FLAVIEN PRAT, THOUSAND WORDS, WINNER: “He ran very well. He put me in a good spot and he was comfortable down there. He took the dirt (in his face) well and when I asked him to run, he really accelerated.”
ABEL CEDILLO, ROYAL ACT, SECOND: “He tried really hard and I put him in the position I wanted him to go. I was sitting perfect and when I made him move he started moving. He ran a big race.”
BOB BAFFERT, THOUSAND WORDS, WINNER: “Prat knows him pretty well, I didn’t give him any instructions. Both riders were kind of on their own. Prat says he is getting better, he was a sort of immature colt. He grinds and you gotta really work at him. Being stuck down inside he got the worst of it. Usually a young horse like that they don’t run that well and they don’t respond. He’s got that big long stride and the further the better with him. You could tell about the last 50 yards he was really getting going. He came back he wasn’t even tired so that is a good sign. He is progressing with every race and to win three in a row like that it is pretty impressive.
“I told Rosario don’t fight High Velocity if he wants to run, I really thought down the backside High Velocity was gonna steal it, he has a lot of speed and he hung in there well.( 3rd place finisher.)
“We are just happy for them and the connections. The horses showed up and ran well.”
On 3,000 wins: “I’ve always thought things happen for a reason. Running in the Bob Lewis, with a horse named Thousand Words and going for 3,000 wins. I mean you can’t make that up. I had a feeling it was gonna happen in this race, I’ve had a lot of good people work for me through the years, the first 50 wins were probably the hardest, 100 were life changers. I feel very blessed and fortunate that I’ve been able to last this in this business and do so well in this business after coming from the quarter horse business. I’ve never dreamt of coming into thoroughbreds, there was never one instant I was thinking about it. I came over with Mike Pegram and Hal Earnhardt who I still have after all these years, they are a big part of the team.”
PETER EURTON, ROYAL ACT, SECOND: “Couldn’t be more happy. He’s just kind of a grinder, he’s just that cool kind of horse that keeps giving it to you.
(On racing at San Felipe) “I think so, I’ll get with Mr. Searing and see what he wants to do. Anywhere we can get a mile and an eighth wouldn’t be a bad thing.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Spendthrift Farm LLC. Bob Baffert now has 3,000 North American victories.