Notes & Quotes From the G3 Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes

(Oleksandra wins the Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Joel Rosario (winning rider of Oleksandra [AUS])

“She just relaxed, and then she came with a big run. She had a tremendous turn of foot. It seemed like I had room to go through (an opening between rivals). She was just rolling at the end.”

Barry Irwin (Founder and CEO of Team Valor International, owner of Oleksandra)

“She had such a head of steam. You knew she had the energy, but whether there was room … Usually (Rosario) won’t go in a place where he’s not going to get out. I felt pretty confident he was on it.”

On whether she will be supplemented to the Breeders’ Cup

“If I look at it from an intellectual point of view, the answer would be ‘No.’ When emotions get involved and a horse wins like this, anything is possible.”

Tyler Gaffalione (rider of runner-up Morticia)

“The race set up exactly the way I thought it would. Girls Know Best went to the lead, set a nice pace and we sat right off of her. I knew it would be a fight to the finish because that mare doesn’t stop and Morticia tries hard to the wire. I knew we would be battling it out. I had a perfect trip, but the winner was just much the best today. It was a great race and I am proud of Morticia. She became a millionaire today so that is extra special.”

Corey Lanerie (rider of third-place finisher Girls Know Best)

“She’s a great horse to ride – she’s a rider’s dream. It’s a shame we didn’t win but she always seems to break very well and put you in front. Then it’s your race to win or lose. Turning for home, I thought I had a lot in the tank but they just outran us today.”

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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