FLAVIEN PRAT, ILIAD, WINNER: “It was a very lucky pick up mount. He’s a very nice horse. He broke well. Actually, he showed a lot of speed today. We were going pretty fast and I was trying to relax him all the way down the backside.
“When I asked him, he performed so well.”
DOUG O’NEILL, ILIAD, WINNER: “He’s a really nice horse, he has a lot of class. He ran huge today. We’ve just tried to not screw him up. Flavien rode a great race today and got it done.
“Going seven eighths can be a grind if you break real sharp and try to run all the way (on the lead). Flavien knew what to do and did a great job.”
KALEEM SHAH, OWNER OF ILIAD, WINNER: “His last breeze was awesome. I talked with Doug and he had a lot of confidence that he’d run well today and he ran to his works.
“We can all hope and pray for horses like this. I’m glad Iliad came along. I hope he continues to move forward. It’s one race at a time in this business, but it looks very promising for now.
“I was looking for a great name just like Bayern, which represented a great soccer team. This one, Iliad, represents a great western classic in literature.
“I think we stay here and try to run in the San Felipe (Grade II, 1 1/16 miles, March 11) and then hopefully, the Santa Anita Derby (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles April 8).”
MARK GLATT, TRAINER LAW ABIDIN CITIZEN, SECOND: “I’m really pleased with his race, especially because he just ran two weeks ago. I probably wouldn’t have looked at this race if it wasn’t a short field. This was just an honest effort today. He (Jamie Theriot) had to move a little early down the backside because we were inside. He’s run three really good races since we gelded him (Nov. 26) and I think he’ll stretch out to a mile, no problem.”
NOTES: The winning owner, Kaleem Shah is from San Diego, CA.