FLAVIEN PRAT, HUNT, WINNER: “He has been training really well, pretty much like he was at Del Mar last summer right before he won two graded stakes. I was expecting a good race but you never really know off a layoff. He was fresh and he got the job done.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of distance at all with him. He won at six and a half, he’s won at a mile and three-eighths so I think it’s a matter of his mood and feeling the right way on race day.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX, HEART TO HEART, SECOND: “We had a good trip. I knew the one (Om) was going to go out real fast. I tried not to pay attention to him and to ride my race. When the winner came to us, my horse tried very hard. He fired . . . we can’t complain.”
PHIL D’AMATO, HUNT, WINNER: “The time off (six months) did this horse a world of good. We really kind of geared his campaign to focus towards Del Mar where he won three graded stakes last year, so these races were kind of preps leading up to the Del Mar meet (that starts July 18).
“He’d been training so well, and I give a lot of credit to Flavien Prat. He’s been breezing this horse the last couple of times and really tightened the screws on him. He was pretty confident this horse was going to run a good race off of those workouts, and it showed today.
“We won the Eddie Read last year (it will be run on July 22) so we’ll try to defend our title. I think the spacing is really good, and from there, we’ll see, but I’ve got a Win and You’re In Mile berth (see note below) and we’ll definitely gear our campaign towards that.”
MICHAEL HOUSE, HUNT, WINNER: “This is great, it’s what we’re all in it for. To have a trainer like Phil, we’re very lucky.
“Flavien was inside, saving ground in a good spot, and I was smiling.
“This is two years in a row that he’s won a ‘Win and You’re In’ now. Now I don’t have to worry about it and it’s just a great day to be able to see him win. He’s such a cool horse.
“He’s been training well and it was Phil’s call to go in here. The last few works he’s been working with Bowies Hero and he was just doing it easy with him. Flavien and Phil told me what they both thought and they’re the experts.”
RICHARD BALTAS, NEXT SHARES, THIRD: “Our horse was ready today. We didn’t anticipate a pace like this. It made it tougher to come from off the pace.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Michael House. The Shoemaker Mile is this year’s first Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge race run in North America, giving the winner a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 3.