VICTOR ESPINOZA, MIDSHIPS, WINNER: “Bobby (Frankel) told me to just let him run free. He left it up to me and I was very happy with the way he broke out of the gate. I was real confident with how he was running the whole way, he was running very easily.”


BOBBY FRANKEL, MIDSHIPS, WINNER: “He (Midships) was comfortable (with the fractions he set). The other day he (Garrett Gomez) didn’t ride him right (when finishing fourth as the 3-5 favorite in an optional claiming race on Feb. 26). If Garrett had ridden him today, he’d have ridden him the same way (as Victor Espinoza did).

“I don’t know what I’ll do (next). I didn’t realize he could run a mile and a half. I thought he could, and he came through, and I’ll think about what I’m going to do later. I’ll think about it (the $200,000, Grade II San Juan Capistrano Handicap at about 1 ¾ miles on turf on closing day, April 19).”

NEIL DRYSDALE, ARTISTE ROYAL, 2-1 FAVORITE, THIRD: “He stumbled at the break. It cost him the race.”

NOTES: Frankel is Santa Anita’s career leader with 914 wins (not including Oak Tree). He is second in stakes wins with 145. Charlie Whittingham leads with 204.