Quotes from the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup

December 10, 2019

Bill Mott (winning trainer of Crown Queen)

“We ran her a couple of times as a 2-year-old, and (owner) Mr. (Ben) Leon wanted to give her some time over the winter to mature and grow up a little bit. It’s worked out perfectly. He made a good call, and she’s undefeated this season and now she’s a Grade 1 stakes winner. It was a very special win for me since I trained her mother (Delta Princess) and her grandmother (Lyphard’s Delta) and a lot of the family (including her multiple champion half-sister, Royal Delta). It’s a very meaningful win for me.”

On what he has in mind for Crown Queen “That goes to the drawing board. We’ve gotta talk about that.”

John Velazquez (winning jockey)

“It was perfect. I imagined that she was going to be close right from the gate, but when she didn’t break very good it was a blessing in disguise because I had to get her nice and relaxed going into that first turn. I dropped in and saved some ground and by the time we got to the backstretch I just put her in the clear and let her get her momentum going. From then on, it was all her. She put in a good fight down the lane as well.”

Joe Bravo (rider of runner-up Ball Dancing)

“My horse leveled off beautifully. Turning for home, I was really excited. I looked over and Johnny’s horse (Crown Queen) was more excited turning for home.”

Drayden Van Dyke (rider of Sistas Stroll, who finished in a dead heat for third)

“It wasn’t really the trip I was expecting. I was expecting to be a little bit closer, but the way she broke there was a lot of speed and they all kind of got in front of me. She wouldn’t switch leads for me; that’s a bad habit she has. She was wanting to lean in behind the six (Ball Dancing), and I think if she would have switched to her right lead and run straight she would have run better. But she’s learning, she’s just 3, and I think she’ll improve with each race she runs.”

Corey Nakatani (rider of Personal Diary, who finished in a dead heat for third)

“Considering how slow (the pace) was and how soft (the turf) was, she ran dynamite. She ran a good race considering I was trying to get right behind the winner. As soft as it was and as slow as they were going, it was going to be hard for her to have a kick. But she ran good overall.”

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