Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jim Dandy (G2) Quotes

The New York Racing Association, Inc.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Jim Dandy (G2) Quotes


Jimmy Jerkens, winning trainer of Wicked Strong (No. 7): "It might be my imagination, but he always seemed to be running with his head cocked to the outside in his other races. I didn't really notice that today. I thought he ran straight and true today.


"[Jockey Rajiv Maragh] was scrubbing on our horse pretty good, but Tonalist had to run to get up to him, so it was starting to tell on him, too. Rajiv took him a couple of horse widths out when he saw Tonalist coming, and that discourages a horse that's coming up from behind you, too. That's race riding. That's what you have to do. It was probably just enough to discourage him a little bit and when we straightened away we kind of kicked away and it made the difference.


"This is great. This is really great. The way he works in the morning, I don't think Secretariat worked any better than this horse does in the morning. I know the talent's there. It's just getting him to put it all together.


"It was a different dimension where he was up close to the pace and he didn't get by that speed horse too easy. He had to run to get the best of him and then Tonalist was right there. I think he showed a lot of class today.


Might you run Wicked Strong and Curlin Stakes winner V. E. Day in the Travers? "I don't know. We're going to think that way, that's for sure. A big race like that, mile and a quarter, you've got to try it. The horse that won yesterday [V. E. Day in $100,000 Curlin], the tracks are different every day, but I think he ran a second slower than Wicked Strong, which isn't bad. V. E. Day has improved in leaps and bounds with each race. Those kinds of horses usually have a lot of quality."


Rajiv Maragh, winning jockey aboard Wicked Strong (No. 7): "This is his second big win. He always runs very good, very close to winning some more days; he kind of put it all together today and put on a good performance. Being a small field, we didn't have one set game plan. Kind of wanted to get him sharp out of the gate and see how the race developed. We talked about if he was giving it to me good early, don't take it away from him. He was very aggressive today; he put me in the race, which I was happy about.  Tonalist made a bold move, and I thought, 'It's going to be a good horse race' from there and Wicked Strong just dug in and found extra and pulled away at the end. [With the blinkers], he wasn't loafing down the backstretch.  He was running into a nice rhythm and didn't go on and off the bridle, which he was doing in his prior starts. He was more focused today, and more aggressive."


Joel Rosario, jockey aboard beaten favorite and runner-up Tonalist (No. 4): On the slow break:"I don't think [it mattered]. He's not very quick out of the gate.


"I thought he was in a good position on the backside. Turning for home, I thought I had [Wicked Strong], but he just kept on going. When I turned for home, it looked like I could go by him, but he was better today."


Linda Rice, trainer of third-place finisher Kid Cruz (No. 5): "We're happy with his performance. It sets us up for the Travers. We think he made a slight regression, which we thought could happen today. It was kind of an odd trip for him, he was up early and dropped way out of it."


"It wasn't the plan [to send him to the front]; they just weren't going very fast so Irad [Ortiz, Jr.] got after him early and then he got shuffled back, and then he took himself out of it, and then he came again. He was running at the end of it and we're very happy with his race. I think it sets us up well for the Travers."

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