FLAVIEN PRAT, VASILIKA, WINNER:  “I knew we would be fairly close to the lead.  I took hold of her on the last turn and took her outside. She does everything I ask of her.  I’m just a lucky man. This filly knows how to win.  She knows what to do.  It is quite amazing to be around her.”

IRAD ORTIZ, JR., RYMSKA, SECOND:  “There wasn’t much pace, so they were bunched. We needed some separation to get out, so I had to wait and work my way through horses. We did the best we could.”


JERRY HOLLENDORFER, VASILIKA, WINNER: “She has the turn of foot that most horses don’t have, but anyway, she continues to do it. Today Prat didn’t like where he was so he let her drift back a little so he could get out of where he was. He didn’t like being in between horses, so luckily for us, once she saw daylight, she still had that big turn of foot.

Asked if it’s been his best claim ever? “I think so, yeah. Probably so.”

Asked about the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Nov. 2: “It certainly would be a consideration, although they’ve taken the ‘Win and You’re’ (fees-paid berth to the race) off of this race.

“She’s a very professional mare. She always likes being in our barn so I’m happy to have her that’s for sure.”


GEORGE TODARO, VASILIKA, WINNER: “This mare ranks up quite well with all of the other horses we have. Jerry has kept her going, race after race 11 in a row and we’ve won 10 out of 11 and as Jerry says, when they are happy they run better.”

SHAWNE MERRIMAN, LINEBACKER, SAN DIEGO CHARGERS:  “It’s my first time here, it’s a great day, I’m really enjoying myself. I knew Santa Anita was big but I didn’t know how big. I’ve seen it on TV and seen pictures but they just don’t do it justice. This place is huge, excellent venue. ”

NOTES: The winning owners are All Schlaich Stables LLC, Hollendorfer, LLC, Gatto Racing, LLC and George Todaro. 

Co-owners George Todaro, left, and Mark Schlaich, right, celebrate Vasilika’s victory in the Grade I, $500,000 Gamely Stakes, Monday, May 27, 2019 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA. © BENOIT PHOTO