VICTOR ESPINOZA, STELLAR WIND, WINNER: “I thought it was good to be three-wide. I thought it was going to help me get the speed in front of me. It didn’t look like much but those two went and I was able to move out a little at the half-mile pole.
“I knew they were going to slow down on the front so I didn’t want to be stuck in behind horses. Sometimes it’s better to go a little wide and then they’re running free.
“Today, I rode her a little bit more because I think she needs a good race before going into the Kentucky Oaks. Her last race was too easy for her. I wanted a harder race for her today. I think she’s a Kentucky Oaks filly.
“I have confidence because she can do anything. That’s what I like about her. I can put her inside, I can swing her to the outside, I can go wide and it’s still OK. She’s such a big filly, with such a long stride that it’s easy for her.”
MARTIN GARCIA, LUMINANCE, SECOND: “My horse was pretty fresh, and she broke really sharp. She was in a good position, and she made a move, but the winner just ran by me. She was very impressive. She ran well. She’ll be ready for next time. I didn’t think the pace was that fast.”
JOHN SADLER, STELLAR WIND, WINNER: “She really wants more distance. This horse has a tremendous amount of stamina. It worked well last time (Santa Ysabel). She broke a little slow (in that race) and settled off kind of a slow pace, and so today, I said, ‘I wouldn’t change anything. Do what you’ve been doing.’
“The plan is to go the Kentucky Oaks (May 1). That’s the idea. It’s a month away so the spacing is right. Hopefully, we’ll be there the day before the (Kentucky) Derby.”
KOSTA HRONIS, STELLAR WIND, WINNER: “I’ve been coming to this track my whole life to win that race. We’ve always attended this track growing up and to come to Derby Day and watch these special races and to be part of it was really amazing. And to win it; once we saw she was going to win the race, I just stood up and I was in awe that we could be part of it.
“She looked good all the way around. She looked comfortable. I knew if she didn’t get caught in traffic and she was sitting out it would be great. If you keep the best horse out of trouble, that’s a good sign and Victor kept her out of trouble. I thought we maybe moved a little bit too early, but she’s a really talented filly. She wasn’t going to be caught today.”
NOTES: This was Sadler’s third straight win today. Asked if it was a first: “I’ve won four in one day before, but I don’t know if I ever won three in a row.”
Winning owners Kosta and Peter Hronis are from Delano, CA.