RAFAEL BEJARANO, TALCO, WINNER: “When I came to the stretch, I knew Tyler (Baze, on Midnight Storm) still had a lot of horse. My horse gave me such a big kick off the turn, we were able to challenge him right away and then we outran him to the finish. The whole key to winning today was being able to stay inside around the far turn and really kicking well.
“The turf is really soft and deep. I let him break good and I didn’t want him too far back. I saw that the pace was a little slow, for this kind of race, for these horses, so I didn’t want to be too far off the pace.”
TYLER BAZE, MIDNIGHT STORM, SECOND: “He didn’t handle that grass at all, he couldn’t really get a hold of it. I’m still very proud of the way he ran; he never threw in the towel.”
JOSE LEZCANO, SEEK AGAIN, THIRD: “My horse just didn’t do it today. I tried to keep up with Talco and couldn’t.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, BAL A BALI, FIFTH: “I had a good trip . . . I was pretty good on the last turn and I asked him and he didn’t answer . . . We beat the winner the last time so I don’t know; he was not good today.”
LARRY BENAVIDEZ, ASSISTANT TO JOHN SADLER, TALCO, WINNER: “After the first quarter mile, we were smiling, especially since the grass looked a little longer than normal. It was a big win. We just kind of wanted them to go fast up front, and we figured the one (Winning Prize) was going to go, with the blinkers on. Finally the race played out like it looked on paper and this horse is in top form right now.”
KOSTA HRONIS, PART OWNER, TALCO: “When we saw the early fractions we felt pretty good, and we’re happy that this win pays his fee for the Breeders’ Cup (Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 31). He was first or second in his last four races and he got the pace today.”
NOTES: Under the enhancements of the Challenge series, Breeders’ Cup Limited will pay the $40,000 entry fee of the Shoemaker Mile winner to start in the Mile if that horse is nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by Oct. 19, the Pre-Entry deadline. Breeders’ Cup is providing all North American connections of horses based outside of Kentucky a $10,000 travel allowance to start in the Championships. Winning owners Hronis Racing LLC are from Delano, CA.