RAFAEL BEJARANO, FIFTYSHADESOFHAY, WINNER: “I had to move a little early today. The pace was fast but the way the track played today was really fast. I was really comfortable with my horse, and when I saw the other horse (Escape Act) was done at the three-eighths pole I let my horse go and open up three or four lengths in the stretch because I knew they weren’t going to catch me.”

JOE TALAMO, SCARLET STRIKE, 3-2 FAVORITE, THIRD: “We had a pretty good trip today. The track is pretty fast. Wherever they want to race, they just kind of seemed to stay there. “Obviously, I thought we were going to win. We were pretty high on her coming in, but the track’s so quick today, it’s hard to make up any ground. They all seemed to run in place.”


BOB BAFFERT, FIFTHSHADESOFHAY, WINNER: “I knew she’d break well, the way the track was today. The turf race (eighth in the Blue Norther) was kind of disastrous. We thought we’d put her in here and get her out there and let her roll.

“She can run all day long. She’s fast and she wants to be out there . . . We had a big advantage the way the track is playing today. We were very high on her early in the year and it’s taken her a while to come around. But she ran like she’s supposed to do. She didn’t like the turf, so it was a good win.

“She has a high cruising speed. She’s not going to kick on; she’s not going to be quick enough for that, but she can go a mile and an eighth, a mile and a quarter. She can go really far. Today she got the trip. The turf race was an experiment that didn’t work, and it worked out today.”

DAN WARD (ASSISTANT TO JERRY HOLLENDORFER), SCARLET STRIKE, THIRD: “Whoever likes this mud . . . some horses like it and some don’t. Nobody was going to beat the winner--that was the best horse.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman.