LAS CIENEGAS HANDICAP QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

PATRICK VALENZUELA, SEPARATE FOREST, WINNER: “This filly loves this hillside course. I knew she (Unzip Me) was right behind me and I had to get away from her before we crossed the dirt. I had enough filly under me to get that done.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO, UNZIP ME, SECOND: “The horse just had too much weight. That’s what cost me the race. I had 127 pounds and the other horse (winner Separate Forest) had 115 (118 with three pounds of overweight). It was too much weight. She broke really sharp, but with the light weight, I knew (Separate Forest) was going to be in the lead easy. So I just sat right behind and followed her. When we came down the stretch, that horse never stopped running. She tried hard to the end, but the other horse had a lot of advantage. I feel like my horse was kind of heavy. No excuses though.”

TRAINER QUOTES

DOUG O’NEILL, SEPARATE FOREST, WINNER: “I didn’t tell Patrick anything. He knows her well. Obviously, Unzip Me was the horse to beat. You always want to be on the outside down the hill . . . and he just rode her with all the confidence. I can’t believe she won it. It’s amazing. We really didn’t have any intention of coming back in a week but she was doing great and to win is just unbelievable.”

MARTIN JONES, UNZIP ME, 3-5 FAVORITE, SECOND: “I thought she ran her heart out. I was real proud of her. You’ve got to give that filly that won a lot of credit, she ran real hard, but I think at the end of the day the weights got her. It’s just a lot of weight to carry. You start carrying 127 pounds that’s a lot to ask. We’ll see how she takes the race and try and figure out where we go from here. Hopefully she comes out of it all right and we’ll regroup.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Pablo Suarez of Valencia, Mark Verge (Westside Rentals) of Santa Monica and Tsukashima of Valencia.

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