JOE TALAMO, VALE DORI, WINNER: “Bob said to try and get her out, whether she’s first or second, and just get her into a real smooth rhythm.
“She was laying perfect right off of Tyler’s filly there and I had a lot of horse around the turn. I was just biding my time, just waiting for anyone to come before I let her loose and when I did, she really took off very nicely. I really thought Abel Tasman was going to come running but that’s horse racing for you.”
MIKE SMITH, ABEL TASMAN, FIFTH: “I’m just really not sure what happened with her today. I’m kind of at a loss for words. The good thing is that she didn’t run a get-out run, she didn’t run period. For whatever reason she was lethargic loading and she was slow into stride and never wanted to pick it up.
“There’s been a bit of the flu going around the backside with some of these horses so hopefully it’s not hitting her, but it certainly could have. She kind of made a middle move down the backside to get herself into some sort of position to maybe make a run and I thought she could probably still win anyway. But then she just decided that was enough.
“This was a little reminiscent of her run at Churchill (May 4) coming off the layoff but more so today. She can break slow at times but it doesn’t take her more than three or four jumps to get her big body moving forward. Once she does, she gets into the bridle and takes you places, as we’ve all seen many times. Today, it just wasn’t there and I didn’t want to get after her anymore. She was letting me know that she wanted no part of it. We’ll just throw this one out and hopefully we’ll be fine.
“She’s been working tremendous. We got her home safe and sound so we’ll go back to the drawing board and if a temperature or something comes up it’ll pop up pretty soon.”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, LA FORCE, SECOND: “She settled nice like she always does and she made her run. It would have been nice to have a little pace up front but she ran a helluva race.”
BOB BAFFERT, VALE DORI, WINNER, AND ABEL TASMAN, FIFTH: “I’m worried about that mare (Abel Tasman) because Mike (Smith) said she was lethargic, and she’s up there where all these sick horse are, so I hope she’s not getting sick.
“She was never interested today all. I’m about as shocked as everybody else, but they’ll do that. (Asked about blinkers on Vale Dori): She’d been working well, but she hadn’t been getting away from the gate, and if she doesn’t get away well, she doesn’t run well.
“When I saw Abel break horrible like that, it looked like shades of Arrogate at Del Mar in the San Diego. Mike said after that she wasn’t interested and he didn’t push her, but that’s not the Abel that we know. She’s never run a bad one. He said she felt sound and all that but she was just completely lethargic . . . My main concern is that Abel’s OK and not getting sick on me.”