CHANTAL SUTHERLAND, GAME ON DUDE, Winner: “I could actually hear Rafael yell ‘I’m coming Chantal’ at the quarter pole. We’re friends, and it was just like ‘I’m coming to get you,’ like a game of tag. He (Game On Dude) wanted to go after that other horse (Spud Spivens) early and kept fighting and fighting, but then he kind of chilled out a little bit. When he started getting a little pushy about it, I had to let him do his thing. Down the lane, I didn’t want to hit him or push on him, but I was getting a little nervous.’’ Asked about becoming the first woman to ride a Gold Cup winner: “It’s exciting, I feel really honored. It’s pretty cool. I hope I’m one of many more to come.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, RICHARD’S KID, Second: “No complaints. The other horse was just a little too good. (Game On Dude) was really comfortable and by the three-eighths he was completely in hand. I thought I I was going to be second anyway but I had to try something. He gave me a big kick. He tried hard and never quit. The winner and my horse were the only two that were running at the end. The last time he ran (a win in the Prove It Stakes June 8) was to prepare for this race. He’ll be a little tighter next time. I don’t think he was 100 per cent today, but he tried really hard. The winner was much the best.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, KETTLE CORN, Third; “I had to move a little earlier than I wanted. Bejarano started putting pressure on me and once he did that I had to ask him for everything he had. He finished willingly but wasn’t able to catch the front two.”
BOB BAFFERT, GAME ON DUDE, Winner and RICHARD’S KID, Second: “They had to run one-two. They’re two really good horses. That longshot (Spud Spivens) made them go pretty brisk. Game On Dude was getting a little tired, but he needs the competition. It looked like
Richard’s Kid was going to come up to him, but he dug in there at the end. I’m glad they both ran their races and I’m happy for Chantal because I sort of got goose bumps when (track announcer Vic Stauffer) said she was trying to become the first woman to win this. I hoped it wasn’t the kiss of death. I told (wife Jill), ‘Uh oh, here comes Richard’s Kid.’ I told Chantal if she heard Richard’s Kid coming at the eighth pole you might be in trouble. We always hope that if they run their races, this would be the outcome. They both ran a great race. Richard’s Kid is a really good horse. We’ll take him (Game On Dude) to Del Mar to see if he likes the track. Last year, he really didn’t train well there. If he trains well, I’ll run him (in the Grade I, $1 million guaranteed TVG Pacific Classic Aug. 26). If he doesn’t, I’ll just freshen him up and wait for the fall. He loves Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup (Classic, Nov. 3) has been our goal. Richard’s Kid will run next in the Pacific Classic (a race he won in 2009 and 2010).’’
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