BRICE BLANC, MIDNIGHT CROSSING, WINNER: “I’ve worked her in the morning and she’s very delicate, very light-mouthed. On paper it didn’t look like there was much speed so I thought Joe (Talamo on Responsibleforlove) would be on the lead. When I went into the paddock, Richie said, ‘Just don’t get into a speed duel. Don’t fight her. Get her in a comfortable spot.’
“She broke a little awkwardly but I gave her a little squeeze and she just jumped on the bridle. I just pitched her head and when I hit the first eighth of a mile she started to relax. She kept relaxing and looking around and I could tell I had a lot of horse. At the three-eighths pole, that’s when the running started. She was there for me. There were some nice fillies that finished strongly. I was a little worried that they’d out-kick me but she kept really digging in.
“So far I think I’m happy as my own agent. I’ve won three stakes the past month, so I think he’s doing a good job (smiling). Thanks to Bing (Bush, see quote below) and a bunch of his owners for giving me the opportunity with these two fillies today. And, Richie gave me a chance again, riding some nice horses and that’s really all it takes. Little by little, things are picking up again.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO, ELYSEA’S WORLD, SECOND AS 8-5 FAVORITE: “The slow pace was really hard to overcome. Especially in a small field, I didn’t want to change my filly’s style of running. She likes to come from off the pace and I thought, ‘Hopefully, she can kick like she always does.’ She did, but the winner didn’t come back enough. I’m proud of the way my filly ran because she came running.”
RICHARD BALTAS, MIDNIGHT CROSSING, WINNER, AND GLIDING BY, FOURTH: “I just told the jocks to go at whatever (pace) they were comfortable. It was a good job by Brice (Blanc on Midnight Crossing). The other horse (Gliding Buy) was sitting perfect, but just wasn’t good enough, although she didn’t run bad, either. We’re very happy.”
BING BUSH, ABBONDANZA RACING, MIDNIGHT CROSSING, WINNER: “It was just a question of if she had enough speed and enough room and she did today.
“You know, I don’t know if I can put it into words. I’m just so thankful for this group. Yes, we’re owners together but we’re friends, we’re really friends. For us to be able to go through this experience together is just wonderful, it’s beyond words.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Abbondanza Racing, LLC and Medallion Racing. Baltas won the Frankel last year with Goodyearforroses.
ZOE METZ PHOTOGRAPHY