MIKE SMITH, STARDOM BOUND, WINNER: “It seemed like she got lost out there early. We had a terrible trip. When I moved out with her turning for home, everybody else went out at the same time and we got caught really wide. From the sixteenth pole home, I thought we could grind ‘em down, but I was worried. At the wire though, she put her ears up and she was playing with the pony coming back. Maybe this is the kind of race she needed. I guess you could say it was a not-so-heady ride.”


BOBBY FRANKEL, STARDOM BOUND, WINNER: “I thought she won, watching the race live . . . I’m just lucky my heart’s strong.”

(Asked about running against males in the $750,000, Grade I Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 4): “I’m not talking.”

Prior to the race, Frankel said she was more fit for this race than she was for the Las Virgenes Stakes: “She had to be. She only ran 10 lengths farther than anybody else in the race (Oaks) . . . Watching the replay, I knew I just got up. It looked like she got in front, then she lost the lead, and then she came back again.”

Asked if he was concerned about the fractional times: “I wasn’t paying attention to fractions, I was just watching her run. He (Mike Smith) said they (other riders) were looking for her all the way, you know? . . . I wasn’t concerned about any of them. I was just concerned about her.”

MIKE IAVARONE, PART OWNER: “I think she worked pretty hard today against the girls (when asked if the Santa Anita Derby might be next). She’s going to have to really prove herself to handle horses like Pioneerof the Nile . . . If they think they want to go forward, I’m willing to go forward, but she worked pretty hard against girls today.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Mike Iavarone (IEAH Stables) of Garden City, N.Y.; Paul Pompa of Warren, N.J.; and Michael Dubb of Jericho, N.Y. This is the third Santa Anita Oaks win for Frankel. He won with Ariege last year and You in 2002.