$1 Million Besilu Stables Florida Derby Press Conference

$1 Million Besilu Stables Florida Derby Press Conference


Trainer Todd Pletcher (Constitution): "I could see the opening. I was actually watching the race live, but also had a TV close by with the head-on view and could see that Wildcat Red was a bit off the rail down the backside. I saw Johnny (on Wildcat Red) take a look back like he knew Javier was there, but by that point the seam was kind of open. In his first start, he didn't break well at all and he rushed up the rail. He was in a pretty long duel that day and I thought he showed that type of potential.

Wildcat Red is a fighter. You know that if you get to him, you're going to have to keep working. It looked like they were both finding more and it looked like in the last 50, 60 yards he found a little more. We were maybe putting all of our eggs in one basket, but the Florida Derby was the plan that we were all comfortable with. If it happened, fine, and if it didn't, then the timing just wasn't right for him this year. Luckily for us it all fell into place."            

Jockey Javier Castellano (Constitution): "It's really hard to predict with young horses, anything can happen. We had bad news with Honor Code last week so you never know. And now Constitution has come on and won the Florida Derby very impressively. I like the horse a lot, have a lot of confidence in him.            

"I took a shot (staying on the rail). It's race-riding. Sometimes you have to anticipate what's going to happen in the race and you study the jockeys.

I know that Johnny V (Velazquez, on Wildcat Red) isn't going to open the rail for anybody. I took a shot and his horse didn't help him much when he tried to drift a little. I cut the corner and it worked out great for me. I didn't want to get to the hole and move too soon, a premature move. My mount is a young horse and stretching out to a mile and an eighth. You want to take consideration and save something for the end. I didn't want to check and lose the race like that. I had my spot and I kept it all the way to the top of the stretch."            

Elliott Walden, president of co-owner WinStar Farm (Constitution): "We try to name horses like they'll be in the stallion barn someday. It was a no-brainer with a well-bred colt like this. Todd will decide when the horse goes to Kentucky. He's going to go down as the greatest (trainer) of all time so we just kind of hint at things. He does a great job and he usually comes to the right decision."