FLAVIEN PRAT, ILLUMINANT, WINNER: “That was a dream trip. She broke well and she’s just not fast enough to follow that fast pace. It was great.
“Crossing the dirt, I was low and everything opened up down by the rail. It was great.”
BRICE BLANC, ANITA PARTNER, THIRD: “She ran awesome for her first time against those types of horses. It was a pretty good step up (in class). She ran her race. She was a tad loose at the top of the hill – she struggled early, so I got a little farther back than I would have liked. Once she crossed the dirt, she really gave me everything she had.”
MICHAEL MCCARTHY, ILLUMINANT, WINNER: “I thought she was very good when she came to us. It took us a little while to kind of get her lined out and she battled a few things but once we were able to get her on track, she took us there.
“This is the first time that she’s actually really laid off the pace, going down the hill, so I was a little nervous to say the least. But once she got going across the dirt, I thought she had it. Going across the dirt I could see her quicken up and liven.”
ARON WELLMAN, ECLIPSE THOROUGHBRED PARTNERS, PART OWNER OF ILLUMINANT, WINNER: “”Even a broken clock is right twice a day. We wanted to defend our title in the (Grade I) Gamely, but this race made more sense. Sol (Kumin, part of Head of Plains Partners) owns part of Lady Eli, so this just made more sense. We’re very happy with the way she ran.
“She’s high maintenance, to say the least. The good ones are, that’s for sure. All credit goes to Michael and his staff. For her to still be winning graded stakes at age 5 is incredible testament to his horsemanship and his whole team.
“It’s a very special day any day she runs. To see her win a stakes here, and now a graded stakes at age 5 is very gratifying.”
NOTES: The winning owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Head of Plains Partners LLC and SF Racing LLC are based out of Del Mar, California