Santa Anita News
SANTA ANITA OAKS QUOTES
MARTIN PEDROZA, WILLA B AWESOME, WINNER: “I was able to stay wide into the first turn and drop behind those two leading fillies. Inside the three-and-a-half I swung my horse out to Martin Garcia because I knew he had enough horse and I didn’t want to stay inside of him. So I got her to the outside and made my move. When I asked her to go I know I had already put away the Baffert filly (Eden’s Moon), but I wasn’t sure if I would catch the leader. The other filly (Reneesgotzip) looked like she was slowing down and my filly was gradually getting to her. I waited until the last minute to change my stick hoping that she would give me a little more at the end. I think that was the key to winning.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, RENEESGOTZIP, SECOND: “She broke okay today. She handled everything well. If they would have come to me just a little bit later in the race where we could have slowed down just another quarter of a second I think she wins. We started picking the pace up a pretty good ways out. She sprinted for a long time and she was starting to get late on me. It’s only her fourth race. Hopefully she’s getting a nice foundation under her and keeps moving forward.”
ALEX SOLIS, 30-YEAR-OLD SON OF AND ASSISTANT TO WALTHER SOLIS, WINNER: “This is our first Grade I win and it’s a special day for the family. My father is in Guatemala today for my sister’s (Maria) wedding. Right now I don’t know if he knows we won, but I’m sure he’ll find out soon on Twitter. We knew our filly could close and Martin (Pedroza) gave her the perfect ride. I’m just glad she got up.”
PHIL DANIELS, PART OWNER WILLA B AWESOME, WINNER: “I’ve been part of the racing game for 60 years and an owner for 11 years--but this is my first Grade I win. It’s a major, major day for me. I’m very passionate about this game, and Santa Anita is my home.
“Was I nervous at the end? No. Somebody asked me if I’d take a dead heat, and I said ‘No, it’s all or nothing.’ I’m a gambler. That’s what we’re here for--it’s fun. These horses bring their game every day. This horse is a fighter. Willa knows no bounds. This horse loves this track, and God willing, if she stays all together, she’s going to be reckoned with in November.”
TERRY LOVINGIER, BREEDER, WILLA B AWESOME, WINNER: “I still think she got beat! I owned quarter horses in the 1980s with Scoop Vessels and I’ve owned Thoroughbreds since the late nineties. This by far outweighs everything that’s happened to me in horse racing. The mare (first dam, Cause I’m Tricky) is in foal for next year with a full brother or sister.”
On the finish: “She’ll keep grinding. I knew it was going to be close. Once they hit the top of the stretch I knew she was going to be right there.”
PETER MILLER, RENEESGOTZIP, SECOND: “She did everything but win. She ran her eyeballs out. I’m very proud of the filly. We had Eden’s Moon hounding us in the first part and we put her away. We just couldn’t hold off Walther Solis (Willa B Awesome). We expected to be in front.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Phil Daniels of Arcadia, Patsy London of Long Beach, John Winters
of Pauma Valley, CA and Terry Lovingier of Seal Beach (et al).