Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship
THE GRADE II, $200,000, JOHN HENRY TURF CHAMPIONSHIP
VICTOR ESPINOZA, BALLADEER, WINNER: “He took the dirt crossing wide, but it wasn’t really important because I was able to control him without fighting with him or irritating him. When I crossed the dirt, we just went towards the rail and he was just going at a nice speed. I was just pleased with the way he responded to my command.
“He was strong all the way, even when the horses came to him, he would not let them go by. I just have fun riding these types of horses that just go out there and do their job.”
GEORGE PAPAPRODROMOU, BALLADEER, WINNER: “He ran huge at Kentucky Downs and he came out of the race great. This race came up and there was nothing else until Del Mar, so we figured just give him one more shot then give him a break after this, so it worked out perfectly.
“At the three-eighths I saw Maldonado (Masteroffoxhounds) getting close, but I knew my horse and he had another gear based on the distance of his last race. He was fit enough to take them all the way.
“We won a lot of races with Victor way back and he’s back now again. He worked him at Del Mar and we gave him a shot. Why Not?”
CALVIN NGUYEN, PART-OWNER, BALLADEER, WINNER: “This race was more exciting because it is a Grade II and he beat Gold Phoenix and we are really excited. Victor did a great job getting her to relax and all the credit to Victor and George. I was standing next to my sister-in-law and when he got out I was really apprehensive, but he had time to settle and just relax. I thought he was going a little fast, but he had another gear at the end, it was awesome. “It will be up to George where we go next. We will see how he comes out of the race, this race came up a little quick and George said to give it a shot, so we will let him decide.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Calvin Nguyen and Joey Tran.