RAFAEL BEJARANO, CUPID, WINNER: “My horse broke really well. I put a little pressure on at the half-mile pole. When I got to the stretch and was in the clear I thought I had a lot of horse and the race was over.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, FOLLOW ME CREV, SECOND: “It was just like the Breeders’ Cup – I was taken out of the race in the first jump. It was a phenomenal effort by the Wilsons’ horse because he took a punch and body blow the first jump. Ridiculous. A mile and a quarter. These guys can’t drive. I would have been a couple of lengths behind him, and instead I was 20 back. My horse has more speed than where I was today.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, MIDNIGHT STORM, FOURTH: “He ran his race. On the turn he relaxed well, and on the backside, same thing. Affter that he just didn’t quicken. He ran his race and just got beat by a very good horse today.”
BOB BAFFERT, CUPID, WINNER: “It went really well today. Last race he cut himself on the way over. He’s going to get better with age. We should have some fun with him this summer.
“The Gold Cup has always been a very important race. We brought two really good horses today and I thought that fast pace might get to American Freedom. That Prime Attraction caused a lot of trouble.
“Cupid, off that long layoff – His class showed up and he’s been working so well. I switched up the riders around a little. I told Bejarano that he was going to ride Cupid. He liked American Freedom but I wanted to do it differently. He felt so much better when he came back. He told me I was right. I’m happy for Bejarano.
“Cupid has changed a lot. He’s really filled out. He’s always been a beautiful horse. As a matter of fact, I have a two year old that just came in and they could be brothers, they look the same. Hopefully, he’ll be as good.
“We took the back roads with Cupid last year and made over a million dollars. Coolmore has been great and they kept him in training. They asked me if I thought he’d get better and I thought he should. We freshened him up and here we are. I got an important Grade I which is very important for a horse like him.
In regards to his winning his sixth Gold Cup and the late Charlie Whittingham capturing eight all-time – “I don’t think I could ever compare myself to the great Charlie Whittingham. He was one of the greatest ever. I was stabled next to him his last few years and he never complained, about anything. If he had a good horse, he got every ounce of run out of them. That’s the way I feel. If you have a good horse, you don’t slow ’em down. He made sure they were fit and ready.
“I learned a lot from him about bringing them off a layoff. If they’re good enough, they can take it. You saw a little Charlie Whittingham today. When you hang around with Charlie and are his neighbor, you learn a little bit.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith.