Stakes Quotes

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February 8, 2014


GARY STEVENS, CANDY BOY, WINNER: “For a big horse he has a lot of acceleration and confidence on the turn. I was closer than I thought we were going to be today. He’s grown a lot lately, he’s grown but he’s also grown (mentally), too. I’ve been up for his last five works and we haven’t really squeezed the trigger yet. The gallop-out was huge today and I was already thinking about the Santa Anita Derby as we were galloping out around the turn. It was a lot of fun and he didn’t even take a deep breath after the race.

February 2, 2014


RAFAEL BEJARANO, WILD DUDE, WINNER: “I knew with three horses in the race for Mr. Hollendorfer, I knew Gary (Stevens) was going to send on Moonshine Bay to put a little pressure on the favorite (Martin Garcia, on Secret Circle.) The favorite went to the lead easy, but he was tracking the other horse (Moonshine Bay).

“I saved ground around the turn and waited for the stretch. I knew those two on the front end were going to keep going so I just wanted to wait so I could be clear in the stretch. I just had to wait for the right moment, the right time.

February 1, 2014


GARY STEVENS, FASHION PLATE, WINNER: “She’s a very cooperative filly. You never know first time going long. I will say, the other day another horse broke in on her during a work and it showed me a lot about her.

“She broke very relaxed and I didn’t want to get her rolling (too early.) She was content to stay inside of Rafael (Bejarano, on Taste Like Candy) around the first turn and at the three-quarter pole I knew it (the pace) wasn’t good for either one of us, even though she was relaxed so I let her out a notch and she did what I wanted her to do.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.