Santa Anita News
ROBERT J. FRANKEL STAKES QUOTES
GARRETT GOMEZ, SPRING STYLE, WINNER: “I thought she (Harmonious) made one run at me going to the three-eighths pole. When I first turned for home, I took another peek out there, and she was having trouble getting to me. We went so slow, it’s hard to really come by a horse that’s trying to finish. Even though she’s a good finisher, when you come home quick like we did, it’s hard to pass horses. The last three-eighth’s of a mile we picked it up and came home really solid. It’s hard to make up ground when it’s like that. I don’t think she (Spring Style) has had softer fractions like that. She was dictating what went on, and I felt like she was handling everything I wanted her to throughout the race. My idea, when I looked at the Form, was that I was going to put her on the lead. Ben (Cecil) didn’t want her on the lead. So I just let her break, and I left her on a long hold. She’s not that fast anyway, but I wasn’t going to take something that was coming easy to her, and take it away from her.”
JOEL ROSARIO, HARMONIOUS, SECOND: “They went too slow. They told me to make the last run. I wish I could have been a little closer, but there was no pace.”
BEN CECIL, SPRING STYLE, WINNER: “She can get a little lazy if she’s up front on her own, so I told Garrett (Gomez), ‘Just sit right off somebody if you can,’ and he rode her perfect. I did (think I won it) when I was sitting down, but as I walked down and watched the head bob, I wasn’t totally sure. It’s huge. It makes her worth quite a bit of money now. She’s got a reasonable pedigree and Pivotal is the leading sire in Europe. And winning the race named for Frankel is significant. Since I came to California, he’s the trainer I’ve had certainly the most respect for, so it’s great to win.”
JOHN SHIRREFFS, HARMONIOUS, 3-10 FAVORITE, SECOND: “No pace. They went too slow.”
HUMBERTO ASCANIO, LONG-TIME ASSISTANT TO FRANKEL, WHO PRESENTED THE TROPHY: “It couldn’t be better than to have this race named for Bobby. It’s real special, because he won it (as the San Gorgonio) eight times, so I’m grateful to Santa Anita for honoring him like this.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Kristina Cecil of Pasadena and Zillah Reddam of Sunset Beach.