FLAVIEN PRAT, KANTHAKA, WINNER: “I had a good trip. I waited to make my move when I wanted, it opened up perfectly and after that, he did a brilliant job.
“Once he got the lead, he kind of looked around. He made that nice move and for about half a length he looked around but that was it.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, BEAUTIFUL SHOT, SECOND: “He finished full of run. Just an incredible effort; he came back on the last 100 (yards).”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, MCKALE, FOURTH: “He just wasn’t good enough today, that’s it. They didn’t go that fast for that distance and he just didn’t kick on.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, KANTHAKA, WINNER: “I thought Flavien (Prat) put the horse right up in there where he had a chance to get trapped and not get out, but he was counting on getting a seam and he did get the seam and went through it right away. When he saw the opening, he went right through, so I was really proud of him and the rider. I think he has the potential to run longer distances, but there are seven furlong races that fit him really good.”
MICHAEL GRIMM, ONE OF THE WEST POINT PARTNERS IN KANTHAKA: “It’s very exciting. This is our second graded stakes win with Kanthaka. We love the horse; he tries so hard. You can always find the (correct) breeding for a horse, but you don’t know what’s inside of him until he actually gets into a race. He’s shown he’s got big courage. I was worried when horses came up to him in the stretch, but he held them off and showed his courage.”
NOTES: The winning owners are West Point Thoroughbreds. The race is named for the late trainer of 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed.