VICTOR ESPINOZA, ACELERATE, WINNER: “I knew the post wasn’t great but I never worry about the post position with this horse. When he runs, he runs and when he’s going to run a big race, that’s it.
“He’s improving still and he’s beat the best before so he’s capable of anything.
“I helped him out of the gate, which was my job today. If I let him break by himself, he can be a little bit slow out of the gate so I encouraged him. I shook his neck a little bit and I was able to get him in a good position.
“I was hoping to be on the inside but at the three-eighths but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I knew the outside horse (City of Light) was getting tired so I just kept following and had to be patient.”
JOE TALAMO, DR. DORR, SECOND: “It set up perfectly. He made and easy lead with his ears pricked and he kept fighting, as you saw. He really ran hard, a helluva race for him.”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, CITY OF LIGHT, THIRD: “Accelerate really ran strong at the end and we couldn’t go with him. My horse relaxed real good. I definitely think he can get this distance. If I had the ideal trip, it would’ve been to be where Accelerate was.”
JOHN SADLER, ACCELERATE, WINNER: “He broke good, I think Victor wanted to put him up in the race and then see what everybody else did, so he let him run out of there and when Joe (Talamo on Dr. Dorr) went to the front, he just sat in behind him and gave him a really beautiful ride. He had a lot of patience, a lot of confidence in the horse. He was riding confidently in the sense that he knew his horse could get the distance.
“We weren’t scared of City of Light today at this distance. Accelerate has been such a good horse for us with a lot of great wins on his resume. He was straining really well for this race so I knew he’d run well. The Pacific Classic at Del Mar (Aug. 18) is the race we’ll be looking for (next).
“What we kind of forget in modern day racing is that because he already won a Grade I, he’s the highweight under 125 pounds and was giving weight to every other horse at a mile and quarter. That makes his win that much more impressive, when you give away four pounds to the competition at this distance.
“I was really pleased with him. He looked beautiful today, he’s done well since his last race, he’s a five-year-old, a strong horse, a sound horse, a happy horse. Sometimes I look to keep him in the barn, but he’s just doing so well, he says, ‘I should be running,’ so that’s what we did.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Kosta and Peter Hronis.