COREY NAKATANI, FANTASTIC PICK, Winner: “In the stretch, I knew it was going to be a two horse race. I was wanting to go inside that horse (Blue Panis) because he’s from Europe and they’re more comfortable down on the inside. I was just trying to bide my time as long as I could because I wanted somebody to run with me to keep him focused. Jamie (Lloyd) gave me some good insight into the horse and we’ve been pretty lucky together. At Del Mar, the horse on the lead (Twirling Candy) made an abrupt turn at about the five and one-half and it kind of messed up the whole race. I wanted to be sitting four of five lengths behind and instead I was 10 behind. Those things happen but I was just glad to stay on him today.”
JOE TALAMO, BLUE PANIS, Second: “Not bad for his first time in the country. I watched the replays this morning of his races in France. That was the way he ran in over there, right to the front and then he would relax. He had the race to himself, he just got outrun. He went straight to the lead and really relaxed. He kicked home strong, too. I can’t believe (Fantastic Pick) caught him. The way he relaxed so well, he’ll go longer.’’
h4. Trainer Quotes
JAMIE LLOYD, FANTASTIC PICK, Winner: “The big thing with him is blinkers. Joe Talamo was riding him really well in the summer here and a couple of times he found himself on the lead too soon and started looking around. So credit to (Talamo). He was the one who decided to put the blinkers on and then unfortunately Joe got hurt at Del Mar. Corey’s taken over since and has done a great job with him. He knows the horse and rides him perfect every time. In the Del Mar Derby, we really didn’t get to run our race when that horse (Twirling Candy) veered out and we were back a lot farther than we wanted to be. Today, we wanted to be more forwardly placed and try to get the jump on those other horses. It’s one of those things, you always talk before the race and tell the jockey try and sit here and try to do something else there, and then the gate opens and you’re nowhere near where you’re supposed to be. He got out there running second and let Make Music for Me creep up on him. When the time came and I saw him moving at the three-eighths pole, I was really excited. This was my first graded stakes win and it’s a great day for Jim Ford, it’s been a while since he had a good stakes horse.”
FABRICE CHAPPEL, BLUE PANIS, Second: “He ran good, just got beat. He was running on the lead back home (France) and as long as nobody else wants to go, we go. The plan was to come for a couple of races, so he’s going to stay over here.’’
Notes: The win was the first in the race for Nakatani…It was also the jockey’s first graded stakes victory at Oak Tree since he won the Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap aboard Dancing Edie on Sept. 26, 2007…The win price of $46.20 was the largest in race history.
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