GARRETT GOMEZ, HAIMISH HY, Winner: “I’m still a little sore and I was pretty much using my left hand more than my right hand, but I felt if I had to use my right hand, I could. But it’s feeling better. I had one of (trainer Todd) Pletcher’s stumble real hard Saturday leaving the gate (at Churchill Downs) and it really started bothering me a little bit, but I woke up this morning and it was feeling better. My specific instructions were to keep him on the outside. I knew the pace wasn’t going to be real strong and I thought I’d play it by ear and stay inside for as long as I could. He really wasn’t all that comfortable down there so I swung him out turning for home and moved him out from behind those horses. His heart got big on him and he came home really well for us.”
JOEL ROSARIO, SEBASTIAN FLYTE, Second: “I had a chance to win because the hole opened up but once I went in it closed up again. It was pretty bad. I almost fell down. He broke a little slow, but that’s the way he runs. They were going pretty slow and I had a lot of chances to win the race turning for home but like I said, they opened it up and then closed it. The outside horse kept coming in and bumped me pretty hard. For a couple of strides, I had to stop riding. I think we could have won.”
ALAN SHERMAN (Assistant Trainer), HAIMISH HY, Winner— “Everything turned out just right. There wasn’t a whole lot of pace, :24 and :48 and change, but the turf was a little bit soft and I think it helped us. This horse, when you swing him out, he just seems to accelerate better. The opportunity came up for Garrett to ride the horse and we took advantage of it. Nothing against (Alonso) Quinonez, but if you can get Gomez, you might as well. Last time he kind of got shuffled back and got taken out of the race. There wasn’t a lot of pace and they didn’t back up at all. This is my dad’s (trainer Art Sherman) third Grade 1 winner. The other two were Lang Field and Siren Lure.”
NOTES: Lang Field won the Citation in 2007 and Siren Lure took the Triple Bend Invitational Handicap in 2006 for Art Sherman…Gomez has won seven Turf Festival races, tying him with Eddie Delahoussaye for fourth on the all time list. Corey Nakatani leads with 14, followed by Alex Solis (10) and Chris McCarron (9).
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