RAFAEL BEJARANO, AVARE, WINNER: “I knew I had to try to send him because I knew the eight (Gabriel Charles) wanted to get the lead. I knew I had to take the chance. Once he (Avare) got the lead, I got him to relax and when we hit the stretch, he was off. I worked him two or three times before the race and he was just amazing. I think he loves distance and I think he could go a mile and a quarter. It’s good to be getting back. I had some bad luck and we were finishing second too many times. Everything is working now.”

JOE TALAMO, GABRIEL CHARLES, 11-10 FAVORITE, SECOND: “We had a perfect trip, I was lying second to the winner the whole way, but we were just second best today.”


DOUG O’NEILL, AVARE, WINNER: “He’s not a real big colt, but he’s always shown a lot of talent and had everything go his way today. Rafael (Bejarano) has worked him, they really seem to get along and it showed today. He’s got the pedigree, he’s sound, and he’s been showing us a lot in the mornings. The late 2-year-old, early 3-year-old picture changes so much so we’re keeping all our options open. It’s still just a five horse field victory but this game is part dreaming, so we’ll dream a little bit.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Jeff Bloom and Michael Shustek of Las Vegas (Majestic Racing Stable, LLC), and Rick Pitino, head basketball coach at the University of Louisville, who races as RAP Racing.