GARRETT GOMEZ, DATA LINK, Winner: “I warmed him up good and he warmed up well. He bounced away from there and put me in a good spot. From there I could decide whether to ease back or stay where I was. He always traveled beautiful for me. I felt we weren’t going too fast. The only thinking I really had to do with him was from the five-eighths pole to the far turn. There were a couple of horses who were switching places (moving in and out) and I had to decide whether to stay inside or come around. I hit the front so soon, I didn’t know what he was going to be like. I never gave him a chance to ease himself down. When I got into him, he really went.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX, DOUBLES PARTNER, Third: “I followed the winner. I was right there on the inside at the quarter pole but he just got a little outkicked at the end. He ran great. Good race. I’ve ridden him four times now and we’ve hit the board every time.”
SHUG MCGAUGHEY (by telephone), DATA LINK, Winner: “We’re very pleased with the way he ran today and very pleased with the way Garrett Gomez rode him. They went slow early, but then they picked it up and Gomez was in a great spot. He got shuffled back last time (when fifth in the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile Oct. 6 at Keeneland), lost all his position and then he was wide on the turn. We think he’s a pretty good little horse. He’ll ship back Monday, then see we’ll see how he’s doing.”
MIKE MCCARTHY (assistant trainer, Todd Pletcher), DOUBLES PARTNER, Third: “We were able to get some cover and he settled nicely down the backstretch. He had to wait a little bit at the three-eighths to the quarter pole and finished up well.”
Notes: Gomez, who won the 2011 Citation aboard Jeranimo, who was fourth Friday, was the first rider to win the race in consecutive years since Gary Stevens won with Fastness (1995) and Gentlemen (1996)….Gomez has won the Citation a record four times.
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