Allen Iwinski, winning trainer of Sean Avery (No. 6): “The race itself was just so exciting. Going right down to the wire. Head-and-head. ‘Are we going to get there? Are we beat?’ He just hung in. It was just an exciting race, besides the fact it was my first Grade 1 win.
“The owners called me up in Florida and asked if I wanted Sean back. Do you have to ask that question? So they sent him to me, and he was training fabulous. He was rehabilitated with Lynn Boutee in Ocala, Fla. When she sent the horse to me, he quickly came to hand. We worked him maybe four times off a 15-month layoff, so she really did most of the work and the preparation for his comeback.”
Joe Bravo, winning jockey aboard Sean Avery (No. 6): “He’s a very tactical horse. Alan did a good job of bringing him back off the layoff. He kind of relaxed out there and he was all by himself. Really, honestly, I thought Trappe Shot beat us. I really did. At the wire he had the nose, but Sean knew he was there and stuck his head out and didn’t want to let him get by. He tries so hard. You have to give Alan Iwinski credit for taking his time and doing the right spots instead of dancing every dance. He really did it the right way.”
John DeStefano, managing partner of Black Swan Stable, winning owner of Sean Avery (No. 6): “What a thrill. Everything stayed right with him and Alan has done a great job of keeping him right.”
Kiaran McLaughlin, trainer of runner-up and beaten favorite Trappe Shot (No. 8): “It’s disappointing to lose because this was a Grade 1 race and it means so much to a stallion’s potential. The post position, obviously, had us racing wide. The track was favoring speed. He [John Velazquez] said everything was against us; speed on the inside and he had to use him hard and ask him twice. A jump before and a jump after [the wire], we’re a winner. It was a tough loss. Still, he ran great for what he had to do.”
John Velazquez, jockey aboard runner-up Trappe Shot (No. 8): “My trip was good. He just didn’t get there. He actually broke good, but he wasn’t fast enough to be close early, so I had to use him a bit because I didn’t want to drop too far back. He finished, but the horse on top never stopped, either. Everything was against him today. Speed was good on the inside today, and he was out in the middle of the racetrack. I wasn’t sure if I got there or not. He ran well, though.”
Javier Castellano, jockey of third-place finisher Calibrachoa (No. 5): “He ran very good. I’m very satisfied. I thought they would come back. My horse gave me a good run. We expected a good performance from him and he gave it to us. My horse responded so well.”