Notes & Quotes From the G1 Cotillion Stakes: Street Band

(Trainer J. Larry Jones saddled winner of the G1 Cotillion / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Parx Media Team:

Winning trainer Larry Jones:

“I was very glad to hear (announcer Keith Jones) say very fast quarter because we were way back. We knew there was a lot of speed in here and I was waiting to see those fractions and he called it by the time I could locate her he already said very fast so I said, ‘ok, we’re still alive.’ When she was moving that strong – and I know Sophie doesn’t ask that hard that early – and when she was going by horses that fast I thought that when we were heading for home, we were going to be close.

“Coming off that mile and a quarter, she should not have gotten tired and she didn’t. Getting that mile and a quarter race underneath us was a good thing.”

“I was feeling good right here (into the stretch). When she was going by horses, she was running.” “The biggest thing about this family is that it matures late. I had the whole family and we have not been in a super hurry with her. The only time we really pushed her was at Fair Grounds and see if we could get her ready for the Oaks. And then we could call it the way we would want it and pick our spots … we will see and give her off a little bit to Santa Anita.”

“I trained her mother and she had six foals. Before this one and they ask why do I keep this mare? And I said it was one of the fastest horses I have ever trained. I had her at the same time I had Hard Spun. She is fast as Hard Spun and would outwork him sometimes and but it took a long time to prove it, it’s all good… its very satisfying….

“We knew there was a lot of speed and we could let her run the whole way without taking her back, when you saw her come by last, I felt, ‘boy, Sophie, you took her back pretty good.’ She had been relaxing in her works; it has been something we had been trying to do. Sophie told me she thought we had her where we wanted her. And I told her, if she doesn’t win, it’s her fault!”

Winning jockey Sophie Doyle:

“Honestly my trip, I had to go to Plan B and C. She was a little worked up in the post parade, I think you also saw that in the paddock. When she broke away from the gate I said, ‘you know what, there’s so much speed in here, I’m not going to rush her off her feet.’ I let her carry me into the race. As we started heading down the backside a couple of us started drifting away. She was traveling comfortably, within herself. I let her creep into the race in her own time. Then when we started to come down the back the inside started opening up. I had so many people tell me, ‘don’t go near the inside.’ So I just let her naturally take me around the outside. When we were coming around the home turn I was like, ‘come on girl, let’s get into it.’ She really exploded for me. She gave me everything she’s got.

“When she came upside of Guarana she matched her, she put her head down and she was game on all the way to the wire. She never gave up. She’s so tough. What an amazing filly. She’s come out here today and really proved how good she is. She deserves to be at these Grade 1 races.”

“My first Grade 1, too. I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s fantastic. What an amazing opportunity.”

“How fantastic for the owners of Myracehorse.com. They’ve been huge supporters and have been at every race. I’ve had racing fans come out and joining us. What a fantastic opportunity for those people, along with Larry and Cindy Jones. Ray and Merrick Francis and Medallion Racing, they’ve all been a huge support to all of us. What an opportunity to keep the faith and get us to the top. Fingers crossed now to the big one and the Breeders’ Cup.”

Trainer Chad Brown (Guarana, second):

“She got a pretty good trip. I thought she was sitting real nice and she was close to a real honest pace. I can’t complain with the trip. We had everyone where we wanted them. She was just second best today. She just won a Grade 1 going two turns so I can’t blame that (the distance). Is she best around one? Probably. I can’t make any excuse. We gave her a little breather since the Coaching Club and maybe she was a little short as well. New track, too. But hats off to the winner. She really ran well. Both fillies did.”

Jockey Jose Ortiz (Guarana, second):

“Very clean trip. I broke running to the turn and I saw Serengeti Empress going, I saw Jaywalk going then I saw Bellafina coming outside of me, too, so just sat off them. Sat off the speed. She gave me a good run. You can see I hadn’t moved yet when I went to the quarter pole. She gave me a decent run.”

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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