COREY NAKATANI, MADAM DANCEALOT, WINNER: “She’s been doing so well. I thought with as much rain as we’ve had and the turf being softer it worked to her advantage today.
“Being that far off the pace today was by instruction from my trainer. He told me what to do and I did it, to a ‘T’ (smiling.)
“In all seriousness, she’s a tremendous filly and she’s been doing great. I told Nick as we were going into the paddock that she couldn’t be doing any better. In the mornings, all the signs are perfect. A couple of other times going into a race she’s been wound up a little tighter than we’ve wanted but we’ve got her switched off. We take her to the training track, worked out there a few times and it’s really paid off. It’s a tribute to Richard and his entire team. She’s taken some work but they got the job done.
“There was no concern whatsoever about getting there in time. I know this filly. I always get on her and knowing what she’s capable of doing…she’s capable of laying closer and I knew they would be going slow. I thought it would play in my favor today but I don’t want to tell you my strategy. It’s for racing down the road…
“You stay out of her way, let her do the running and when you call on her, she’ll do what she did today; she’ll explode. I geared her down the last part of it to keep her happy and willing to do the things she needs to do.
“My son (Corey’s agent) has done a pretty good job too.”
RICHARD BALTAS, TRAINER OF MADAM DANCEALOT & MIDNIGHT CROSSING, 1-2 FINISHERS: “Both fillies ran great for different owners. I’m very grateful both fillies fired…It looked like Brice (Blanc, aboard Midnight Crossing) had plenty of horse and he was stalking. I saw Corey (Nakatani, on Madam Dancealot) coming up the rail and I said ‘Don’t get her stopped!’ I never would have thought she could’ve gone this far when we first got her, but she’s really changed. She still hasn’t won a Grade I, but she’s been knocking on the door.”
NICK CASATO, SLAM DUNK RACING, MADAM DANCEALOT, WINNER: “Madam Dancealot and Beau Recall make it tough to watch these kinds of races.
“It’s awesome to win a race like this. She’s already a Grade II winner but you know, residual value with these fillies is what you need.
“They’re both great, but being an owner you’ve got a lot more at stake than being a jockey agent (Casato was a longtime agent.) You’ve got a lot of money, sweat and tears into it. I have a lot of great partners and its great being here.
NOTES: The winning owner is Slam Dunk Racing.