Quotes - $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (G3)

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Todd Pletcher (winning trainer of Winning Cause)

On whether he was expecting this type of performance

“To be honest, we weren’t sure. We were stretching him out and stepping up into a graded stakes off two weeks’ rest. The main reason (he was entered in the race) is he’s two for two at Keeneland going into this. We know he likes the surface and thought it was worth taking a shot.”

On whether Winning Cause will become his sixth starter in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1)

“I guess you can never have too many, but we never really talked about that with this colt. We’ll see how he comes out of it and see (what his next race will be). We’re just happy to have this one.”

 

Julien Leparoux (rider of Winning Cause)

“From the one hole, I couldn’t ask for a better trip. In the first turn, he put me in a good spot and I got room to get him out there (toward the middle of the track) and he just cruised around there and finished strong.”

On whether he was concerned about the challengers

“No. He’s the kind of horse that fights back. The more you ask him the more he goes. I kind of know him from last time (when he rode Winning Cause to win a Keeneland allowance race on April 6) and I knew I was going to get there.”

 

Joe Rocco Jr. (rider of second-place finisher General Election)

“He ran a really great race. I thought we'd be a little closer. He didn’t like the kickback in his face that much, but on the second turn I was able to drop in and save a little ground. On the second turn, I thought, ‘Wow, I still have some horse.’ I found some room outside to pitch out and he came running nice. He ran a great race. If it was a little farther, he might have gotten it.”

 

Kellyn Gorder (trainer of General Election)

“I wish it had been a little farther today. I'll talk to Elliott (Walden of owner WinStar Farm regarding his next race). We weren't thinking (Kentucky) Derby with him. Maybe the Preakness (G1).”

 

Jesus Castanon (rider of third-place finisher Pick of the Litter)

“We're happy with the way he ran. He gave me everything he had, and I had a good break out of the gate. I put myself in a good spot where he likes to be. The best thing about him is he’s going forward. When I asked him to pick it up, he went ahead and did his best. And I know down the road he'll be even better.”

 

Gary Stevens (rider of fifth-place finisher and beaten favorite Sunbean)

“My trip was good. He started trying to lean out with me a little bit around the final turn. He was going great when he was up against it, cruising with the winner. I had my eye on the winner and I was getting a great trip. When I started to ask him a little bit, he got timid. I am not sure he handled the Polytrack real well. I was very happy where I was early on; they weren't going that fast but he was well within himself. I was right off the eventual winner early on and very happy where I was.”

 

Ken McPeek (trainer of seventh-place finisher Pure Fun, the lone filly in the race)

“I am still optimistic about going to the (Kentucky) Oaks (G1). She was blowing pretty hard coming back. She got a lot out of the race. The last two races have been tough in that she didn’t finish as well as we would have liked. I still believe we needed a race and I wanted to race her as opposed to working her. I think she will get more out of this. (Jockey) Rosie (Napravnik) said she had a clean trip but she just didn't punch much late. (Pure Fun) was blowing pretty good.”

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