JOEL ROSARIO, STONEY FLEECE, Winner: “It was a perfect trip. You couldn’t ask for anything better. I was just taking my time and hoped he had something when I asked him. He really likes the turf. He won his only other turf start when I rode him one race back. I thought there would be enough speed in here, but you never know until the gate opens. But it worked out perfect today.’’
MIKE SMITH, BATTLE FORCE, Third: “He ran well today. They went fast and he came running. That’s all you can ask. The experience should help him. I know he can run better than he did today.”
JOHN SADLER, STONEY FLEECE, Winner: “His mother was very good on grass. I ran her (Gold Fleece) here a mile and an eighth in 1:45 4/5 and Toussad beat her. So I have some familiarity with the family. The other ones (siblings) got sent to other trainers, but when this one was in for a tag ($40,000 maiden claiming), it was like an old friend/family thing. I really claimed him for grass and he’s two-for-two on turf. He’s a nice hard-knocking horse. He won the starter (allowance) right away and he’s never run a bad race. I wasn’t surprised he was in for a tag because he’s small. You know, you take a chance. Gary (owner Barber) is at the San Diego Chargers game. His phone wasn’t working so he called me from another phone and I gave him the call of the race and he’s really excited.” I’d like to keep him on turf, but I won’t rule out some of the California bred stakes coming up.”
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