KENT DESORMEAUX, MADAME STRIPES, WINNER: “Neil was very, very confident in her being ready for today’s occasion. He was mostly concerned with how fresh she was going to be. I rode her European style. I put a little steel in her mouth so she couldn’t jump away from the gate. It worked out well because the rest of the race she was dragging me and she just loomed up to the leaders. Once she got trapped at the three eighths pole she just took that deep breath and presented. She just flew home. It was fun.
“It was a dream situation for our whole team, which I loved, watching Corey make that early move on Insta Erma. I’m glad he did that. I was stuck behind Lady Valeur and Bejarano and was not enjoying my trip at all. When Nakatani made that move, you can see that I dove to the inside and got right behind him. I was hoping he could blaze a trail home for me, and he did.
“I have never ridden Megahertz but she is definitely a part of my career. I chased her my whole career. And now, I finally got to be a part of her name by winning her namesake race.”
COREY NAKATANI, INSTA ERMA, SECOND: “Second best today. She ran her butt off, she really did. Mike’s filly (Smith, aboard Chocolate Coated) was pretty erratic going down the backside and I took a pretty good hold and waited in behind her…but I decided to go so I could get my horse in rhythm.”
NEIL DRYSDALE, MADAME STRIPES, WINNER: “When she jumped (leaving the gate) like that, Kent was able to get her covered up and she relaxed. But when I saw 47 (46.98 for the first half mile), I said ‘Uh oh, uh oh!’ The way it turned out, the favorite moved early and I was glad to see that. I think this mare is stronger this year. She’s getting better.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Gainesway Stable of Gainesway Stallion Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Megahertz owner Michael Bello presents the trophy to Kent Desormeaux, Shawn Drysdale, trainer Neil Drysdale and their daughter Lita.
Zoe Metz Photography