(Encino wins the G3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday / All Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Keeneland Media Team / Amy Owens:

Quotes for the $400,000 Stonestreet Lexington (G3)

Click here for a replay of the race and the post-race interview with winning connections.

Brad Cox (winning trainer of Encino)

“I want to start by thanking Sheikh Mohammed (Al Maktoum of owner Godolphin) for the opportunity with the horse and congratulate him. Ultimately (whether he starts in the Kentucky Derby-G1) will be up to the Godolphin team – Dan Pride, Michael Banahan, Sheikh Mohammed – and if it’s something they want to do, we’ll prepare him. We’ll ship him over to Churchill in a few days regardless. I’ll tell you it will either be the Derby or the Preakness (G1). He’s sitting at 21st on the list right now and some things would have to happen (to make the Kentucky Derby field). But we’ll watch him. Hopefully, he comes out of (the Stonestreet Lexington) in good shape and we’ll march forward.”

“(Assistant trainer) Tessa Bisha (Walden) had him up at Turfway (Park) all winter, and as the winter went on she kept raving about how well he was doing. She loved him (winning) the (John) Battaglia (Memorial Stakes-L March 2). There was a little bit of a question mark about whether he would like the dirt, but he handled it today. He had a few works at Keeneland leading up to this race and showed his hand. He seemed like he liked the surface, and he put it all together today.”

Florent Geroux (winning rider)

“He broke like a shot. I was expecting more speed. His biggest issue was how he would do having the blinkers (wearing them in a race for the first time). With Hades having blinkers on and Lucky Jeremy to the outside, he outbroke them. It was pretty much all him to the first turn; he pretty much controlled the race from there. He was cruising around there, and when he felt The Wine Steward outside of him, it gave him a little extra push. I think that’s what he needed because he was getting a little lost out there on his own. But he had plenty left in the tank, the dirt felt great, and it looks like added distance shouldn’t be a problem for him.”

Luis Saez (rider of runner-up The Wine Steward)

“It was pretty good. We followed the winner (Encino). I thought we were going to beat him.”

Tyler Gaffalione (rider of third-place finisher Dilger [IRE])

“My horse ran a very incredible race. Had a nice trip, got to save some ground. Coming into the stretch, he gave me a nice little run, but the top two finishers got away.”

Joe Orseno (trainer of seventh-place finisher Hades)

“We had to take a shot (to make the Kentucky Derby field), and we did. It might have been too much to ask him to (race again) in two weeks. We are going to regroup. Jose (Ortiz) said he felt great. All we can do is get him ready for another race, another day. (Probably ship back to Gulfstream either Monday or Tuesday).”

Jose Ortiz (rider of Hades)

“I wanted to break a little more alert, but I didn’t. My plan was to be one or two, but it didn’t happen.”