Stakes Quotes

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February 1, 2014

JOCKEY QUOTES

RAFAEL BEJARANO, WINNING PRIZE, WINNER: “The last time I rode him at Del Mar, we were on the lead the whole way. This time, I wanted to try something different because I knew there was some speed in here, especially (trainer Steve) Asmussen, with his two horses. I thought he would send one to the lead and let his other come from behind. I decided to let whatever horse wanted to go to the lead and I would just follow right behind. I just tried to get him relaxed and he did, the whole race. When it came to the stretch, I just let him go.

January 25, 2014

JOCKEY QUOTES

MIKE SMITH, SCHERZINGER, WINNER: “Just a little bit of race-riding today (with a smile). I used her early and got her up there (to the lead) to make Victor (Espinoza, on Teddy’s Promise) to either use his filly or make her take back, one or the other and he chose to take back, which was good for us. When he went to the outside they made a little move on me, which I also thought was good for us because I really like seven-eighths for this filly, she has a big long stride and just keeps coming and coming; she just wore ‘em down today.

“She was content.

JOCKEY QUOTES

KENT DESORMEAUX, CIAO BELLA LUNA, WINNER: “That went completely opposite of what I thought. I thought we would be way back (early.) She broke horrible her last out so the only thing I did differently was I asked her to leave there (the gate) better. She carried me the rest of the way. She was in the bridle, just really floating along.

“The horse that was second (Marks Mine) jumped over the dirt and stumbled pretty good and I pitched a half (length) on them in a second. That might have been the winning move.

JOCKEY QUOTES

KENT DESORMEAUX, SUSANS EXPRESS, WINNER: “It’s so great to be back in California, especially on Cal-Cup day. We picked this day to come back. The fans make it feel like Breeders’ Cup, I can’t believe the people here.

“Jorge (Periban) told me exactly how to ride this filly and obviously it worked out. She’s a very nice filly.

JOCKEY QUOTES

RAFAEL BEJARANO, BIG MACHER, WINNER: “I thought a few other horses were going to the lead today. Cyclometer didn’t break well so I found my position, I followed the speed and my horse was flying at the end.”

KENT DESORMEAUX, COACH BOB, SECOND: “This is the quickest horse I’ve ridden in 10 years – no doubt. He leaves the latch like a Quarter Horse . . . I love this horse.

JOCKEY QUOTES

JOE TALAMO, WEEWINNIN, WINNER: “I had a perfect trip. I was able to sit right behind a couple of horses and I was hoping if Summer Hit got tired he would move off the rail a bit and it worked out. When he got tired at the quarter pole he moved off the rail about a length. I was able to shoot right through there. My horse just kept opening up and he ran a great race.”

VICTOR ESPINOZA, STONEY FLEECE, SECOND: “It was a nice trip. I got clear but he kind of stopped running in the stretch. He was a bit lazy on the backside and I had to get after him.

JOCKEY QUOTES

VICTOR ESPINOZA, CALIFORNIA CHROME, WINNER: “I know he’s doing great but it was his first time at two turns. We wanted to find out if he could go that far and today, he showed he can go the distance. He did it easy. I had to tap him once though just so he kept going because he waits for other horses.

“I talked with Art Sherman before the race and he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted to put him in the race; you have to let good horses run.

January 19, 2014

JOCKEY QUOTES

VICTOR ESPINOZA, SPELLBOUND, WINNER: “I knew they were going fast on the front end but I just wanted to focus on my own filly. I wanted her to be happy and I wanted to enjoy the ride. I knew they were going fast so I didn’t want to get too far back (either) but sometimes that’s just the way she runs. I don’t want to forcer her to do anything she doesn’t want to do. She was doing it comfortably so I didn’t do much.

“Turning for home I knew we had a lot of ground to make up . . . and the wire was getting closer and closer.

January 18, 2014

JOCKEY QUOTES

MIKE SMITH, SHAKIN IT UP, WINNER: “I was really impressed. My main concern was the distance today. He had done it once (ran 1 1/16 miles), and didn’t do so good. Of course, he had a lot of time off after that so I don’t know if that had something to do with it (his doing better today.) He certainly has developed into a bigger, stronger colt. He can certainly get a mile and a sixteenth anyway. I think he can get a mile and an eighth and after that it’s no man’s land.

“I was so happy with the way he broke.

January 11, 2014

JOCKEY QUOTES

MIKE SMITH, MIDNIGHT HAWK, WINNER: “It kind of turned into a match race today. Today, more so than winning I wanted to find out if he could go long. If you can’t go long, there’s no use worrying about anything else. He proved he could go long.

“He was much better in the gate today. It was evident the work they have done, he’s improved. There is some other work to be done though. He’s still a bit green down the lane.