anything better from either horse."