Santa Anita News
ANCIENT TITLE STAKES QUOTES
MIKE SMITH, AMAZOMBIE, WINNER: “He just oozes class. You have to really give a lot of credit to Bill (Spawr) and his crew. He’s a big strong horse and Bill just keeps him happy, sound, and fit. He just runs dynamite and never runs a bad one. Today was one of his very good ones, and being back on dirt helps a real lot. He deserves his chance now in the Breeders’ Cup. He’s got great tactical speed, a great turn of foot, and a race at Churchill Downs could really set up well for him. We’ll see what happens.”
BILL SPAWR, AMAZOMBIE, WINNER: “He (Mike Smith on Amazombie) went wide, he circled ‘em wide, he said he had so much horse he didn’t want to get stopped. That’s why he went wide. He (Amazombie) didn’t surprise me; he loves this dirt. He loves dirt.”
Asked about going on to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5: “We’ll see how he comes out. We hope to, if he comes out fine. If he doesn’t, he’ll run in the Cal Cup (Sprint on Oct. 29). We have a month.
“I was happy with the early splits (fractional times), especially (45-1 shot Sirocco Strike) hooking The Factor. He’s a really good horse. We’ll point to the Breeders’ Cup because it’s dirt and I think with a lot of speed, it will help his chances, so we’ll see. We just hope he comes out good.”
THOMAS SANFORD, OWNER, AMAZOMBIE, WINNER: “He’s getting more and more mature. The Factor is a great horse, but we were confident coming into this race. He always seems to run good as an underdog. We knew somebody had to go with The Factor and we were glad to see the two horse out there with him. He didn’t seem to like the track at Del Mar that much and Bill couldn’t train him that much down there. Coming back here was like coming back home. We’ll see how he comes out of this and we’re gonna try to go to the Breeders’ Cup.
BOB BAFFERT, THE FACTOR, 2-5 FAVORITE, FOURTH: (On Sirocco Strike pressing the pace early): “That’s horse racing. He was in the one (post position), so he had to go. I guess they wanted to press us early. You never know what jockeys are going to do--it’s always the longshot that gets you. They have nothing to lose, so they just go for it.
“As long as he comes out of it all right, this will set him up for the next one (the Breeders’ Cup Sprint). The next race will be the most important one. I didn’t want to change his style today.”
(Do you still plan to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint?): “Oh yeah, he’ll be all right.”
(On the inside post position): “The post position was a killer for him. They had him trapped. The winner’s a good horse--it was a tough race. That happens. When it was 21 flat for the first quarter, I knew it was over. He had to rush him. We learned something from that race.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Tom Sanford of Pasadena and Bill Spawr of San Gabriel. Spawr won the 2006 Ancient Title with Bordonaro.