STRUB STAKES QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

JOEL ROSARIO, TWIRLING CANDY, WINNER: “Mike (Smith) tried to send his horse to the lead and get a clean trip early. It was tough to get my horse to relax for a little bit. Going to the half-mile pole he relaxed really nice for me, which is what I wanted, and I just followed the horse on the lead. He’s a good horse. I followed the horse on the lead, and my horse just did unbelievable. My horse just took me there, and I let him do what he wants to do.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO, TWEEBSTER, SECOND: “No excuses. He ran really well. I was in perfect position. I was really comfortable. The favorite horse was making a move from half a mile and I had to stay close to him but he took off. I thought for one second in the stretch my horse would make a good move. He was getting close, but the winner, he just took off again. He’s (Twirling Candy) a nice horse.”

TRAINER QUOTES

JOHN SADLER, TWIRLING CANDY, WINNER: “He’s such a nice horse. My job is just to be a good steward and take good care of him, because he’s a natural runner. There was no concern (going from seven furlongs to a mile and an eighth). My only concern is that I do a good job, because I really feel this is the best horse in the country. He’s a really good horse, so I feel a strong sense of stewardship, that I do the right things with him and pick the races carefully. I just don’t want to make any mistakes because he’s that good. I beat up myself a few times for the time he got beat, maybe he wasn’t quite his best that day . . . But I just think if I do the right moves, he’s just a really top horse . . . He looked really comfortable today. He looked really non-stressed in the winner’s circle and that’s really key for him.”

NOTES: Sadler said the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap at 1 ¼ miles on March 5 would be next for Twirling Candy. Winning owner Jenny Craig is from Rancho Santa Fe.