GARRETT GOMEZ, COMPARI, WINNER: “I thought I’d get some early pressure from Talamo (Joe, aboard Fluke) but when we went to the first turn I looked to my outside and it was Mike (Smith, aboard Aitcho). About the half mile pole Mike came to me and we were head and head and my horse could’ve cared less. He’s improved so much, he’s just a cool dude now. I mean, we went the half in 47 and two and it felt like 50. He’s like a sprinter slowing ‘em down. Around the far turn, I knew they were backed up behind me and I knew there was somebody down inside and I could hear Trevor saying somebody was ‘crying out for room,’ but I didn’t know it was Battle of Hastings. When we turned for home he just dropped his head and went. He’s just an awesome miler right now.”


MARTY JONES, COMPARI, WINNER: “These were real, real horses today. Those are some of the best turfers on the grounds. They came to him, but he wouldn’t let them by. He’s got a big heart, this horse. He’s a special horse and Garrett (Gomez) rode a great race. He seems to make his own luck, this horse. Hopefully, he’ll continue on.”

NOTES: Jones said he would see how Compari came out of this race before making definite plans for his next race, but mentioned the Woodford Reserve (Grade I, $500,000, 1 1/8 miles on turf at Churchill Downs on May 1) and the Shoemaker Mile (on turf, Grade I, $250,000 at Hollywood Park on May 31) as possibilities.
The winning owners are John Nicoletti of Dos Palos, John Harris of Coalinga and Don Valpredo of Bakersfield.