Notes & Quotes From the Fayette Stakes on Keeneland’s Closing Day

(Leofric nips Prime Attraction to capture the Fayette / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Brad Cox (winning trainer of Leofric)

“He’s a horse that’s obviously gotten better with age. He’s a hard-trying horse, and he gives you what he’s got every time. You can look at the (past performances) and see that. He’s a phenomenal horse. He gives us what he has every single time.

“We gave him a little break after (he ran third in) the Woodward (G1). He ran a tremendous race that day. Ran a winning race, just came up a little short. He rewarded us today.”

On his pre-race concerns about how Leofric would handle the distance

“He got a great trip today. Sat off the 1 horse (Prime Attraction), who ran a tremendous race as well. The mile and an eighth – with the right setup – yeah he can get that. He really proved that today, and I was very proud of him.”

Florent Geroux (winning rider)

“My horse is not really a front-runner – he can be when he wants to – but he’s very tactical. He broke really sharp and put me in the right spot right away. From there, I just nursed him all the way around. He showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight down the stretch.”

Jim Cassidy (trainer of runner-up Prime Attraction)

“He has never run in the mud before. That was my concern going in. I was hoping it would dry out. Kent (Desormeaux) rode a perfect race. That is the way he has to be ridden. He tries; he doesn’t give up. Two or three times the winner came to him trying to get by, but that last part he was really tired. He will probably run next in the Clark (G1, Nov. 23) at Churchill.”

Kent Desormeaux (rider of Prime Attraction)

“He fought and fought and fought and held them at bay. The winner was a little too tenacious and got control in the last hundred yards.”

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

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