(Flagstaff / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
Jockey Victor Espinoza — Flagstaff (1st):
“Yeah, it was (a great race). I tried to sit back a little bit and run at the end. I was worried a little bit on the backside because they slowed down, and I was a bit farther back than I wanted. When the dirt started hitting, it kicked back, he started slowing down a bit so I had to move out. When I moved out, that was it; it’s just another gear that he has.
“I wanted to wait turning for home a little longer, because when he takes the lead, normally he waits for horses. I didn’t want to take the lead too soon, but the other horses couldn’t keep up with me so I just had to let him run.
“He was a fun ride for me, he did everything I asked him do, and it was amazing today. What can I say, the trainer John, he’s the best when it comes to these big races and these types of horses. It makes my job much easier and fun.”
Jockey Mike Smith — Roadster (2nd):
“He ran awesome. Of course, I was expecting a little hotter pace up front. That would have set me up perfect, but they went kind of easy the first part of the race. I made a really good run, but (Flagstaff) finished. This was a big step forward for him, and there’s a lot of room to grow.”
Trainer John Sadler — Flagstaff:
“He waits a little bit when he gets in front so Victor was trying to sit behind as long as he could. Victor told me he got to the front a little quick, he was loaded today, plenty of horse, he’s really strong.
“I feel really good, we ran second (Navetta) in the previous race and my first time starter ran great so here we go!”