Stakes Quotes

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March 23, 2013


MARTIN GARCIA, SKY KINGDOM, WINNER: “I was outside the speed today. I let my horse break on his own and just cruise around. He relaxed perfectly, and when I kicked in he just took off. My plan was to let somebody go to the lead and let my horse sit on the outside and stay comfortable, and that is exactly the way it went today.”

EDWIN MALDONADO, OILISBLACKGOLD, SECOND: “I thought they were going to go a little quicker today. They went at a slow pace so it gave the winner a win. My horse ran good. I thought I had the race at the quarter pole.

March 17, 2013


BRICE BLANC, BENCH GLORY, WINNER: “She did great. First time out after a long layoff like this, you never know. She liked the course and she was ready today. She’s super-special. She put me in the race like she always does and came up with that strong kick.”

(In response to what a Frenchman does on St. Patty’s Day.)

“I can’t drink beer, so I guess I’ll have to think of something else to do. Champagne . . . Irish champagne!”

MIKE SMITH, ISMENE, WINNER: “On dirt, I win. You know, dirt’s better.

March 16, 2013


ROSIE NAPRAVNIK, JOYFUL VICTORY, WINNER: (Do you know if Larry Jones has anything in mind for her next race?) “You better ask him, I don’t know yet.”

(In response to how the trip set up for her.)

“She broke sharp. She likes to run freely and doesn’t like being restrained so it was nice that we had plenty of room on the rail to take the lead into the first turn. She was just relaxed and ran a great race.”




VICTOR ESPINOZA, BRIGHT THOUGHT, WINNER: “He’s an unbelievable horse, he’s an unbelievable talent. The horse does everything you tell him to, and this was his first time going this distance. He broke running, and I was going to go on with him, but I didn’t want to go head to head with every other horse all the way to the wire so I eased back a bit. I gave him a little breather and started to let him run from the three-eighths (pole).

March 10, 2013


MIKE SMITH, RUMOR, WINNER: (In response to how he felt she came to this race, if he thought she was going to step forward here.)

“Well, it didn’t look that way. Last time I rode her she was just quiet, really, really quiet. Quiet in the gate, didn’t get into the race, just stayed quiet. Today, I said I really want to warm her up, at least, at some point, get her into the race and see what would happen. When I did, she just locked on, and once she did that I knew she was going to run, it was just a matter of being good enough.

March 9, 2013


COREY NAKATANI, HEAR THE GHOST, WINNER: (Jerry Hollendorfer said he wasn’t surprised by the fast pace, how about you?)

“Not at all. I felt that they were going to go fast. So I thought, ‘let’s get away good and make someone commit to going to the pace we need for him’. He’s a tremendous horse. Jerry said, ‘I’m going to find you a good one’ and I’ve been working some horses for him in the morning, asking for some help. I want to stay home, with my family, and stay on the West Coast. I’d like to get on the Derby trail with a horse, and this is it.


EDWIN MALDONADO, BIRDLOVER, WINNER: "Doug (O’Neill) told me to go to the lead and if somebody wants to go out there like a rabbit let them have the lead. Nobody fought me. It was a perfect race."


DOUG O’NEILL, BIRDLOVER, WINNER: “Well, we were hoping to get an easy lead in the seventh race . . . it didn’t happen, but this is a nice filly, and so is the other filly (Wittgenstein, sixth). Both of them are very earnest, and it was a wide-open race.

March 2, 2013


GARRETT GOMEZ, BEHOLDER, WINNER: “The other day, the other race (Beholder’s last race on Jan. 21 in the Santa Ynez, where she ran second), I was really surprised when she didn’t run as well as I thought she was going to. But, there was an explanation for it (an ulcer was found in her throat after that race).

“Richard (Mandella) didn’t want to use that as the main excuse but there was a little question mark there from the performance. It wasn’t a horrible performance, but it wasn’t what we expected.


JOE TALAMO, SUGGESTIVE BOY, WINNER: (It’s got to be thrilling to win a Grade I for Ron McAnally on a big day like this): “I tell you what, that picture is going up on my wall. I’ve always wanted to win a big stake for Mr. McAnally. He did an unbelievable job with this horse, he’s very fresh today, and I just had to point him in the right direction.


BOB BAFFERT, GAME ON DUDE, 13-10 FAVORITE, WINNER, AND GUILT TRIP, FIFTH: “He’s always been able to go a mile and a quarter. I think Mike (Smith) really gets along with him well. He must have given him a breather along there somewhere . . . but the thing about ‘Dude,’ he’s got to go along at a fast clip. The horse is just a great horse. What he showed today was amazing . . . I give a lot of credit to Mike Smith, but everybody who rode him got along with him well.