MIKE SMITH, EUROEARS, WINNER: “I have to give Bob (Baffert) a lot of the credit. He told me to take it to them and put him on the lead. Fortunately I broke well, but I had to kind of put him there. Once I got him going he was just cruising. He’s a great, great, classy horse. I knew what this horse was capable of because he has so much back class. I knew if I could get a clear lead, and at some point give him a breather, then go again, he would run well, and it worked. The favorite (Smiling Tiger) was acting up in the gate and didn’t get away quite as good as he normally would have because he was kind of throwing a fit.”


BOB BAFFERT, EUROEARS, WINNER: “I wanted to be on the lead, so I just told Mike (Smith) to put him on the lead because he likes to run that way. I remember way back when, he was always a really fast horse. He went nine and change from the gate here one morning. Mike did a good job, got him away from there, and got the lead. I don’t know what’s next; I just wanted to get through this. I’m sort of disappointed in Ventana. He’s a bigger, heavy horse and it usually takes him a race to get going. He’ll be much better going a little bit further. Bejarano (Rafael) actually got them both ready for me, and he had his choice. He took Ventana and I told him the other horse was faster, especially gate speed wise.

NOTES: The winning owners James and Marilyn Helzer, who also owned champion quarter horse Refrigerator, reside in Dallas, Texas.