Notes & Quotes From the G3 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs

(Hot Springs turns it on late to win the G3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday / Photo Courtesy of Coady Photography & Churchill Downs)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:


Ricardo Santana Jr., jockey of HOT SPRINGS (winner): “He handled the surface well today. We got a lot of rain the other day so I knew the track would be pretty heavy. I watched some replays and wanted to make sure I got him to settle early in the race. Once the hole opened up and I got him outside he responded very well. He’s a very nice horse and very talented. I think he’s going to keep getting better into next year.”

Steve Asmussen, trainer of HOT SPRINGS (winner): “He’s 4-for-4 over the surface here but today was the most impressive one. The way he was finishing up was very impressive. Hopefully we’ll be able to come back to Churchill next year. There are some very nice races down the road for this colt.”

Ben Colebrook, trainer of MARZO (third): “I really thought we were going to steal that race. He ran great on the front end. That was a great effort.”

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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