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MONROVIA STAKES QUOTES
GARRETT GOMEZ, MIZDIRECTION, WINNER: “My horse broke running and she got up on her feet right away. I didn’t expect to have any horses in front of me because I didn’t feel like there was that much speed. I thought maybe O’Neill’s filly (Separate Forest) and Marty’s filly (Unzip Me) would show the most speed and I’d be somewhere right behind them.
“When I looked over (Joe) Talamo was up there, and the outside horse was up there. So I just dropped her head and let her place herself. She kept herself where she was fairly comfortable and traveled good down the hill. I just don’t like to take too much away from her because she stays better than she quickens. She carries her speed very well and is not one to fall apart. I didn’t want to hold her up too much after we crossed the dirt. She traveled well, did everything good, and this was a good experience first time down the hill. Hopefully she can keep improving.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, 6-5 FAVORITE, UNZIP ME, DEAD-HEAT FOR THIRD: “My horse had a good trip. She was the only speed horse other than the number nine (Separate Forest) so I just let her go and tried to get her relaxed. When I saw the nine (Separate Forest) move early, I stayed behind and tried to keep my position. I then let my horse go little by little. She showed me a big kick at the end but she was a little too tired.”
MIKE PUYPE, MIZDIRECTION, WINNER: “It was a good race. She sprints with anyone on the turf, the way she ran today. She showed another dimension, too. She came from further back today. They were really flying and she kicked it in. I couldn’t be prouder of her effort or the ride Garrett (Gomez) put on her. It was a big race.
“It’s a dream come true to have a good filly like this that can do this kind of work on the grass at that distance. It took more than a few races to figure out what we want, but it’s right there in black and white, turf sprints.”
Asked what might be next: “It’s going to be hard to find a race. There’s not a lot out there for this kind. We might give her a little break or something, I don’t know.”
JIM ROME, PART OWNER OF MIZDIRECTION: “Garrett (Gomez) can host the show tomorrow. Garrett can do my TV show; it’s Garrett’s world, whatever he wants. Garrett Gomez is burning. I’ve had a lot of really good things happen to me in business and in life, but nothing has ever felt as good as that felt, in a professional sense . . . I don’t know anything that’s ever felt that good.
“It’s awesome (to share the winner’s circle ceremony with that many people). The winner’s circle keeps getting bigger and bigger, but as long s as she runs like that, it’s not going to be a problem at all.”
MARTY JONES, UNZIP ME, DEAD-GEAT FOR THIRD: “She had a pretty good trip. They were flying. They really set it up for somebody coming from behind.”
NOTES: The winning owners are James and Janet Rome Family Trust (Jungle Racing, LLC); Daniel Grohs of Arcadia; and Robert Strauss of Pomona.