JOE TALAMO, CAMP VICTORY, Winner: “There was definitely a little extra emotion there at the wire. Winning for Mike (Mitchell) like that is unbelievable. I talked to him just before he went to the hospital. I’m glad he came out of it OK. This horse runs his race every time but he doesn’t get there quite enough because he’s always running against a bias. It seems like every time there was a speed horse, they would just keep going. It happened last year in the Triple Bend when Smiling Tiger won. For once everything worked out on paper like we thought it would. Two or three would go out there, and they did. I kind of thought The Factor was going to get out, which he did, but I didn’t want to leave it to chance so I just kept him outside.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, THE FACTOR, Second: “He needed the race today, he hasn’t run since Dubai. He was getting prepared for this race, but I don’t think he was 100 per cent today. He tried hard and he was still running well at the end. Camp Victory was much the best today.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, MOBILIZED, Third: “He just didn’t have that big turn of foot. He was grinding away and closing steadily.”
PHIL D’AMATO (ASSISTANT TRAINER), CAMP VICTORY, Winner: “There was a tear or two coming down. Mike (Mitchell) did all the work. I just had him in maintenance mode. Mike’s always loved this horse and picked him out to claim. It was like a six-way shake the day we got him. The rest is history. I’ll be calling them (Mitchell and wife Denise) shortly. I’m sure he’s elated. This is just unbelievable. Denise set up the computer in the room and they were watching races all day. I loved the position we were in the whole time with those two dueling in front. Joe was just tracking on the outside and loomed up to them and drew off. I’ve been with Mike seven years now. He’s like my father. He took me under his wing and taught me everything.”
DENISE MITCHELL: “It was crazy here. We were ready to move to a new room from the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), but they let us sneak a laptop in there to watch the race. Both (daughters McCall and Shea) were there and we were all huddled around the laptop. Mike came out of the surgery fine and he’s doing very well. In fact, he’s sitting in a chair right now and isn’t in any pain. That (Camp Victory’s win) was just amazing. We’re watching the race and saying ‘No way,’ when he was making that move. Mike knew he was in tough today but after the race he said, ’10-1? Man.’ ’’
BOB BAFFERT, THE FACTOR, Second: “He just got a little tired. He needed the race. It’s a start from Dubai. You can only do so much with them. He got pressed, got a lot of pressure from Mike Smith (on Smiling Tiger). I think he’ll move forward off this.’’
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