$250,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) Quotes
Trainer Todd Pletcher (Palace Malice)
“He pressed solid fractions, and was carrying top weight and went a little wide. It looked like they took a couple big runs at him and he fought back. It was a heck of a horse race and a huge effort off the layoff. Those are good horses, too. You’ve got a Travers winner and a Prince of Wales winner and the runner-up in the Preakness. It was a good race, I thought.
“He ran every step of the way and put himself in the game early, which we wanted to do. It’s pretty rare you have a horse than can win the Belmont and also run 1:33 and change and stalk solid fractions. It tells you how good of a horse he is and how much quality he has.
“Mr. Campbell and I talked a little bit about the New Orleans Handicap, it’s back in three weeks. Oaklawn Handicap. Everything’s in play. I think he put [the Met Mile] into play today. It’s one of the things we talked about.”
Cot Campbell (Palace Malice):
"I was delighted with today. It's a good feeling to see him come back like this in his first race in four months. He was tested pretty severely - I thought (Golden Ticket) would run by him - but he fought back."
Jockey John Velazquez (Palace Malice): "
"There was nothing we could do about being wide. That's where we wanted to be anyway. That's where we broke. We had a great position and we wanted to make sure we kept our position. The only thing was that I didn't want to be that close. Once he got to the top of the stretch he kind of idled a little bit and kind of got surprised by the horses on the outside of him, but I got after him and he responded right away. He got to the front and thought he was finished, basically. The other horse came on the outside of him and surprised him, but he got back into the game. I hit him and he responded. He was very gutsy and I'm proud of him that he did it."
Ken McPeek, trainer (Golden Ticket):
"He ran super. It was a really, really good race. He's a really good horse. He never should've been 7-1. That was a joke. He's just classy. He runs good off a layoff and he likes a flat mile. We might stay here for the Skip Away (March 29) or maybe we'll go for the Oaklawn Handicap, it's hard to say. I'll nominate him to the Skip Away, which is in three weeks and see how he's doing."
Trainer Eddie Plesa (Itsmyluckyday):
“He was a fresh horse. I thought he’d show speed. I would have preferred if he was sitting off those horses a little and stalked them. But he got tired. He had a license to get tired and he’ll get a lot out of this race. He’ll be tough next time.”
Trainer George Weaver (Falling Sky):
“It was a just a different type of race. He was pressured all the way. They were lapped on him and he was having to work harder to be where he was. Maybe he bounced from his last race.”