Before the running of yesterday's Laurel Futurity, trainer William E. Burch, who handles Hail Bold King, was asked what tactics jockey Gregg McCarron would use to try to defeat heavily favored Devil's Bag.
Burch, whose father and grandfather made the Racing Hall of Fame as trainers, said, "My colt is a one-run horse and I'm not going to kill this kind of colt by hooking up with (Woody) Stephens' colt. Of course, we're trying to win, but like I said, we're not going to kill our horse by trying to kill him off early."
After Hail Bold King finished second to Devil's Bag, Burch said, "I heard Stephens is going to Florida. We're going to Hot Springs (Ark.), thank you."
Jockey Larry Saumell, who rode Pied A' Terre to third place, said, "I kept my horse away from other horses; that's the way he does best. But his best couldn't handle the likes of Devil's Bag. We all knew up front that we were really there for the place and show money."
Trainer Thomas Voss said of fourth-place Act Away, "He's been run and trained hard lately. We'll give him some time off, then see what gives. No, he won't go to Florida."
Devil's Bag's owner, James P. Mills of Middleburg, Va., said in the winner's circle, "We've had some fine horses like Salerno and Beamo, but we had to wait 48 years for a colt like this one. Yes, we will be in Florida this winter."
Trainer Harrison E. Johnson, whose Ballet Partner ran close to Devil's Bag for more than six furlongs, said, "Our colt gave a good account of himself. Jockey Greg Hutton rode my horse right. We just couldn't beat that superhorse. He runs like a machine."
Laurel's racing secretary and handicapper, Lou Raffetto Jr., was asked how he would weight Devil's Bag right now for a race.
"I'd put Devil's Bag on top with, say, 122, then drop back to Swale with 116. We'd go backwards from there. This colt is the champ right now, of course. But he has to hold together. Swale, Stephens' other colt, is a killer, too."