VICTOR ESPINOZA, CISTRON, WINNER: “The important thing for me and the horse today was that he broke running. He was able to take control right away and at the sixteenth pole, I said ‘Where is everybody?’ He ran great all the way to the wire, John is an awesome trainer, he really got this horse ready for this race and he made my job a lot easier. It is the best feeling ever to be back and ride amazing horses and win amazing races, I’m just blessed to be here.”
TYLER BAZE, ALL OUT BLITZ, SECOND: “He felt good going around there, I just wanted to make sure I got a jump on the closers. He (Cistron) was rolling and I was cruising. So when he went I thought I’d go with him, but he just pulled away.
JOHN SADLER, CISTRON, WINNER: “This horse ran well on the dirt as a 3-year-old. He actually won a stake going a mile and a sixteenth ($150,000 Northern Spur Stakes at Oaklawn Park on April 15, 2017). He’s been (running) on grass but trains well on dirt. I expected him to be in front. When we saw this race was coming up a little light and there wasn’t that much speed, we decided to supplement. It’s been great, Hronis racing is as good a brand as you’ll see in racing, the safety and welfare of the horses is paramount with them. We start from there when we go out and look for horses and hopefully we keep developing a lot of (them).
“Gift Box worked sensational this morning he’ll be pointing toward the Gold Cup here in May, Catapult looks beautiful we are pointing toward the Shoemaker Mile in May, Nolo Contesto, we will probably drop him back to the Affirmed stakes here in June, so we have a lot of nice stock and were just going roll them out periodically.”
KOSTA HRONIS, PART OWNER, CISTRON: “He always works nice on the dirt and he seems to like this track. He’s a pretty versatile horse. I guess not having the hill available (hillside turf course) made it an easy choice to put him back on dirt. It seems to be his distance. If he gets a nice easy lead he’s usually pretty tough . . . It’s good to have Victor (Espinoza) back on board. He works well with John. They’re a good team.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Kosta and Peter Hronis, Hronis Racing, LLC.