MARTIN GARCIA, COLLECTED, WINNER: “He’s very special. He can be on the lead or off of it. He can be wherever you want him to be. I let him be where he wanted to be today.
“You can see that I was pretty comfortable and he just kicked on. I knew Accelerate would be closing so I looked back to see if he was there, but only the last sixteenth. I was just waiting. I had a lot of horse at the end.
“I think the older he gets, the calmer he is. He doesn’t have to be on the lead, I can take him back. He’s very professional. I think he can go a 1 ¼ miles but I don’t think that guy (motioning towards Baffert standing to the side) wants me to because he might beat Arrogate.”
BOB BAFFERT, COLLECTED, WINNER: “We were going to run him in the Gold Cup but he just wasn’t working as well as I would have wanted for that. This middle distance is more his thing and I can see he reacts better. As long as I keep him like this, he’s going to be really tough to beat.
“I’ve always thought that when I get him to Del Mar I might try him on the turf, he was bred for it. We’ll get him down there and work him and see.
“This middle distance is his thing. I tried to do a little bit more with him this year and with some horses you can just tell the difference in them. We ran him in the Preakness last year, I thought he’d run well there,…but I think he’s just matured since then. That time off we gave him really helped. Just like with Mor Spirit. You give them time off and you get all that Derby (season) nonsense out of the way. You back off them and start all over and you have a nice horse. That’s why I have these nice older horses.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Peter Fluor of Houston, TX who races as Speedway Stable, LLC.
Ross Fenstermaker, trainer of Precisionist, was on hand to present the trophy along with jockey agent Scotty McClellan. They are flanked by Martin Garcia and Bob Baffert.
Zoe Metz Photography