FLAVIEN PRAT, VASILIKA, WINNER: “We broke fine at the rail. We changed our strategy when I saw Mike (Smith) was out of the race on the first turn and we went to plan B. I can never do anything wrong with this filly. No matter what I do, she covers me. She is definitely something special.”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, MEAL TICKET, SECOND: “My plan was to follow the speed and when two took the first turn the way she did, it kind of forced me to change it up a bit. But, I was still pretty much where I wanted to be. I almost got myself in a good position where I could trap Vasilika, but she just proved to have too much horse to keep her bottled up down in there. My filly ran a really good race, so I’m pretty happy.”
MIKE SMITH, MS BAD BEHAVIOR, EASED GOING INTO CLUB HOUSE TURN: “No, she didn’t bolt. I just didn’t like the way she was moving. I’d rather be safe than sorry.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, VASILIKA, WINNER: “I talked to Flavien (Prat) a little bit before the race and I told him if ‘You wanted to do something a little different, I didn’t mind.’ I think he was a little nervous about being back today, so he kept her a little closer and it worked anyway. She’s doing good right now, that’s for sure.”
As to what’s next, Hollendorfer said he would look at the $400,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Grade II) on Kentucky Derby Day, May 4.
GEORGE TODARO, VASILIKA, WINNER: “I don’t know what caught my eye on this mare, I didn’t expected this, some of them work out and some of them don’t, that one worked out very well and I am very pleased. Jerry (Hollendorfer) does a good job at picking out horses that can move up, there are several others like that not as extreme but he is great.”
MARK SCHLAICH, VASILIKA, WINNER: “Jerry just called us up and asked if we wanted a piece of her (Vasilika) and he talked about her a little bit, I usually say yes about 3 of the 4 times, he took Vasilika to his camp and put a little weight on her and got her into shape. We are always looking ahead and we like to compete so we will do something creative with here to stay in the competitive world. We like it.”
NOTES: The winning owners are All Schlaich Stables LLC, Hollendorfer, LLC, Gatto Racing, LLC and George Todaro.