Fernando Jara (jockey, Invasor, 1st) – “I took him back early to save ground. It’s very special because it all happened in a year – like overnight. It was all a matter of working hard.”
Kiaran McLaughlin (trainer, Invasor, 1st) – It’s an unbelievable feeling to win for the right people. Someday I’m going to look back and try to figure how I got him beat in Dubai. I’m just so happy with everyone associated with the horse -- the groom, the exercise riders, and the whole organization.
Javier Castellano (jockey, Bernardini, 2nd) – “He ran good but we were second best today. He ran a big race. I’m not disappointed at all – you can’t win all the races. I had to ask him for the first time today. He passed the other horses easily. He gave me everything. He’s a fighter and didn’t want to get beat. He has a good heart. I feel really lucky. He’s just a 3-year-old and he’ll just get better and better. Nobody wants to lose in this game, and sometimes it’s hard to understand the results.”
Tom Albertrani (trainer, Bernardini, 2nd) – “It looked at the 3/8 (pole) that Javier was asking him more than he had been in his previous races. He (Bernadini) was banged around a bit early but he came on with his run. Invasor had more luck than we had today, but you can’t take anything away from him. This was no disgrace for us. We’ve had a great year. Invasor deserved the win today.
“He (Bernardini) got shuffled back, bumped a little bit in the first turn. It might have cost us a little momentum maybe into the first turn, but other than that the winner just ran a big race.
“We had a great year. It would have been nice to see him win, but he came with his race and he ran very well. The winner was just a little better than we were.
“It was a good pace. We were in a good position where we wanted to be. I probably would have liked to be a little closer into the first turn. He got bumped a little bit, but I don’t think it really affected us too much.
“I don’t know what the future is going to be, if he’s going to race next year or not. It would have been nice to see this horse win and be champion 3yo and it meant being Horse of the Year perhaps. It’s a little disappointing, but I’m so happy the horse put in a good effort. He tried. That was the main thing.
“I was pretty hopeful at the quarter pole. He was looking good. At the eighth pole I could see Invasor coming pretty hard at him. I knew right there it was going to be pretty tough to maybe hang in.
“I’m not surprised. We knew we had to come in here and beat Invasor and Lava Man.. I thought that maybe Invasor having three months off he might have had it the worst coming into the race, but he ran terrific.”
(On Horse Of The Year). “I would probably think that would go to Invasor after this race. Our horse did nothing wrong. I definitely think he deserves to be 3yo champ. He ran very well. I’m proud of him.”
Edgar Prado (jockey, Premium Tap, 3rd) – “I’m very happy with the way my horse ran. We had a good trip. We were able to save ground. We got beat by two very nice horses. I knew he could run, and he proved that today.”
John Kimmel (trainer, Premium Tap, 3rd) – “Honestly, I figured Bernardini was the horse to beat. I never thought Invasor would win off that layoff. He (Invasor) proved that he’s no fluke. My horse ran an A-race and it just shows that he belongs.”
Mike Smith (jockey, Giacomo, 4th) – “I really thought there would be a lot more pace but it (my plan) was just like the Derby – sit back, make one big run. We did. He ran dynamite, they just didn’t go quick enough. I look forward to riding his babies. I plan on sticking around for awhile.”
John Shireffs (trainer, Giacomo, 4th)– “I’m really pleased with his race and the way he ran. The Mosses and I are tickled. His whole career has been like a magic carpet ride. This was his last race and he’ll now go to stud.”
Alex Solis (jockey, Brother Derek, 5th) – “He ran a very good race. He was standing in the gate for such a long time, he got off a little slow.”
Dan Hendricks (trainer, Brother Derek, 5th) – “The plan was to get out clean and let him run his race, which Alex (Solis) did perfectly. It was a tough race, but he had everything his own way. A lot of good horses beat him and we have no excuse.”
Michael Kinane (jockey, George Washington, 6th) – “I thought he ran a fabulous race. He struggled a little bit with the surface, but he was very brave. Going down the backstretch, I thought I had a good chance, but in the lane, the horse ran out of stamina.”
Aidan O’Brien (trainer, George Washington, 6th) – “It was throwing him in at the deep end, but he ran a blinder. Mick said, ‘The way he traveled, I’d love to ride him again on it (dirt)’ but it’s his last race. He did what we thought he would, and traveled well into the straight, but it was his first time on dirt, and first time beyond a mile. We didn’t really know what was going to happen.”
Corey Nakatani (jockey, Lava Man, 7th) – “The track was deep. It wasn’t fair to a horse that was forwardly placed. All the horses up front early ran out the back door. I was trying to keep him in a good spot, but he was never handling the track.”
Doug O’Neill (trainer, Lava Man, 7th) – “I’m a little disappointed with the result, but I’m proud of how he ran and how he tried. I’m just hoping he will be able to come back fine and go on from here.”
Garrett Gomez (jockey, Perfect Drift, 8th) – “He was enthused early, but at the half-mile pole, he just stopped. I kept after him until the three-eighths pole, but he just didn’t have his normal kick.”
Murray Johnson (trainer, Perfect Drift, 8th) – I’m a little disappointed. He didn’t fire. It looked like he was in good position to make a move, but he never kicked in.
Patrick Valenzuela (jockey, Lawyer Ron, 9th) – “It was kind of a quick pace, but he was well in hand. Lava Man kind of pressured him and he wouldn’t relax. When Bernardini came to him, he couldn’t go on with it.”
Todd Pletcher (trainer, Lawyer Ron, 9th and Flower Alley, 11th)– “This is a not game of secondary awards and of course, I’m not happy with not winning a race, but the idea is to get your horses ready and to have them run well and for the most part, my horses did run well today. There were a few disappointments along the way, but overall, I’m happy with what occurred.”
Rafael Bejarano (jockey, Sun King, 10th) – “Everything was going fine. I had plenty of horse. He was moving well but about the 3/8-pole, he stopped all together.”
John Velazquez (jockey, Flower Alley, 11th) – “We had a perfect trip. Early on, we were in pretty good position, but when I needed him, he had nothing to give me.”
Kent Desormeaux (jockey, Suave, 12th) – “He was never in it. He just went out for a gallop today.”
Jamie Spencer (jockey, David Junior, 13th) – “He was beat before I could blame it on anything.”
Brian Meehan (trainer, David Junior, 13th)—At the 5/8ths pole he just went out of the race, stopped running. I don’t know why and the jockey doesn’t know why. He (Jamie Spencer) said there was no kickback, no problems. He seemed to be going along just right, and then he went out like a light.”