MIKE SMITH, AMERICAN ANTHEM, WINNER: “I needed that one, it’s like a monkey off my back. Every time you come off of something big, like with Justify, it seems like it takes a little while to win something else that’s big.
“It’s so great to see Bode Miller out here with Bob, after what he’s gone through with his daughter. Hopefully we brought him just a little bit of happiness.
“I caught such a good jump that I just thought I needed to stay out of his way. I thought all I could do was mess it up at that point. St. Joe Bay was running along so easy that I thought I should keep a little pressure on him, and I’m glad I did because I needed every bit of it to get by him.”
TYLER BAZE, ST. JOE BAY, SECOND: “He put a head in front two or three times. He tried so hard. It’s not very often you get one that tries that hard. I’m just glad I got a chance to ride him.”
BOB BAFFERT, AMERICAN ANTHEM, WINNER: “He’s ran great off a layoff. I took him to Kentucky, ran him there and he did really well off the layoff. But today, he looked a little heavy, I don’t know why. He’s put on a few pounds since the last race. I think he’s just getting better with age. He’s a big strong horse, he eats really well and his stall is next to Justify’s so maybe that has something to do with it.
“That other horse (St. Joe Bay) was putting up a big fight and it looked like he had him put away but Anthem got him.
“I was talking to Mike and said ‘we got to get another win’ because it’s pretty tough after winning a Triple Crown but still, life goes on and you’ve got to keep winning. To get another stakes win like this is what we need to keep our head in the game. We’ve just started a whole new chapter and need to stay in the groove. Big Money Mike, if he’s got the horse under him, he’s getting the job done.”