GARY STEVENS, CATCH A FLIGHT, WINNER: “Moreno was pretty sluggish leaving the gate and I out-broke him by about half a length. On paper and knowing these two horses’ records, it looked like a match race between the two of them and that’s how I wanted to ride it. It worked out where Big Cazanova went up there and kept Moreno occupied down the backside but they were running slow enough fractions for these kinds of horses. It looked like a match race and it was a match race until inside the eighth pole.
“Ever since his first win here he’s shown me a lot of tenacity and it was just a question of if he was fast enough to win. He’s just now starting to figure out American racing, I think he’s still improving and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him yet.”
CORNELIO VELASQUEZ, MORENO, SECOND: “My horse, I gave him every chance and he stopped today. The other horse, Catch a Flight, he ran good. My horse, he ran OK.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, CATCH A FLIGHT, WINNER: “We figured he’d be off of those two (Big Cazanova and Moreno). Then it was whether he could catch them or not. When he (Gary Stevens) goosed him at the quarter pole, he responded pretty quickly. Gary knows him well enough. I didn’t try to tell him how to ride him . . . This was a step forward. The time of the race was good and he beat Moreno. Every step he’s made has been forward. We’ll look at the Gold Cup here next ($500,000, Grade I, 1 1/4 miles on June 27).”
ERIC GUILLOT, MORENO, SECOND: “It’s typical Moreno fashion. As soon as he got the lead, his ears pricked. What are you going to do with a horse like that? You try and separate yourself, but it’s hard to separate when you’ve got a longshot setting 46 and change fractions. When you’re by yourself and you’re not pressed, it’s a little bit different breathing pattern. He ran good, but that’s why I hate running for 200 grand, but he runs just as good for two million with $400,000 for second as he does for second for $40,000. The plan is to run back in the Gold Cup unless something comes along with a little bit more money, a little bit more prestige. A mile and a quarter, I’ll separate myself a little bit more next time. Hopefully, there’s no cheap speed in there.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Julio Bozano of Ocala, Fl, who races as Haras Santa Maria de Araras, Inc.