VICTOR ESPINOZA, BRIGHT THOUGHT, WINNER: “He’s an unbelievable horse, he’s an unbelievable talent. The horse does everything you tell him to, and this was his first time going this distance. He broke running, and I was going to go on with him, but I didn’t want to go head to head with every other horse all the way to the wire so I eased back a bit. I gave him a little breather and started to let him run from the three-eighths (pole). It’s a nice feeling to ride these kind of horses.”

(In response to Bright Thought having won a starter allowance just two starts back then coming in to win this Grade II)

“Yeah! I can imagine (how surprising that is). After winning an allowance, he comes in here and wins the stake, it’s unbelievable.”

{This horse doesn’t appear to have any distance limitations, would you agree?}

“No, no limitations. He can go any distance. He has the speed, but he can rate, too.”

BRICE BLANC, INTERACTION, 2-1 FAVORITE, FOURTH: “It just didn’t end up like I was hoping today. You know, I had a good trip but when we got to the middle of the turn, he didn’t quicken at all, and I had a hard time maintaining my position down the lane, (he) just flattened out. He’s run this distance before, with good races, so I don’t think distance had anything to do with it, he was just flat today. I can’t really find any other excuse, he just didn’t run his race today, he didn’t finish up like he has before.”


JORGE GUTIERREZ, BRIGHT THOUGHTS, WINNER: “His prior races here he did show that he would settle, but we were a little worried about Slim Shadey coming out. I know he breaks a little slow but then he gets to running a little bit. If he did come out running, we wanted to sit off him a little and that’s fine.

“We broke good enough and when Slim Shadey came on the outside of him, he kind of let him go by and relaxed.”

Next race? “I don’t think I’m going to go longer with him. We’re going to sit back and see how he comes out of this and change the game plan a little bit. He’s a nice horse but he’s had three tough races here back to back, so he needs a little breather between this.

“Victor (Espinoza) had worked the horse and watched videos of him and knew him quite well. I pretty much just said good luck to him. If he got the lead it was fine, or he could sit off it. He used his good judgment and it worked out perfect.”

PETER MILLER, ALL SQUARED AWAY, SECOND: “The horse ran super. We thought we had a shot to win it at the quarter pole. The winner kind of re-broke, but I’m real happy with the way the horse ran. We’ll look at probably the San Juan Capistrano (Handicap on closing day, April 21, $150,000, Grade II, about 1 ¾ miles on turf).”

NOTES: This is the first graded stakes win for Gutierrez, who has been training for 12 years. The winning owners are Marjorie, Michael and Joanne Dye of Phoenix and Alex Venneri of La Canada.