Comments From Losing Derby Jockeys

From Churchill Downs
Jockey John Velazquez (Invisible Ink, 2nd Place):
[Regarding the Inquiry:] "He [Monarchos] came over and almost touched my horse. I felt that I had to steady for two jumps. My horse ran a really good race, but the winner was the best horse in the race. This is the Derby. I finished second. I had to take a shot. I probably wouldn't claim foul in any other race. I figured that in the Derby I should take a shot."

"It was a great trip for everybody. I was in about eighth for a lot of the race and I could see half the field. It seemed like everyone was doing okay. I don't know what happened behind me."

"I expected a lot of speed. It worked out the way I figured it."

Jockey Victor Espinoza (Congaree, 3rd):
"He made the lead so easy. Oh, man. He was relaxed on the backstretch; just running so easy. Then at the half-mile pole he wanted to go. He wanted to go, right then. I had to fight him; take a strong hold. But we moved up and made the front and I thought maybe.... But at the end, he just got outrun."

Jockey Edgar Prado (Thunder Blitz, 4th):
"We were going well. We broke good. We got behind the speed and waited. He finished well. I think he is a great horse."

Jockey Gary Stevens (Point Given, 5th):
"He never felt comfortable out there. The odd thing about it was he didn't seem to be tired when he pulled up. He wasn't breathing hard at all. It was like he didn't race. Maybe the heat had something to do with it. I don't know. He had a hectic two weeks here. And he had some commotion this morning (when he reared and lost his exercise rider during training hours). Maybe it took something out of him. But I don't really want to make excuses for him. In the end, he got beat."

Eddie Delahoussaye (Jamaican Rum, 6th):
"I had a pretty good trip. I got in a little tight at the three-eighths (pole), but no big deal. I beat Pat Day's horse (Dollar Bill) to a hole. He (Jamaican Rum) did a little running. In fact he ran good. What did he do - he wound up sixth, right? I think he'll be a better grass horse, though. He's bred top and bottom for it."

Jockey Corey Nakatani (A P Valentine, 7th):
"Overall it went well. We had a little bit of traffic, but it wasn't too bad."

Rick Pitino Joint owner of A P Valentine and University of Louisville Basketball Coach
"He (A P Valentine) ran well. Like I've said, I'm here to have fun and that's exactly what I've had today -- fun. I think he ran okay. He's an improving horse and I think his better days are ahead of him."

David Flores (Express Tour, 8th):
"I had a really good trip. I was right there on that last turn, right there with Point Given. I thought I was in heaven. I saw Congaree go early and I thought I'd follow him and Point Given right to the front. He (Express Tour) gave me a little turning for home, but then he was empty. He'll be tough back in the Preakness." Donnie Meche (Fifty Stars, 9th): "He did a great job today. He was perfect in the post parade. He dropped back and we had the perfect trip. Leaving the backstretch, he started picking it up, passing horses just like in the Louisiana Derby. At the quarter pole I started getting excited. I was proud of him. He ran a good race.

Jockey Alex Solis (Startac, 10th):
"I had an awesome trip. He was pretty good on this track, but he will do better on the grass. He gave it a good try. That was all we could ask."

Jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. (Millennium Wind, 11th):
"I had a good trip inside. The race went pretty much the way I thought it would. When I came out, I bumped with another horse. But by then my horse was already done. He was tired."

Jockey Calvin Borel (Arctic Boy, 12th):
"I had a good trip. It was a beautiful trip. My horse dug in and tried. He ran a great race."

Jockey Aaron Gryder (Songandaprayer, 13th)
"I figured it would be quick, because they sent two (actually three) track records earlier. They had been blazing all day, but it wasn't the kind of pace I was looking for. I think a lot of people are going to say 'he sent him from the rail.' We didn't send him. I was hoping to lay off the pace, and he outbroke Balto Star. I tried to let Balto Star go on and he just wasn't quick enough to do it today. Mark (Guidry) was knuckled down on Balto Star trying to get there. I was hoping I could tuck in behind him and have him shut it off and when I couldn't have that and Balto Star was a half-length off me, all it did was put him in high gear. We went the first three-eighths in probably :33. That is tough to do going a mile and a quarter when the horse is a little suspect on the distance anyway. We had to get the right pace scenario and I needed to have him off the bridle a little bit. He sure didn't get it today."

Jockey Mark Guidry (Balto Star, 14th):
"He broke well. When we got to the half-mile pole and things started to bunch up, I had no horse under me. He seemed to pull up a little flat."

Jockey Pat Day (Dollar Bill, 15th):
"We had trouble between the 3 1/2 and the three-eighths pole, probably closer to the three and a half. Just as we were getting into the turn, my horse was starting to run. Eddie (Delahoussaye on Jamaican Rum) had run up on the outside of me. Somebody was stopping and Eddie ducked back to the inside of him and when he did he closed the hole on me, and that was it. I have just been unlucky with this colt. Today was the day that I thought I would get him a decent trip, but I'm just not getting any decent trips. From my perspective, the first turn was clean. Everybody made it into it around the first turn without any problems. He seemed to pull up fine. I checked him when I got off him."

Jockey Larry Melancon (Keats, 16th):
"He never relaxed today. I was sitting two lengths off them, but it didn't matter how they were going, he didn't relax. He seemed to come back OK, and that's the main thing."

Jockey Jerry Bailey (Talk Is Money, 17th):
"We had good position early. We started to fade at the half-mile pole."

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