FLAVIEN PRAT, CATCH A FLIGHT, WINNER: “I had a lot of horse on the far turn. When I got a good spot I let him run. When he got the lead he waited a little bit, he was doing it so easy. I split horses easy because I had a lot of horse.
“I’m so lucky to be riding and working for Richard Mandella. He’s helped me so much.”
ALEX SOLIS, SAMMY MANDEVILLE, SECOND: “My horse was trying to win. He had been waiting for some competition. He ran great, he’s a very nice colt and I had a lot of fun riding him. (Doug O’Neill) told me that he likes to take his time and come running, and that’s what we did. We saved ground the whole way and then came at the right time, but the other horse was better today.”
TYLER BAZE, MOTOWN MEN, THIRD: “I had a beautiful trip. I had Catch a Flight stuck down inside half way around, I thought I’d keep him there. The horse on the lead angled out and let him through. It cost me what I wanted to do, but my horse ran really hard. They’ve done really well since they claimed him and he’s just an improving horse. There’s a Cal-Bred stakes race in a few weeks, so look for a huge performance as long as he comes out of this race in good order.”
(Has he improved each time?): “Yes. He’s really nice. Ted’s done great with him. He’s just a joy to ride. He’s very push-button, whatever I want to do out there. It’s nice to have one like that.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, CATCH A FLIGHT, WINNER: “We thought there was too much speed so he settled him back and got between horses and he did it like a pro. Flavien (Prat) rode him like the champ that he is, so it was really great . . . He’s developing very nicely. He’s the first horse I’ve had for this gentleman, Mr. Bozano. He’s a big breeder and owner and he’s been around a long time
“The Gold Cup is the big target (Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita at 1 1 /4 miles on June 27), maybe using The Californian (May 30) as a stepping stone. I’m not sure yet.”
On this being career win No. 2,000: “It’s good, but it took a long time. I did it one inch at a time, 42 years; this didn’t come overnight.”
NOTES: This was Mandella’s 2,000th career win. The winning owner is Julio Bozano of Ocala, Fl, who races as Haras Santa Maria de Araras, Inc. This is Prat’s first graded stakes win in North America.