RUSSELL BAZE, SMILING TIGER, Winner: “This is a very nice colt. He ran a gutty and determined race. I think he’s got big things in front of him. The last time I rode him (the 2009 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar) Lookin At Lucky was in the race. He ran a good race but that’s not really his distance (6 1-2 furlongs). He’s a three-quarter mile kind of horse and we figured out a little bit more how to handle him in a race. I think we kind of ticked him off with the way we were handling him in his races. But that’s my secret and I’m not telling anybody.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, SUPREME SUMMIT, Second: “The winner had a lot of horse, he was still running to the end. My horse had a good trip . I broke good and was maybe four or five lengths from the winner. When we straightened out, he was in the clear and finished well. He had a bad post, maybe that made a difference.”
MARTIN GARCIA, E Z’S GENTLEMAN, Third: “I think he needed the race. I think he’ll be ready for next time. He just got a little tired.
ALONZO QUINONEZ, COST OF FREEDON, Fourth: “Everything went the way we thought it would. The winner was right outside of us and he never gave me a breather. No excuses.”
JEFF BONDE, SMILING TIGER, Winner: “We knew that Cost of Freedom was going to go hard early, and we were fortunate to draw outside of him. We were very concerned with getting a good break, because that hurt us in our last race. We’ve always felt six furlongs is his best distance, so we felt like we had a really good shot coming in.“He’s a free runner, and he just doesn’t want you to bother him early. Today he was unmolested early, so he’s able to stalk. He just doesn’t like a guy taking a hold of him and see-sawing him around. In the Pat O’Brien, he was kind of taken out of his game. It’s a distance that’s tough for him. But at three quarters, he’s a tough horse.”
MIKE PUYPE, SUPREME SUMMIT, Second: “He ran great. He ran too good to lose. He lost ground and had to go around them. He made up seven or eight lengths, and that’s hard to do. He ran great – it’s hard to get beat when you run that well.”
BOB BAFFERT, E Z’S GENTLEMAN, Third: “He ran well; it’s a little short for him. This should set him up for (the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 6). He likes Churchill Downs; he won there earlier in the year.
“We had to use him a little early because of the pace. I figured the speed was going to stick today. But I’m happy with the way he ran. I would have liked to have won, but I’m happy with a nice strong race out of him.”
Notes: The Grade I win was the first for Baze since he teamed with Lost in the Fog to capture the King’s Bishop Stakes on Aug. 27, 2005 at Saratoga…Smiling Tiger is the fourth 3-year-old to win the Ancient Title, joining Idiot Proof (2007), P.T.’s Grey Eagle (2004) and Groovy (1986).
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