Below are the trainer comments after the Post Position draw:
Mark Casse (trainer, War of Will; PP #1; 4-1): “It is what it is and we’re going to have to deal with it. Do I wish we had drawn farther outside? Of course, but we’re going to have to deal with it. Tyler is going to have to play the break and see how it works. I don’t think the 1 hole is quite as tough here (as in the Kentucky Derby), but I’m going to have to go study that. I didn’t study it on purpose because I was hoping not to get it.”
“We have to play the hand we we’re dealt. You never can tell how things can go. All we can hope for is a clean trip, and I think if he can get that, he’s going to be tough to beat. I thought the pace would be a little slower in the Derby, but they went a half in 46-and-3. So I don’t see it going a whole lot faster than that. We’ll be fairly close, and if someone wants the lead really bad I guess they’ll have it.
“I think he’s doing good. I think he’s doing as well as Classic Empire (second in 2017 Preakness). This horse has a lot of energy, and he’s extremely tough.
“We definitely know the (‘1’ hole) is not as bad as in the Derby. You have Bourbon War who is going to come from out of it. Warrior’s Charge, he’s fast. But I think if he tries to get in front of War of Will – that could be his demise. One thing about it is the 1 hole can be extremely good or extremely bad. In the Derby it was extremely bad, so I’m thinking we’re going to get extremely good this time.”
Mark Hennig (trainer, Bourbon War; PP #2; 12-1): “At least we won't get hung wide outside this time, hopefully. We think he'll be more tractable with the blinkers on and just fall in behind the pace and save some ground.
“[The blinkers will] put him more in the bridle. We tried breezing him with them, and it seemed to make him a little more aggressive. Sometimes you want to make first run on horses and we've been getting second or third run on some of the horses and it may have cost us a placing a time or two.”
Brad Cox (trainer, Warrior’s Charge, PP #3, 12-1): “Warrior’s Charge drawing the 3, maybe a little bit closer to the inside than I would have liked. Improbable is outside of him and War of Will inside. I’d actually have preferred to be to the outside of both of them. But we’ll see how it plays out. That’s up to the jocks what happens once they break them out of the gate, where to place them. As far as Warrior’s Charge, the draw was probably a little more important for him (than Owendale). He did draw closer than I’d like. It kind of forces our hand maybe just a little bit. But we’ll see what happens. It’s a long run to the first turn. Ultimately, I do feel the fastest horse will get the lead, and our horse is naturally fast. He’s got a high cruising speed, and we’ll see what he can do.”
Bob Baffert (trainer, Improbable; PP #4; 5-2): “I’m fine with it. I wanted to be in the middle somewhere. That’s pretty close. I didn’t want to be way outside. Mike will figure it out. We’ve got a few days to talk about things.”
Elliott Walden (CEO, President WinStar Farm, Improbable; PP #4; 5-2): “I thought it was fine. It looks like there’s some speed inside of Improbable, so 4 looks really good.”
Brad Cox (trainer, Owendale, PP #5; 10-1): “I like the post with Owendale. I don’t think it matters a whole lot with him with the post. I’m happy with it. That’s up to the jocks what happens once they break them out of the gate, where to place them.”
D. Wayne Lukas (trainer, Market King; PP #6; 30-1): “It’s a good spot. I think if you take out Improbable and War of Will it’s a toss-up.’’
Kelly Rubley (trainer, Alwaysmining; PP #7; 8-1): “We’re happy. It looks like there is a little bit of speed in this race, so we’ll have to see how we break and take it from there. I think my horse belongs in this field, he deserves a shot. We’re just really happy and grateful to be here.”
Ken McPeek (trainer, Signalman; PP #8; 30-1): “We're good with the post. It's fine. Mark Casse's horse, obviously, on the inside, I don't know what commitment they'll make. My horse is just going to break well, settle and find a place to run. Hopefully, we'll be mid-pack.”
Gustavo Delgado (trainer, Bodexpress; PP #9; 20-1): “There’s probably going to be a lot of speed, more speed than the Derby. But he has speed to get position. We like the 9. It’s a good spot.”
Dale Romans (trainer, Everfast; PP #10; 50-1): “It's a tough spot, but we're ready. We'll try and wiggle our way into a piece of it. He's done it before. We'll lead him over and see what happens. The post will be all right. Hopefully, we'll get over by the first turn.”
Alex Lieblong (owner, Laughing Fox; PP #11; 20-1): “Well he won the Oaklawn Invitational from the 10 hole, so maybe they’ll scoot over and he can get to the rail. I don’t think he’ll go up there with the leaders. I probably wouldn’t have picked it, but it’s probably not the end of the world for his style.
“I think there will be plenty of people chasing around there is my guess. What he did at Oaklawn there was certainly I’d think you‘d have to qualify that as somewhat of a speed bias track that day. And so if he can do it on that much of a speed bias track, you know I don’t have any worry about him if he gets his trip.”
Blaine Wright (trainer, Anothertwistafate; PP #12; 6-1): “For right now it’s going to have to be our spot. You can’t change things. We’ll take it, move forward and see how good we are.
"We’ve been covered up a little bit in the Sunland Derby and the Lexington, so maybe he can keep his face clean from out there. Maybe our jockey can adapt to things that are happening in front of him. If we have the lead, well, hey, we have the lead. I’m not going to make that assumption at this point. I’ll wait to see it on paper. We just have to hope that our horse comes away from the gate well. It’s a long run to the first turn, and we’ll just let the jock do the work.”
Michael Trombetta (trainer, Win Win Win; PP #13; 15-1): “The post has its ups and downs. We’re not going to be in there long; we'll be in and out. If we get away clean and get on over, hopefully, we'll find a space and we’ll settle in wherever the rider wants him to be. I’ve drawn good posts before, and ironically, the horse next to me bumps into me. We just have to work with what they give us.”