Park Avenue Division
John Parisella, winning trainer of Sunny Desert (No. 5): “It was all [jockey Ramon] Dominguez. The ride was scary; he saw that hole, [Eddie] Castro [on Sweet Moon] was going in and out, but he went for it. He and I are magic together. It’s unbelievable. It’s all him. Everybody said, ‘You’re going to be on the lead.’ We went with the strategy of making one run, and we didn’t get caught up in [the speed duel]. Ramon was the right guy for it.”
On Sunny Desert ’s next starts: “She has the Stallion Series, and the next two races [Cupecoy’s Joy on June 3 and the Statue of Liberty on August 8] are on the grass.”
Ramon Dominguez, winning jockey aboard Sunny Desert (No. 5): “It was very close, but here the actual wire is right after the big post, and I thought for sure that we got beat. So, it was extra nice to come back and see my number up. There was quite a bit of speed; they went quick early. She settled into a good stride and coming into the last turn Castro [aboard Sweet Moon] was right in front of me and it seemed like he was looking to angle out. I was so handy that I had to pick my spot, and I decided to let her go duck in there. The rail opened up so much that he wasn’t aware that I was there and decided to come in. I got bounced around, but it wasn’t his fault at all. I really committed, and there was not much room. She still continued and was pretty game to get up.”
Times Square Division
Derek Ryan, winning trainer of I’ll Stake U (No. 1): “I basically left it to [Rosie Napravnik]. He seems to draw the one post a lot, so I said ‘Ride him anywhere you find him, he’s a cool horse, you can do anything with him.’ He’s just a neat little horse to be around and I really thought he’d win today. No [future plans] at the moment, we’ll try and keep him with straight 3-year-olds, New York-breds and 3-year-olds and go from there. He’s bred to stretch out eventually.”
Rosie Napravnik, winning jockey aboard I’ll Stake U (No. 1): “That was great! I didn’t really know much about the horse, other than watching the replays and reading the Racing Form, but Derek [Ryan] told me he really was confident in him. He told me he’s a push-button horse, easy and nice to ride, and to give him a clear path. We got a great trip and the horse was the best in the race.