SAN FELIPE STAKES QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

JOEL ROSARIO, CREATIVE CAUSE, WINNER: “The race set up perfect today. There were a couple horses with speed up front, and when I saw that I just let him find his stride and go from there. My horse was a little green at the top of the lane, but I wanted to make sure that he didn’t wait for another horse to come beat him. He galloped out good after the wire which helps to show he may be the right horse for the Derby. That means a lot to me. I’m happy to get a chance to ride in it, and I want to win the race. Mike (Harrington) doesn’t say too much, but he’s really smart, and he’s done a really good job with this horse.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO, BODEMEISTER, SECOND: “My horse ran a really good race. He broke really well from the gate. I was in the perfect position. He was really comfortable. He showed me a big kick in the stretch. The other horse had to run really hard to beat me. He tried really hard. It’s only his third time.”

VICTOR ESPINOZA, MIDNIGHT TRANSFER, THIRD: “He ran very good. It was his first time going long and I think he’s going to improve from this. I had no trouble in the race. I was very happy about my trip all the way around.”

TRAINER QUOTES

MIKE HARRINGTON, CREATIVE CAUSE, WINNER, AND EMPIRE WAY, NINTH: “He was a little late switching (leads), but Joel (Rosario) said he didn’t have any trouble . . . I don’t know exactly what the story was. Once he switched, he took off.”

Mentioned Creative Cause had to work hard for the win: “I guess any win is good. They got to work if they win it. Perfect (the way the race unfolded). This horse will run back in the Santa Anita Derby ($750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 miles on April 7). The other horse (Empire Way) will go someplace else. I don’t know why he didn’t run today, but maybe he didn’t like dirt in his face, whatever, but he won’t run back here.”

Asked to describe his feelings: “It’s a real relief to get these kinds of things over with. This was a $300,000 (race); he didn’t have to win it, but these are the kind of races you like to win. I wouldn’t have been disappointed if he didn’t win because he’s got money enough to go (to the Kentucky Derby based on graded earnings, $506,000 before the San Felipe).

“I said all along it’s a progression and the only thing I hope is he doesn’t peak in the Santa Anita Derby instead of the Kentucky Derby (on May 5). That’s my job to kind of keep that from happening. I felt he would run big off the San Vicente. A lot of people thought the San Vicente was a bad race. I was ecstatic with it.”

BOB BAFFERT, BODEMEISTER, SECOND: “He ran well. He just got a little tired. He ran a pretty hard race.”

CARLA GAINES, MIDNIGHT TRANSFER, THIRD: “I’m very happy with his race considering it was his first time going two turns. He was down on the inside the whole way, but I thought he ran well. I was just hoping there was a little more kick that last jump, but it was a good experience for him.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Heinz Steinmann of Wrightwood, CA.

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