Here & There: April 30

- -

Cold morning, rainy morning, sunny morning, warm morning. Wednesday offered a little bit of everything out at Churchill Downs.

The track was waterlogged from intermittent rain throughout the night – occasionally coming down quite hard – but it didn’t deter any of the connections of the contenders for the 140th Kentucky Derby and others from getting out and about.

They had plenty to say, too.

Worth Repeating

“I wouldn’t trade with anybody.” – Trainer Rick Violette, about sending out Samraat for Saturday’s Derby

“I’m zoned in.” – Jockey Mike Smith, about what he’s thinking when they play My Old Kentucky Home

“I want to win this thing worse than I did the first time.” – Smith, about going for his second Derby win

“When he worked in almost 39…you couldn’t get him to go backwards in 39. I was concerned when I saw that.” – Smith, about losing the Derby on favorite Holy Bull

“It was the agony of defeat.” – Smith, when asked about losing the Derby on Holy Bull

“He galloped out really strong and I didn’t actually get him pulled up until the five and a half.” – Smith, about Hopportunity’s runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby

“I’m happy.” – Jockey Victor Espinoza, after favorite California Chrome drew post 5

“I was here as an assistant trainer in 1982 with Reinvested and just got beat by two necks .” – Trainer Gary Contessa, who runs Uncle Sigh

“This is like the Super Bowl.” – Chip McEwen, owner of Uncle Sigh

“I said I would never come until I had one in it.” – McEwen, about making his first trip to the Kentucky Derby

“I got Brazil and Jamaica.” – Jocks’ agent, when asked about his jockeys

“I’ve got the best gig. I’m done by Friday afternoon and don’t start again until Monday.” – Radio host Steve Byk

“Chief said, ‘I told you not to go to that place…’ ” – Trainer Jimmy Jerkens, about his dad’s reaction to drawing the outside post with Wicked Strong

“The jocks like it. Prado texted, ‘perfect.’ ” – Jerkens, on further reaction to the draw

“This track is good when it rains.” – Trainer Steve Margolis, at the gap Wednesday morning

“This might be your next jumper.” – Trainer Eddie Kenneally, as a member of his stable galloped past, to TIHR’s Sean Clancy

“That’s a good question and probably too difficult to answer with just a simple statement.” – Todd Pletcher, asked how important pedigree was to winning the Derby

“Man, I’m thinking I’m getting a lot of attention.” – Assistant trainer Norm Casse, riding his pony, next to a string of Derby starters

“I hear you can pick up your credentials for the Blue Bonnet Bowl in there, too.” – Turf writer Frank Angst joking to people in slow-moving line waiting for Derby credentials

“The law is coming after me.” – Dallas Stewart, greeting TIHR’s Tom Law in backside clocker’s stand

“Can you give me a minute, I have to enter the horse.” – Rick Violette shortly after starting an interview with a small group of reporters

“You need to watch that video on the America’s Best Racing, count the number of times Sean says ‘dirt.’ ” – Eclipse Award-winning videographer Greg Charkoudian on TIHR’s Sean Clancy in this video from Tuesday night’s Derby Trainer’s Dinner.

“You’re like the Pat Payne of that operation. Just one of you mixed in with all those Clancys, like he is with all those Taylor brothers at Taylor Made.” – Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Executive Director David Switzer to Tom Law

By the Numbers

4 – Padlocks on gates encountered by Tom Law attempting to go from main entrance gate to credential office at 5:55 a.m. Wednesday.

7 – Number of dirt references by Sean (see above).