TYLER BAZE, FIRE WITH FIRE, WINNER: “He was really game today. Last year when I rode him to a third in this race, I think the course was a little bit hard for him that day. Today it was a touch softer, but I just let him go out there and have a good time, get on his own pace and not bother him.
“I didn’t try and slow him down, didn’t try to make him speed up, just let him have a good time. He just proved that’s what was going to work with him.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, VAGABOND SHOES, DNF (VANNED OFF): “It really surprised me. He was running excellent, he was dragging me around. The (two) horse (Niagara Falls) broke in a little bit out of the gate and we got bumped. I could feel his whole body go sideways and he had a different energy after that. I didn’t want to push him, I wanted to take my time. When I went to make a move, that’s when I heard something pop behind. I pulled him up as soon as I could and I hope he’s OK.”
NEIL DRYSDALE, FIRE WITH FIRE, WINNER: “We were expecting him to be on the lead today. We know he has a short run so I asked Tyler to leave it as long as possible (before making his move in the stretch) which he did. I want to take it step by step and we’ll wait to see where we go next with him.”
NOTES: This was Tyler Baze’s first stakes win of the meet. Winning owner David Heerensperger is from Bellevue, Washington.