DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, RING WEEKEND, WINNER: “It feels amazing to win my first Grade I for a trainer like Graham Motion. I’m very blessed.
“I was following Mike Smith on Za Approval and I thought he would be a good guy to follow, I expected him to show more speed then he did today. I tried to be as patient as I could, I swung out and when I saw the eight horse, Summer Front I was far out so I tried to cut back in to let my horse see him and my horse just kicked on from there.
“I got to breeze Ring Weekend on the turf last week and he worked amazing, I never moved on him. He came back well and really fresh.
“It’s my first Grade I, it’s amazing. When I was galloping out I was smiling the biggest smile ever.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, SUMMER FRONT, SECOND: “He’s a really cool horse. He’s very nice to ride. He gives you everything he has. He ran a good race. I thought we got this one by the way he ran, but I think the other horse outran me today. I was surprised by the way the other horse beat me. I wait, I wait, I wait and then I said ‘It’s time to go.’ And he goes. He’s quick out of there. The next time I looked back on the outside, the other horse (Ring Weekend) went by me like I was standing still.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, WINNING PRIZE: “He broke really good. He went to the lead really easy, so I put him just behind to follow the speed, but I never had a chance to come out and get in the clear. This horse likes to run in the clear. I would have liked to have an outside position, but I tried to do my best. The horse hasn’t run in eight months, but he still ran good.”
ALICE CLAPHAM, ASSISTANT TO GRAHAM MOTION, RING WEEKEND, WINNER: “He ran great. Drayden gave him a great ride and settled him nicely. It couldn’t have worked out better. He’s grown up from last year. I hadn’t seen him since then. He’s grown up a lot mentally and physically. Hopefully, we’ll have a good, fun year with him.”
NOTES: This is Drayden Van Dyke’s first Grade I win. The winning owners are Vince and Theresa Viola of New York City (St. Elias Stable) or Terry Finley of Saratoga Springs, NY (West Point Thoroughbreds).