RUBEN FUENTES, OHIO, WINNER: “The instructions were to grab the lead if nobody wanted it, so I jumped out of there and as soon as Hunt went by me I knew we had something to run at and someone to follow. We were going pretty smooth there (23 and 47). Coming into the turn, he wanted to go on his own and Mike said, ‘whatever you do, don’t take anything from him. Whatever he wants to do, go along with it,’ and that’s just what I did. Turning for home, I moved my hands down on him and he gave me a quick turn. After that, I knew I had it and he was gone. Then, I saw a horse on the outside and he saw him too. As soon as he saw him, he fought back and he just got his head right at the wire. It’s great (winning his first Grade 1). It’s the best feeling in the world”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, CATAPULT, SECOND: “I thought I was in front at the wire. That is the worst head bob I’ve been involved in. I knew it was close by hearing all the crowd noise. I was hoping it wasn’t that close. After we finished, Ruben (Fuentes) turned to me and congratulated me on the win. He thought he lost.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, RIVER BOYNE FOURTH: “There was no speed up front, the horses up front held sway and never came back to me. I was in a great position. Last time out my horse was boxed in with nowhere to go turning for home, but this time he was in the clear and had every opportunity to run them down; they just never came back to me. He didn’t have any excuses this time. We just couldn’t run down the leaders.”
MICHAEL McCARTHY, OHIO, WINNER: “I thought they got the bob (Catapult). I was watching on the big screen and I knew it was pretty close. I was thinking dead heat since it was taking a while. There’s been a lot going through my mind these last three weeks with no racing. This horse is very easy to train. We put a couple of easy works in him and he was ready to go. I thought with the small field that we could take a shot. I thought the race was void of pace and we found a great spot on the backside. . I just thought he was a horse with a lot of back class when we took him to Arizona and he won a nice little race, $75,000 stake and it sort of changed him, he is a very easy horse to train, he’s easy on himself I though today we would be on or close to the lead Hunt went ahead and found himself on the lead we sat right second. I can’t thank Ruben enough for a wonderful ride he’s very patient, obviously today was his first mount in a Grade 1 and first win in a Grade 1 and for the owners Bruce Trietman, the Wellmans, Eclipse Thoroughbred, I can’t thank them enough for their support, it was their idea to go ahead and claim this horse I’m just along for the ride here.” (What’s next?) I’m thinking of taking him to Kentucky for Derby weekend.”
JOHN SADLER, CATAPULT, SECOND BY A NOSE: “Yes, that’s one of the toughest beats we’ve ever had. I thought he ran a great race, I’m really proud of him. That’s just the way it went today.”
NOTES: This was jockey Ruben Fuentes’ first ride in a Grade I race and obviously his first Grade I victory. The winning owners are Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Bruce Treitman.