VICTOR ESPINOZA, PRINCESS NOOR, WINNER: “The talent, the energy, the speed! She dominated everyone with the energy she created during the race and I had a lot of confidence in her. Bob knows how to train his horses. She’s really kind, and she doesn’t need much. She does everything on her own, I’m just the pilot trying to find a way to have a little room to let her run and stretch her legs. It’s so easy to ride these types of horses.
“It’s my job to ride her with confidence, because I know she was the best filly in the race and I had to ride her like she was the best filly in the race.
“She reminds me of other great horses I used to ride like American Pharoah and California Chrome. The talent is there, we just have to let them be happy around the racetrack.
“I’ve been riding amazing horses, but as a filly, she’s the best one I’ve ever ridden.
“It takes a team to have an amazing horse like this. It creates better energy when you have a good team. When all the team is happy and working together and pushing forward, things work out much better.”
BOB BAFFERT, PRINCESS NOOR, WINNER: “I talked to Victor (Espinoza) before and I talked to all my riders I told them, ‘Just ride your races’. When you are in the one hole they usually don’t break as well but I think Victor rode her with a lot of confidence. He’s been on enough good horses and he knows. He took his time and I saw the other filly (Illumination) go to the lead and they just rode their own race.
“I saw Victor get behind and I saw that nice move before the 3/8ths and you can only do that when you have a Ferrari under you. Turning for home I was one-two-three and I thought, ‘this is a nice feeling’. I was hoping the other one (Illumination) would have held on for third.
“This filly is just incredible and very talented. I don’t train her as hard and I run her into shape. You never know if they can go two turns until they do it and it looks like that’s not going to be a problem.
“This was perfect for her. If you don’t have the clientele behind you its hard to get a filly like this but she was just a knock-out, she was something else.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.