GARRETT GOMEZ, COMPARI, WINNER: “When I rode him last April, I thought he was a good horse, but when I rode him last time, (Dec. 17, Hollywood Park) off the layoff, I said, ‘He can run a little bit more than I thought he could.’ He’s turned into a classy little horse and Marty’s done a great job with him the past six months. Today, he crossed the dirt really good and I got him lined out, and he came home really good for us.”


MARTY JONES, COMPARI, WINNER: “He’s a really nice horse, a really competitive horse. He’s 110 percent race horse. He runs long, short, turf, dirt. It’s rare to get this kind of horse . . . We’re looking at the Sunshine Millions (next on Jan. 30). We’ll see how he comes out of this race, but that will be the tentative game plan.”

ANTHONY SAAVEDRA, SHADOW OF ILLINOIS (seeking to become first 10-year-old to win a stakes race at Santa Anita): “That’s horse racing. He was in a good spot. I didn’t see any excuses for him. Alex (Solis) just said it didn’t seem like it was his day. He said everything felt right, he was in a good spot. He said when they came around the turn there on the dirt, he got shuffled a little bit . . . but he said he felt fine, and that’s the important thing.”

NOTES: The winning owners are John Nicoletti of Dos Palos, John Harris of Coalinga and Don Valpredo of Bakersfield.