RAFAEL BEJARANO, SOUL CANDY, Winner: “He ran so well, he really surprised me. I was last but I was in good position trying to save some ground. When I got to the half-mile pole I let him run and made sure he was picking up his stride. I knew they were going slow, so I tried to get him closer going into the far turn. This was the first time I’ve ever been on him. I just followed the instructions. He (Paddy Gallagher) told me to let him come from behind and make one big run and that’s just what he did.”
PAT VALENZUELA, UNUSUAL SUSPECT, Second: “He ran a good race, I can’t complain. I was following the favorite (Enriched) the whole way. When he went in, I went out. We just couldn’t outkick the winner.”
JOEL ROSARIO, ENRICHED, Third: “I thought I was going to make an easy lead, but they sent that other horse (Lodi Red), so I took back. He was very comfortable going into the turn. My horse fired, but the winner really ran well today. At the five-eighths he really wanted to go, so I let him run a little bit. I didn’t want to fight him too much. He ran well, but he may be a little better on turf.”
PATRICK GALLAGHER, SOUL CANDY, Winner: “It’s nice to run in these Cal bred stakes. He’ll be more of a distance horse. He keeps going steady. He doesn’t have a big turn of foot he just stays steady and that helped today. It was a nice pace and that helped him.’’
BARRY ABRAMS, UNUSUAL SUSPECT, Second: “He had a good trip. He just got beat. I was hoping he would win. Today was one of those days where the horse made the big run on the outside. He ran well. He never really had a clear path to go. I have no complaints. I’m happy.”
LEANDRO MORA, ASSISTANT TRAINER DOUG O’NEILL, ENRICHED, Third: “We told the rider, ‘Just go to the lead, and nobody’s going to bother you.’ So the idea was good, but somehow that other horse went to the lead. So we were in a different position (than we expected to be). After that, the race was all over, because when he’s in front, he’s comfortable. It changed the strategy, and our rider was a little upset. He said he had no choice but to follow.”
Notes: Soul Candy had made the first nine starts of his career on turf…The win was the second in the Classic for Gallagher. The trainer scored with McCann’s Mojave in 2005.
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