FLAVIEN PRAT, BATTLE OF MIDWAY, WINNER: “I thought to the other race (San Antonio Stakes on Dec.28) when we were out on the lead and we had been praised the whole way, it felt like he (Battle of Midway) was really comfortable doing that, so with the outside road today, I thought it might be better to stay outside.
“I think the key was being outside. The draw was very important. I don’t think either horse liked to get pressure inside and I was able to stay just outside McKinzie the whole way. My horse likes to play around a little when he makes the lead, but he still finished good.”
MIKE SMITH, MCKINZIE, SECOND: “I broke in front of him (Battle of Midway), but if I had to do it over again, I would’ve taken my horse back.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, BATTLE OF MIDWAY, WINNER: “Very nice and good ride by (Flavian) Prat, I thought we had our horse ready and Bob’s (Baffert’s) horse (Mckinzie) was very game too, so it was a good race.
“We were kind of undecided what the speed was going to be I thought Bob would send his horse harder, but he didn’t do that so that kept us wide into the first turn, which was a good strategy for them.
“I thought we could get him (McKinzie) and I thought Prat rode a great race. The other horse fought back, but we got lucky in the last couple jumps. We’ll enjoy this and see what’s up (next).”
NOTES: The winning owners are Don Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm LLC.