Notes & Quotes From the G1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes: Blue Prize

(Blue Prize gets up at the wire to repeat as the winner of the G1 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes at Keeneland on Sunday / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Ignacio Correas IV (winning trainer of Blue Prize [ARG])

“She means a lot to me. The horses of my country (he is also a native of Argentina) have made me look good. Thanks to the trainers that trained them before me – they did a great job developing them. To tell you that I thought I was going to beat Elate, I would be lying. I thought she (Blue Prize) was sitting on a great race. She was coming into form. When we went to Saratoga, we were looking to put her in winning mode. We accomplished that (with a victory in the Aug. 18 Summer Colony Stakes). I thought if (jockey Joe Bravo) could relax her and if she had a target, she’s going to run big. Elate is a great, great mare.”

On racing in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1)

“Midnight Bisou is a super filly. Elate is a super filly. There are others. If she gets the trip (in the race), I think she has a shot.”

Joe Bravo (winning rider)

“Ignacio had her very keen today. He said, ‘Try to keep her quiet. She’s ready to go.’ After she broke in front, she got back underneath me. There were some really good horses in there, but she was able to (have) a stalking trip and watch them (in front). We’ve always said she runs great at a target. She listens to me. I really didn’t have to do too much. It’s fun to be part of a good horse.”

Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Elate)

“These mares are very nice. I mean, the winner won the Spinster last year. I’ve ridden her before. If they run fast, she runs fast. If they run slow, she runs a little slower. But she always finds a way to get to the wire first. About this race, I think I was in a good position the whole way. (Elate) was very comfortable, and we were in a good rhythm. She just got beat.”

Javier Castellano (rider of third-place finisher Dunbar Road)

“She didn’t show much speed out of the gate and the (Steve) Asmussen horse (She’s a Julie) they sent to the lead and Elate was to my outside. I just kept tracking and saving a little ground and tried to go through.”

Whit Beckman (assistant to Chad Brown, trainer of Dunbar Road)

“She didn’t have the easiest post and trip on the inside, but she showed a lot of heart and made the best bid she could. The good news is she’s 3 and if all goes well, we’ll have her back next year. (The Breeders’ Cup) would be a decision that Chad and (owner) Peter (Brant) will figure out.”

Ricardo Santana Jr. (rider of fourth-place finisher She’s a Julie)

“We had a good trip. My filly got a little tired at the end. For a Grade 1, we walked (fractions were slow).”


Adam Beschizza (rider of fifth-place finisher Vexatious)

 

“I had a dream trip going around there. I followed She’s a Julie, who went a nice, honest gallop the whole way around. My filly probably just got a bit intimidated by Dunbar Road joining a little bit early. There was no room going by Jose (Ortiz on Elate), who obviously was ready to put the race to bed. My filly just wasn’t quite ready to go on at that stage. My filly does have her own running style, and she almost has to have her own space in a race. But she’ll come back again and bounce back better.”

 

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
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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