Notes & Quotes From the G3 Schuylerville Stakes: Comical

(Comical wins the G3 Schuylerville / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

Jockey Javier Castellano (Comical — 1st)

“She moved fast out of the gate and attended the pace and went forward,” said Castellano. “Turning for home, I was able to save a little ground, and I’m very lucky she’s a good enough filly to win the race, because the other horse was coming at her.”

Jockey John Velazquez (Kiss the Girl — 2nd)

“She ran in spots, but when they opened up a length and a half, she didn’t know what to do. She was running and stopping,” said Velazquez. “She was just green today. When she won at Belmont, she was right next to the other horse the whole way around. She was more focused than she was today.”

Co-owner Erik Johnson (Comical)

Erik Johnson, a defenseman for the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche, is part owner of Comical under the nom de course ERJ Racing. The Bloomington, Minnesota native, who won the silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics, was thrilled with the effort from the talented bay filly.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to win at Saratoga, and we’re blessed. To get a win here means a lot,” said Johnson. “They’re special animals and they’re a part of your family when they run at a racetrack. To get a win here feels absolutely amazing. Hopefully, I can win the Stanley Cup later next year and get a daily double.”

Comical, a $100,000 purchase at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, banked $82,500 in victory.

Johnson said Comical, who is closely related to multiple Grade 1-winner and 2008 Travers winner Colonel John, could have the stamina to go further.

“We’re excited to see what her future holds. Her dam [Kaycee Ace] is a full sister to Colonel John, so hopefully she can stretch out,” said Johnson.

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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