JOE TALAMO, NEREID, Winner (Dead heat): “That’s what (trainer) John (Shirreffs) and I were laughing about, it worked out like we planned, lay second. I told (jockey Joel) Rosario to go to the lead and I was going to stalk, but his horse stumbled a little bit. Then I was sitting off Victor (Espinoza on Love Theway Youare) and his horse kind of propped and I inherited the lead. I really didn’t want to. She was doing it so easy. When I hit the three-eighths pole, I said, ‘Man if she kicks, she’s going to be tough to beat.’ And that was only her fourth start and first time against stakes winners. She ran second to Zazu first time out on (Cushion Track last Oct. 15), she handles the turf, long. She can do anything. She didn’t even start running today until she got to the sixteenth pole. When she felt them coming, she really kicked on. She’s got a very, very bright future.”
MARTIN GARCIA, CAMBINA, Winner (Dead heat): “Look at how much room I had when I made my move. I mean, there was a really big hole. I don’t know who came in or out, but I had to completely pull her up. It’s a good thing I didn’t fall. I rode her with so much confidence. I know she can really finish, that’s the way she likes to run. I watched the replay when she went a mile and an eighth at Santa Anita (a win in the Providencia Stakes April 9). She was way last and at the quarter she made that big move. It will be interesting when they meet up again.”
JOHN SHIRREFFS, NEREID (Dead heat for win) and STAR BILLING (third): “Having two horses in the race, I thought that Star Billing would have the lead and Nereid could go to a stalking position. So when the gate opened and Star Billing stumbled, everything changed. You always worry late in the race, the last two or three strides is where a horse is susceptible. You wonder where the turf course wire is. When you’re watching the race in real time, it’s hard to predict exactly where the wire is. When she ran second to Zazu in her first start and watching how Zazu has progressed, we thought that we had a nice filly here. This was a Grade 1, so there was an opportunity for both of them to have Grade 1 status. That was the reason they both ran. I would hope in the future we could separate them.”
JEFF BONDE, CAMBINA, Dead heat for Win: “It’s always good to win. John Shirreffs is a good friend of mine and if I had to tie with somebody, I’m glad it was him. I was very concerned there when she got tangled up, and to her credit she re-rallied and made a race of it. She’s a very game horse with a good turn of foot. I wasn’t sure who won, I have very poor eyesight at my age. I have to speak to my owners, but the ($250,000) Del Mar Oaks (Aug. 20) is a possibility.’’
Notes: The dead heat was the first in a Grade I at Holywood Park since the Richard Mandella-trained pair of Beautiful Melody and Reluctant Guest finished on even terms in the Beverly Hills Handicap June 30, 1990. The most recent stakes dead heat at Hollywood Park prior to Saturday was between Surya and Tout Charmant in the Grade II Dahlia Handicap Dec. 21, 2002…Garcia joins Kent Desormeaux as the only jockey to win the American Oaks twice while Shirreffs became the second trainer to double, matching Todd Pletcher.
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