(Shantisara and rider Flavien Prat win the QE II Challenge Cup at Keeneland / All Photos by Coady Photography)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

Flavien Prat (winning jockey of Shantisara-IRE)

“It was a good run. I was really pleased with the draw (post 3), to be honest. I thought the good horses were around me, and I was able to keep tracking them. She made a really good move around the turn – she came really handy around the turn – and when I asked her to make a move she responded well. She broke well and I was able to tuck her in right away and she switched off nice. I was traveling super and, like I said, when it was time to go, she was there for me.”

Baldo Hernandez (assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown)

“I expected her to run really well because (of) the way she breezed last time (5 furlongs in 1:03.40 over the turf at Keeneland a week earlier). She improves all the time. She’s coming along. This filly, she has a really good talent. She handled the turf really well here.”

Jose Ortiz (rider of runner-up Technical Analysis-IRE)

“She broke good, went to the lead and was a little keen early on. We set pretty decent fractions and I had plenty (of horse left) turning for home, but the other horse was just better. My filly was very relaxed (when they had to back the field out of the starting gate). She’s always a little nervous, but actually when they backed them up she was able to stand a little bit behind the gate and she relaxed a little bit better. I have no excuses; she ran her race.”


John Velazquez (rider of ninth-place finisher and beaten favorite Empress Josephine-IRE)

“It was going well until I (asked her for more) and she didn’t go anywhere. She didn’t have it. She didn’t show up today.”