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SAN GABRIEL STAKES QUOTES
RAFAEL BEJARANO, NORVSKY, WINNER: “We were going really slow in the beginning and I was wondering if the pace would stay that way. So I just tried to get in close and not stay too far back. At the half-mile pole I was trying to improve my position, and when I got to the stretch my horse showed me a big kick. I knew he was going to win the race then. My horse is still learning, and I think the perfect distance for him is either a mile and one sixteenth, or a mile and an eighth. He’s always doing very good at both distances.”
DON WARREN, NORVSKY, WINNER: “I was as surprised as anybody, because I didn’t think he could beat a good horse like Jeranimo. I really respect Jeranimo and The Usual Q.T. I didn’t have to bring out Acclamation to beat those two, so I’m very happy with the outcome today.
“It turned out (the race set up well), the way they were ding-donging it, those two (Jeranimo and The Usual Q.T.) up there in front, even though they were going only in 48 and change (48.41). But it’s all a matter if you’re ding-donging it head and head, how fast you go doesn’t matter. When you’re racing, you’re racing and it’s taking something out of you. That’s why I like when I run Acclamation. I prefer him on the lead two or three lengths, because you’re not going head and head. They don’t really know they’re racing.
“Like I said, I’m surprised that this horse could beat horses like Jeranimo and The Usual Q.T. It’s impressive.”
MIKE PENDER, JERANIMO, 7-10 FAVORITE, SECOND: “This was the first time he was even on the lead by himself. Going in we knew he might get a little confused by it and he did. He didn’t know what he was doing out there. He usually has a target. He runs better with a target, but you’ve got to take the race as it shapes up. There was no speed in there and he inherited the lead.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Bud and Judy Johnston of Ontario, CA, and Robert Riggio of Riverside, CA.