VICTOR ESPINOZA, STELLAR WIND, WINNER: “It’s a great day. I worked harder in her last race, the Clement Hirsch, than I did today. It’s always good to be next to Beholder, next to the queen, it’s always a plus. To be able to pull away the last eighth, it’s not easy! It’s hard but Stellar Wind is an incredible mare and she will continue to be good.
“(Winning three Grade I’s) is why I’m here, to win. That’s’ why I worked so hard and dedicated myself to be successful in my career early on. Now, I have the chance and opportunity and I can’t waste it. I have to keep going until the day that I retire.”
GARY STEVENS, BEHOLDER, SECOND (BEATEN FAVORITE): “Nothing really went wrong, except I was on the lead and a sitting duck once again. No pace except for me, and realistic fractions. I flat got out-run. I have no excuses. Carrying equal weight. Hat’s off to the winner, and hat’s off to my mare. She shows up every day. Unfortunately three losses in a row, and it’s tough for a champion. She’s pretty special for me, and hopefully we can bounce back and get some pace in the Breeders’ Cup, or the stars will change. Hat’s off to the winner.”
JOHN SADLER, STELLAR WIND, WINNER: “We thought she’d be a better four-year-old. These mares peak at four and she’s a bigger, stronger horse this year. She’s relatively fresh and we get to go into the Breeders’ Cup off of three starts. We’re looking forward to it.
“She ran so well last time, I thought this race would be very similar to what it was–another battle, and we were lucky enough to prevail a second time. The rubber match (coming up). We’re looking forward to it.”
PART OWNER KOSTA HRONIS, STELLAR WIND, WINNER: “I’m just thrilled. She’s brilliant. I think she’s the best so we’re looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup. She’s got five weeks off, she’ll just keep her normal schedule and she’ll be ready to go.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, BEHOLDER, SECOND: “We’ll go to the Distaff from here. My mare didn’t look like she ever gave up and those two finished well clear of the rest of them. We didn’t really intend to go to the lead, but with a five-horse field, what are you gonna do? Not to make excuses, but yes, I think a full field will help us next time.”
NOTES: Winning owners Kosta and Peter Hronis reside in Delano, CA.