MIKE SMITH, COCO BELLE, Winner: “I wasn’t surprised at the easy lead, I was surprised how great she ran. I knew she was good, but she ran incredible today. She’s just coming into herself right now and it’s certainly a good time with Del Mar coming up. She loves that track, too. She’s getting better and better and I’m really excited about her.
VICTOR ESPINOZA, INDIAN BLESSING, Fourth: “I knew I was in trouble passing the three-eighths pole. By the middle of the turn she was a little bit empty. She was slipping around and really couldn’t handle the track all that well. It was her first time back, but I really think it was more a case of not handling the track. She’s fine and after this race I think we’ll be okay.”
JOHN SADLER, COCO BELLE, Winner: “The reason you don’t scratch is the history of those horses coming back from Dubai is not great. You don’t scratch. Am I surprised to win? Sure. My filly is in good form again. She’s had a nice win over the track and the way she ran today I might even run her in the A Gleam. We wanted to be up front, but we were surprised the other mare didn’t run very well.”
BOB BAFFERT, INDIAN BLESSING, Fourth: “She just wasn’t getting over it like she usually can. It wasn’t her. Usually she cruises up there pretty easy and just kicks on. Today at the top of the stretch I could tell he (Victor Espinoza) was out of horse. You never know how they’re going to react after Dubai, that’s why I wanted to run her here. Maybe she needs a little more time but we’ll just regroup and send her back East where she loves to be. She’s going to New York anyways — I just wanted to try her out here one time. She won’t run here. I wanted to keep her here if I could, but it didn’t work out. Some horses like different synthetics.”
NOTE: The show pool was $522,293 with $484,538 bet on Indian Blessing, resulting in show payoffs of $37.60 on Coco Belle, $40.60 on Silver Swallow and $43.60 on She’s Cheeky.
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