JOSE VALDIVIA, JR., RAIL TRIP, Winner: “My horse broke out of there running. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip. He started making a run going into the far turn and I felt I was loaded. Before I got to the quarter pole I thought I’m going to try to break the race open. I didn’t think it was a matter if he was good enough, I just kept thinking whether he could get the mile and one quarter. I knew they were really going to have to run hard to get by me. I’m still kind of numb just because of the connections. I’ve been riding in these colors since I had the bug. I’ve won Grade I’s and the Breeders’ Cup, but this feels like my biggest win. Ron (Ellis) is a huge supporter of me. It’s amazing how people got off the bandwagon after going five and 0. Everyone was talking about the next superstar. He showed up when it counted the most. I’m in heaven. It still hasn’t sunken in yet.”
JOE TALAMO, TRES BORRACHOS, Second: “He was going real easy early. When he gets to the lead, that’s his forte. He’s got such a big heart. Rail Trip just had a little bit more horse than us. I looked back at the wire and I was surprised he was so far in front of the rest of the field.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, LIFE IS SWEET, Third: “She ran okay. I still believe she doesn’t handle this race track as well as she does Santa Anita’s. At the half-mile pole I was actually losing ground. They wanted me to make one run, take my time with her, and that’s what I did. Usually she’s taking me to them, but in her two races here, halfway through the race she was off the bridle.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, PARADING, fifth: “He was comfortable. He left the gate in a beautiful gallop and he stayed in that beautiful gallop, couldn’t get him out of it. It didn’t feel any worse for wear. He was very happy on the race track. Usually happy horses are fast horses, but he was just happy to keep galloping along.”
RONALD ELLIS, RAIL TRIP, Winner: “He really learned a lot off the two races here. The first race here was the first time he was ever challenged and he wasn’t really sure what to do. I thought he ran a really game race last time. He had the battle with Ball Four and put him away but it probably took its toll in the end. He got a perfect ride by (Jose) Valdivia today and it just all worked out.
“Physically, he looks like a mile and one-quarter horse and he’s always trained like a mile and one-quarter horse, but when you have Carson City staring you in the face, you get a little nervous. He almost looks like he might be better at a mile and one-quarter than a mile and that’s what we had to try. I think horses get labeled a little too early in life. People wanted to label him a miler, but it was a little premature I think.
“He was so relaxed when he came by the stands the first time and that’s something we’ve really been working on. All the races that he’s run have been a build up to this. It’s pretty satisfying when a plan works out. This was the first big race that made sense. A lot of people wanted to rush him into the Santa Anita Handicap, but he just wasn’t mentally ready for that. Luckily the Siegels are very patient, have a lot of faith in me, and they let me skip that race and point for this one. I’m glad that their patience was rewarded.
“He was my Derby horse as a 2-year-old. I pushed him as far as I could but finally he ended up with a chip in his ankle and we took it out. Once he missed the Derby we gave him plenty of time because we thought he would make a good older horse. “Next? I don’t know. He’s had a long grind to get to this point. I think obviously now the Breeders’ Cup would be our main goal. The Classic. That was our big thing. We wanted to see if the Classic was our goal or the Breeders’ Cup Mile. I loved the way he ran today. He’s got such good tactical speed. He’s relaxing. A mile and one-quarter doesn’t look like it’s a problem.”
BEAU GREELY, TRES BORRACHOS, Second: “He’s never really been doing that poorly. He didn’t seem to like Santa Anita although he had run a good race. Whatever it was, he seems to have come back into form. I was delighted he ran this well today and he got beat by a very nice horse. We’ll keep him in California and the goal will be the Pacific Classic.”
JOHN SHIRREFFS, LIFE IS SWEET, Third: “She ran well. It didn’t favor her today.”
ROBBIE MEDINA (assistant to Shug McGaughey), PARADING, fifth: “He was in a spot I thought was good. He was clear of horses and about five lengths off the lead. And it looked like he was taking them there and then at the top of the lane, it just looked like he was one-paced all the way to the wire. Really, I can’t give you much of an excuse.”
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