TYLER BAZE, ITSINTHEPOST, WINNER: “I knew they were going fast in front of me but I wasn’t worried about any of those horses. My horse doesn’t have a tremendous turn of foot. He did that one race (Oct. 1 in the Grade II John Henry Turf Classic, winning by a head) but maybe that’s because I was bottled up so long in that race.
“I’ve always done the same thing. I’ve always had to out-kick the horses that have that turn of foot. I make them chase me because then they’re having to work that much harder if I open on them a little bit.
“This horse shows up every single time. The guys at the barn have done an unbelievable job with him. Jeffrey Jr. (Mullins son) has been working with him hard. Rudy, his groom has done a great job and Alejandro Molina, the gallop boy, we all love this horse so much. He’s a big part of our barn. He’s a really special horse. He’s going to get a bag full of apples in the morning that’s for sure.
“I knew I got the bob but you can never totally tell. I knew Victor was upset when we hit the wire. It was just a matter of where exactly the picture was taken.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, HAYABUSA ONE, SECOND: “My horse ran a big race and he’s coming along pretty nicely. He’s better than before, when I rode him last February. It was just one of those things today. We were either going to win or lose today, and it was a flip of the coin. It was a tiny bobble and the main thing is that he ran great.”
JEFF MULLINS, ITSINTHEPOST, WINNER: Asked what he thought when they hit the wire: “I wasn’t sure. He ran good. It was probably a little quick back for him, so we’ll give him a little time now (before his next race). He gives his best every time. He’s a warrior. Tyler could have waited just a little longer before he went, but it worked out. He knows him. He’s ridden him more than I have.”
JED COHEN, OWNER, RED BARON’S BARN, ITSINTHEPOST, WINNER: “He’s a really good horse. Even when he doesn’t win, he’s right there every time. You don’t get many horses this consistent, period.”
When asked if he thought he had won the photo finish? “I didn’t, but everybody else did.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Red Baron’s Barn, LLC.