MARTIN GARCIA, LIAISON, Winner: “The (Daily) Racing Form showed there was more speed than that, but my intention was to be close. My horse is still learning and it looks like that’s where he wants to be. He’s improving all the time. He out broke everybody, but I just let (Blueskiesnrainbows) take the lead and sat chilly in second. When I asked him to go, he responded. He finished the job.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, KETTLE CORN, Second: “They were going too slow up front. I thought there was going to be more speed. He hadn’t been out for a while so I just took my time with him and let him run at the end. It was a very nice comeback. He’ll improve a lot off this race.”
EDWIN MALDONADO, COMMA TO THE TOP, Winner—“I knew five-eighths was going to be a piece of cake for him. He can go 6 or 6 1-2 (furlongs) without a problem and today it was just a matter of breaking cleanly. He just has too much class for these. When I made the lead, I knew he was a winner.’’
PETER MILLER, COMMA GO TO THE TOP, Winner—“He’s just unbelievable. I can’t say enough about this horse. He just does it all. He’s a warrior. He’s a good gate horse and (Maldonado) is a great gate rider. I just told him at five-eighths there’s not a whole lot of tactics. Send him out of there and if they outgun you, he can rate. Speed’s one of his best assets. He loves this track, so we’ll look at the (Grade III, $100,000) Los Angeles Handicap (May 27).”
RAFAEL. BEJARANO, HALO DOLLY, Winner: ”I had a good position from the beginning. All I had to do is follow the speed. This was my first time riding her and I was comfortable the whole race. When I came to the stretch I just let her go. I didn’t really have to ask her too much, just a couple of taps on the shoulder.
JULIEN LEPAROUX, LONG FACE, Second: “She relaxed well the first quarter of a mile and when I asked her to run, she kicked it in. She’s got a good quarter of a mile run.’’
RAFAEL BEJARANO, SURFCUP, Winner: “He had never run on this track and I just tried to get him comfortable in the race. He was real relaxed in the beginning and when (Fighting Hussar) came running at the end, my horse gave me a big kick.
VICTOR ESPINOZA, FIGHTING HUSSAR, Second: “The first couple of jumps he kind of lost his balance and on the first turn (Surfcup) came out sharply and I almost clipped his heels. I wanted him to be closer. I had to take a little more hold than I wanted. I had a good trip the rest of the way, but I think that early incident cost him a little. He’s a nice horse. He always tries.”
COREY NAKATANI, CURVY CAT, Winner: “It worked out pretty well. Anytime you get a chance to ride for a Hall of Famer (trainer Jerry Hollendorfer) you know the horse is going to run tremendous. He had her spotted and ready to go and I am thankful I was given the chance to ride her. I was confident if the leader (Ismene) didn’t get too far in front, my filly would run her down. When I got to her she had a little left and my filly had to dig down deep to beat her.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, ISMENE, Second: “I had a lot of horse left, but you know (Hollendorfer) is hot today. He’s a very good trainer and his horses have been running very good. I had an opportunity to win the race. I had a very comfortable trip, but the best horse beat me. It might have been a little too far for her.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, KATE’S EVENT, Winner: “Everything worked out great. I knew I was going to come from behind and I was hoping they’d be going a little faster early. When I saw my horse was relaxing so well, I just decided to wait. He came through between horses at the half-mile to the three-eighths and when I finally came around into the stretch, he really came running. I thought I was going to be third at the eighth pole, but he just kept coming.”
EDWIN MALDONADO, ROCK ME BABY, Second: “I had a lot of horse left at the top of the stretch. He ran his eyeballs out. I couldn’t ask for a better trip. I’m very happy with him.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, DOINGHARDTIMEAGAIN, Winner: “I had a good trip. They went a little slow the first part and I was hoping they would pick it up down the backstretch. Nobody was really making a move by the half mile so I decided to make a little move to put some pressure on. I really thought (Sweet Marini) should have beaten me because she was going so slow. But my filly is a real professional. I’m just glad I moved when I did.’’
JOE TALAMO, SWEET MARINI, Second: “I had an absolutely perfect trip, no excuses. She just got outrun. The fractions (:24.11 and 48.10 for a half-mile) were just what we were looking for. It was only the third start of her career and first time going long so I’m definitely not down on her. The horse that beat her is a nice filly.’’
GARRETT GOMEZ, SUMMER EXCLUSIVE, Winner: “I had a dream trip, really. (Trainer) Pete (Miller) and I talked a little before the race and it ended up just like we thought. I ended up in an ideal spot. They weren’t flying, but there were four of them across the track and it was just a matter of waiting to see who was going to be the first one to move forward and that I was going to follow. Finally, I decided to follow (Sacred Ovation) because it looked like he was traveling the best. I slid up inside, came around and I thought I could go and get him anytime I want. I had to work a little harder than I expected. You can throw his second race out (Santa Anita Derby) so today was kind of starting from scratch with him. Hopefully, this will build his confidence back up.”
JOE STEINER, SACRED OVATION, Second: “The winner came up to him and he was reaching down and giving me everything he had. He just got him in the last jump. Nothing worse than losing like that.”
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