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SAN CARLOS STAKES QUOTES
MARTIN GARCIA, THE FACTOR, WINNER: “My horse was the only speed today, so nobody wanted to let him go on the lead by himself. My horse was really comfortable on the backstretch and that’s the way he wants to run. He’s been learning more and more every time he runs and he’s improving so much. He’s just going to get better and better.”
When asked about his thoughts on the inquiry that took place:
“I was a lane in front of Victor (Espinoza’s) horse. I came in a little today, but there was nobody there and I’m not sure why there was an inquiry.”
MIKE SMITH, AMAZOMBIE, THIRD: “It would have been nicer if there were more horses and a little more pace today, but the first race back going seven-eighths is always really tough; especially with those caliber of horses. I’m happy he ran the way he did. He only got beat a couple lengths for all of it against some top notch horses. I mean, The Factor will probably be one of the favorites in the Breeder’s Cup if he runs there. I was happy with his race and I know he has a whole lot of room to improve.”
BOB BAFFERT, THE FACTOR, WINNER: “I’m just glad The Factor showed up today. He ran really hard. He was pretty tired when he came back, but we’re excited the way he ran. He’s always been brilliant since Day One. He’s already there with Midnight Lute and those kind of horses. For some reason, after Del Mar, he took a step back on me, so we freshened him up.
“He came back for the Malibu, we really tightened the screws for that race. This race, we sort of took it easy on him and I was hoping he could just get by on what we had given him. My plan is to see how he comes out of it. We have Dubai (March 31) and George (Bolton) has been kicking around the Ascot thing (Royal Ascot in June) but there are more negatives than there are positives to it.
“For right now, we just want to soak up the win and enjoy it. The Factor really dug in today. It looked like they were going to come to him a little bit, then he took off again. Like I said, I’ve got a great staff, they work hard, everybody’s focused right now. That’s why we’re doing well. We’re picking the right spots for these horses and that’s the most important thing.”
JEFF BONDE, SWAY AWAY, SECOND: “He ran a good race. We’re proud of his race. He was off since June so you can’t complain when a horse runs that well first time back, but it’s frustrating, you know. We were hoping somebody would pressure him (The Factor) a little harder and, it just is what it is. But our horse ran well. I’m not going to complain.”
BILL SPAWR, AMAZOMBIE, THIRD: Asked if he thought Amazombie would move forward off this race: “Watch, just watch. We thought he needed it (the race). We’ll see what happens next time, OK? We’re on target for where we want to be in the Breeders’ Cup (at Santa Anita Nov. 3).”
NOTES: In the last 17 races in which Baffert has had a starter nationally, he has won 16. The winning owners are George Bolton of San Francisco and David Shimmon of Redwood City, who races as Fog City Stable.