TYLER BAZE, GOLDEN ITIZ, Winner: “He’s a really nice horse. He’s maturing and getting better and better. Last time he got an easy lead and they kind of let me walk the dog around there. Today was more of a learning experience for him. After we went around the first turn he just settled in so nice. It was just a matter of when I wanted to pull the trigger. He tries hard. Ever since I got on him the first time I knew he was something special.”
JOE TALAMO, SKIPSHOT, Second: “He had everything his own way. I just got outrun. On the first turn I let him drift out on purpose to just make them think. That made (Rafael) Bejarano (on Ranger Heartley) go ahead so we ended up having a perfect trip.”
RON ELLIS, GOLDEN ITIZ, Winner: “He’s going to be one of those horses that really guts it out every time. I thought he was in a little bit of trouble at the quarter pole. I thought he was starting to get in a little deep, but as soon as he straightened out in the lane he knew what he was doing. He’s very professional for a young horse. He’s one that the plan has actually worked. You like to think they’re going to be good enough to do certain stakes races when you have them and you think they’re that good, so you try to put them on a plan that’s going to take them to those races. Everything’s worked out just right for him. I don’t think he got a whole lot out of his last race. This race will teach him a lot. It looks like the Swaps is next.”
Notes: The last 3-year-old to win both the Affirmed Handicap and the Swaps Stakes was Came Home in 2002…The Swaps, a Grade II at 1 1/8 miles on Cushion Track, will be run on July 17…It was the first win in the Affirmed for Baze, Ellis and owners Mace and Samantha Siegel.
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