TYLER BAZE, PAPA CLEM, WINNER: “I rode my horse with a lot of confidence. I didn’t want to get in a speed duel with Mike (Smith, aboard Smart Bid) around the first turn because we would have just killed each other off. I lost this horse last year when I broke my shoulder and it’s a blessing to get back on him. He’s so game and you can so anything with him. Now, it’s on to the Strub (Stakes, to be run Feb. 6).”


GARY STUTE, PAPA CLEM, WINNER: “I was a little nervous (through the stretch), just because he doesn’t remind me of a horse that’s going to open up on them. I was afraid somebody that he wouldn’t see might come get him late. But he showed a lot of heart, so I was really happy. Probably the Strub (Stakes) will be next (Grade II, $200,000, 1 1/8 miles on Feb. 6). We’ll see about Dubai or the Big ’Cap after that.”

NOTES: Winning owner Bo Hirsch is from Pacific Palisades.