SANTA ANITA DERBY QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

KEVIN KRIGGER, GOLDENCENTS, WINNER: “Right here, right now, is the biggest moment of my life. It’s only going to get better, the horse, me, the team.

“As far as this horse, I had him relaxed and that’s the key to him all the way. I wasn’t fighting him, I really wasn’t, I just kept him at his pace and kept him relaxed.”

(During his post race interview with the media)

“These guys…Glen, Josh, Dave, Doug…they gave me the privilege to ride this horse the way I did today, confidently and with no instructions. I had no time when I was worried if I was in the right spot or how they felt because I knew they were confident in me.

“The gate broke and Martin Garcia hustled Super Ninety Nine to get him to the lead. I just took my hands off his neck to keep him relaxed and he stayed relaxed down the backstretch. He pulled a little bit but I didn’t want him to get closer than a half length, I didn’t want to get in a dog fight. He stayed relaxed and when we went into the far turn I said ‘let’s go!’ and he said ‘how far?’ and he kept running.

“I looked back on the inside just to see if anyone was coming since Martin was trying to float me out a little, and took another hold to make Goldencents drop back enough to make Martin Garcia go back on the rail and after that I just gradually made my way back up to Super Ninety Nine. I wasn’t focused on where anyone was during the race, I was just focused on keeping Goldencents relaxed and comfortable.

“It’s going to mean everything to me, to be able to go to the Derby, to be able to make a run for the Roses, every jock dreams about this. I have never sat on any other three-year-old that makes me feel the way he does. He’s fast, he does it easy, and he relaxes for me. That’s the key factor, to be able to say that I am the only jockey to have ridden this horse is a big plus for me.

“I have to thank (agent)Tom Knust. If it weren’t for him I would still be chasing Russell Baze up north, and because of him, we’re chasing roses now.”

GARRETT GOMEZ, FLASHBACK, 11-10 FAVORITE, SECOND: “Everything was good. I was very happy with my position and I was able to get him to settle a little bit. He took everything well. Up the backside I found myself behind Goldencents and (Bob) Baffert’s other horse (Super Ninety Nine) and I thought I was in a good spot, I really did. I thought even if I get stuck in here for a while that I was in a good spot saving ground right in behind them. “At about the middle of the turn I was able to edge my way out and I thought I was just going to run by them. He actually just didn’t pick up the way I was expecting him to and I had to start grinding on him a little bit. He picked up, just not enough. When I turned for home Goldencents quickened just a little bit and I couldn’t go with him. Late in the race my horse never threw the towel in, he kept grinding away. He’s a young three year old, too. His first start was at Hollywood Park so he’s been playing catch up for a while. He’s a sincere racehorse and still ran a really good race today.”

TRAINER QUOTES

DOUG O’NEILL, GOLDENCENTS, WINNER: “I did (think he had enough left when Flashback came to him in the stretch), but I think every trainer has a false sense of hope every time you run one, but I felt like we had a lot of horse left. This time it worked out perfect.

“Again, just credit to Kevin (Krigger). He didn’t panic early when the pace was a little bit hot the first quarter, and was able to just chill and save horse. Credit to Kevin and the horse. They’re a great team.

“I think it did (help, the change in training strategy to try and slow his works down). I think it saved some more energy for the afternoon. I was getting caught up into he was just a fast horse. It is fun to watch a horse work one ten and change, but you do worry it saps some of their energy for the afternoon, so we just tried to stay away from that. Whether that has anything to do with it or not, it worked today.”

When will he ship to Kentucky? “I don’t know. We’ve got to huddle up. As soon as the alcohol wears off, we’ll figure it all out.”

(Additional Trainer Quotes)

DOUG O’NEILL, GOLDENCENTS, WINNER: “It’s great, there’s no better feeling than this. These are the races you want to be a part of. Knock on wood, this horse has been such a cool horse. He’s got a great combination of speed and stamina, and such a great mind on him too. I don’t think those big crowds and all the people at the Derby will be a factor for him, so I’m pumped.

“After the last race I really blamed myself. Generally what we do is to try and joke with the jock in the paddock and keep him loose and have a good time. But I think I just got in Kevin’s ear last time out (In the San Felipe) about being careful, don’t let this happen, don’t let that happen, etc… So, the errors last time were not Kevin or the horse, I think it was more me and the human connections. And this time, I think we did it right.

“I think with the mile and a quarter coming up, with these longer races you have to have tactical speed, which he does. And, you have to have a real strong head on his shoulders, which he does but the biggest key to these races is to stay injury free. These races can tax a horse so I think if he can stay injury free, he’s got a good chance to win it.”

BOB BAFFERT, FLASHBACK, SECOND: “We were all in a good position turning for home. When we got to the outside the other horse (Goldencents) just quickened on him. The winner ran a really good race. They ran pretty fast times.

“Super Ninety Nine was in a good spot. He probably doesn’t want to go that far. Flashback, he ran a good race. Goldencents, he’s a good horse. He’s going to be really tough.

“We’re going to wait and see how he (Flashback) comes out of it. He was still running at the end. He’s still a young horse and we’ll wait for the dust to settle. He had every chance to win today and couldn’t get to that horse.”

GLEN SORGENSTEIN, ONE OF THE OWNERS OF GOLDENCENTS, WINNER: “It’s awesome. I came out here as a little kid, my dad brought me out here twenty times to the Santa Anita Derby and I never thought I would win it. He’s lookin’ from above. Thank you so much!”

NOTES: The winning owners are Glenn Sorgenstein and Joshua Kaplan of Santa Monica, who race as W.C. Racing; David Kenney of Yorba Linda; and Rick Pitino, head basketball coach at the University of Louisville, who resides in Louisville and races as RAP Racing.

Today’s on-track attendance was 33,005. DOUG O’NEILL, GOLDENCENTS, WINNER: “It’s great, there’s no better feeling than this. These are the races you want to be a part of. Knock on wood, this horse has been such a cool horse. He’s got a great combination of speed and stamina, and such a great mind on him too. I don’t think those big crowds and all the people at the Derby will be a factor for him, so I’m pumped. “After the last race I really blamed myself. Generally what we do is to try and joke with the jock in the paddock and keep him loose and have a good time. But I think I just got in Kevin’s ear last time out (In the San Felipe) about being careful, don’t let this happen, don’t let that happen, etc… So, the errors last time were not Kevin or the horse, I think it was more me and the human connections. And this time, I think we did it right. “I think with the mile and a quarter coming up, with these longer races you have to have tactical speed, which he does. And, you have to have a real strong head on his shoulders, which he does but the biggest key to these races is to stay injury free. These races can tax a horse so I think if he can stay injury free, he’s got a good chance to win it.”