Notes & Quotes From the G2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes: Bigger Picture

(Bigger Picture winning the G2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Tyler Gaffalione (winning rider of Bigger Picture)

“The horse broke good. He put himself in a nice position. We saved ground around both turns. I just followed Jose (Ortiz on Zulu Alpha) when he made his move, and (Bigger Picture) grinded it out. All the credit goes to (trainer) Mike (Maker) and his team; they do a fabulous job.”

On why the jockey has been successful at Keeneland

“Just good opportunities. I get to ride nice horses for good connections. My agent does a great job, so I’m just very thankful.”

Mike Maker (winning trainer)

“I think he was compromised last time by the slow pace (and finished seventh in the March 30 Pan American [G2] at Gulfstream Park).”

Luis Saez (rider of runner-up Red Knight)

“I had a perfect trip. He was traveling good, and he made a good move and just got beat. I saw the winner when he was right there. We just got beat; that was a tough beat.”

Jose Ortiz (rider of 6-5 favorite and third-place finisher Zulu Alpha)

“He digs in hard. He tried very hard. (We had) a little premature move on the backside for a mile-and-a-half (race) but I had no choice, I had to go. I was in my spot and the eight (Red Knight) came a little early – earlier than what I expected.

“That allowed Bigger Picture to go on and make his run. The top three (finishers) can get a mile and a half, and I’ve ridden all three of them. They are very good horses, and very similar. It just depends on who gets the trip, and today Bigger Picture got the better trip.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

More From The Pressbox Staff