Justify’s Triple Crown bid continues in three weeks in the Belmont Stakes after winning Saturday’s 2018 Preakness Stakes. But first, relive the exciting stretch run from a foggy Pimlico, as well as complete finishing order and quotes from every trainer and jockey in the Preakness Stakes.
Bob Baffert (Winning Trainer, Justify) – (From NBC Broadcast) “It was a nail-biter. They put it to us. That was a good horse [Good Magic] and it was like they had their own private match race. Somebody had to give, and I’m glad it wasn’t us. I’m so happy that we got it done. He’s just a great horse, to handle all that pressure and keep on running. He had to really work for it and I’m happy for the horse and Mike and all the connections that we pulled it out. They ran fast; I’ve never had one run that fast here. It took a lot out of me but I’m just glad … everybody came to see a good horse race. It was a great horse race. Good Magic, I tip my hand to him. He made us really work. He’s a really good horse.”
Mike Smith (Winning Jockey, Justify) – (From NBC Broadcast) “It’s unbelievable. It’s a dream come true, to be honest with you. It’s been 25 years since I was blessed to win my first one, which was here, and to go into it with Bob and [wife] Jill and the whole crew, WinStar and China Horse Club and everyone who’s involved, Jack Wolf, I’m just so blessed to be riding for these people right now. I’m on cloud nine.”
“He got a little tired. This is the hardest race that he’s had, but he was also waiting on competition. It was awful loud out there and the track’s pretty narrow and he was kind of looking and jumping tracks and doing a few things, but it was a good kind of tired. It was that kind of tired I’m hoping, anyway, and I feel like he’ll move forward.”
Wayne Lukas (Trainer, Bravazo, 2nd)– “What I saw of it, I liked a lot. I want them to extend it another 50 yards. He was running on in the end. Luis (Saez) did a good job. A very good horse won the race, a very good horse. We ran at him. We kept him honest just like we said we would. Bob’s tough in these and if he gets the right horse, he’s really tough. But, kudos to him, and we’ll see what happens in the next one.”
“I really think he [Bravazo] will bounce back pretty good. You never know, but I think he’ll bounce back pretty good. We’ve got three weeks. I’m pretty confident he’ll be OK.”
“I thought all day long we were going to be very competitive.”
Luis Saez (Jockey, Bravazo, 2nd) – “He broke very nice. When we came to the three-eighths pole Justify and Good Magic took off on us. Because my horse doesn’t have a quick turn of foot, it took me time to get him going. He was coming and coming down the stretch, and I thought we were going to catch Justify.”
Steve Asmussen (Trainer, Tenfold, 3rd) – “Honestly, you saw them go by the first time, and I was concerned with where he was. He was a little farther back than I thought he would be. He was pretty wide around the first turn. You see them down the backside, and you know he got in a great position into the second. When they came out of the fog, he was in the game. I’d say he got beat three-quarters of a length for all of it. He’s a top-class horse who is getting better. We were three-quarters of a length away from where we want to be, let’s figure out how to get it.”
(The Belmont next?) “Absolutely. Heck yes.”
Ricardo Santana Jr. (Jockey, Tenfold, 3rd) – “I was happy in the position I was in. He ran a good race but he’s still just a baby. I am happy with the third place and how he finished. He’s going to be tough later this year. I was happy with the way he ran.”
Chad Brown (Trainer, Good Magic, 4th) – “No, I didn’t want the horse on the lead. I’m disappointed with the trip. The post didn’t help. We were inside [Justify] the whole way. Unfortunately, our horse took the worst of it being on the fence and getting pressed the whole way. He’s just not a horse that runs on the lead, so I’m pretty disappointed. He didn’t give up. I know this horse very well and he’s not a horse to be on the lead. No way.
“You guys asked me all week what I wanted to do – sit off the pace and follow [Justify] around the track. And he’s following us around.
“Obviously, I entered my horse in the race because I thought there was a chance that [Justify] could be beaten and we could win the race. But it just wasn’t a good fit. I would have liked to see a different scenario where maybe we were just off the pace a little bit and not being pressed on the fence the whole way. I’m disappointed.
“The post really hurt. When the horse broke so well as he did and you’re inside the other horse it doesn’t leave the rider with too many choices.”
Jose Ortiz (Jockey, Good Magic, 4th) – “Mike (Smith) broke very well as we expected and he stayed in the middle of the track which I knew he was going to do. I tried to take back a little but the pace wasn’t too fast. He was relaxed but Mike was just sitting chilly on his horse. We were going very easy. I made my run the same time he did, but I didn’t have horse underneath me.”
Tom Amoss (Trainer, Lone Sailor, 5th) – “He got beat 2 1/2 lengths, but I don’t know anything else. I know we went by the grandstand last but fairly close, closer than last time. I know I broke better. But after that, I can’t tell you much…. Look, Justify was favored. We were 2 1/2 lengths from Justify today, which is a moral victory. Unfortunately we weren’t better than fifth. But I don’t know the details of the race.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. (Jockey, Lone Sailor, 5th) – “He had a real good race. No complaints. He got beat maybe a length and a half, two lengths. He’s a good horse.”
Wayne Lukas (Trainer, Sporting Chance, 6th)– “He got really in trouble, He got wiped out in the first turn, big time. He almost goes down. It was really bad.
Luis Contreras (Jockey, Sporting Chance, 6th) – “He never really performed like we wanted. The first time I tried to put him in the race he just didn’t want to go forward.”
John Servis (Trainer, Diamond King, 7th) – “I didn’t get to see much. Javier [Castellano] said he broke a step slow and he had to use him a little bit to get position. Once he was in position he was comfortable. On the turn, they started to quicken, he asked him, and he started to quicken, but he just couldn’t keep up. No real excuse.”
Javier Castellano (Jockey, Diamond King, 7th) – “Out of the gate, I missed the first step and that cost me a little bit. He was off the pace, and we dropped three, four lengths behind. I had a good trip after that. He didn’t really take to the track and it was tough to try to put him in the game.”
Rodolphe Brisset (Trainer, Quip, 8th) – “It looked like we had a good trip but he just stopped. We were in good position. It looks like he came back OK.”
Florent Geroux (Jockey, Quip, 8th) – “The horse seemed to come back fine. At the half-mile pole, he just stopped.”