Stakes Quotes

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March 23, 2014


COREY NAKATANI, HALO DOLLY, WINNER: “She got a good jump out of the gate, and if it (getting the lead) was going to come easy, we weren’t going to stop her from taking what was easy for her . . . Jerry (Hollendorfer) does a great job with the horses, it doesn’t matter what the odds are, they’ve always got a shot.”

EDWIN MALDONADO, UNUSUAL WAY, SECOND: “We stumbled leaving the gate.

March 22, 2014


TYLER BAZE, FIRE WITH FIRE, WINNER: “He was really game today. Last year when I rode him to a third in this race, I think the course was a little bit hard for him that day. Today it was a touch softer, but I just let him go out there and have a good time, get on his own pace and not bother him.

“I didn’t try and slow him down, didn’t try to make him speed up, just let him have a good time. He just proved that’s what was going to work with him.”


March 16, 2014


RAFAEL BEJARANO, STORMY LUCY, WINNER: “It was my first time on her. Today was perfect. She broke well and I got a great position. I got through on the rail and she came flying.”

MIKE SMITH, EMOLLIENT, FOURTH: “ . . . It was her first race back. She was a little eager in the wrong place. Honestly, that’s all it was.

March 15, 2014


IRVING OROZCO, TRIBAL SPY, WINNER: “My main focus was to come out of the gate first and to gain the lead. Once I was able to control the pace I was just hoping to hang on the final eighth (of a mile.) She knows the turf well and she handled it well today. The connections have been training her great, too, so that helps.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO, CIAO BELLA LUNA, SECOND: “She broke so badly from the gate. Before the gates opened she reared up completely and I almost fell off. It was bad luck.


COREY NAKATANI, LET FAITH ARISE, WINNER: “She’s a very willing filly and she’s kept going forward for Jerry (Hollendorfer) and Dan (Ward). She’s showed a few good races (going around two turns) and Jerry thought it may have been quick back into her most recent race but she’s been training well coming into this race and she only kept getting better. I’m just glad to be a part of it. She tries so hard every time and you know she’ll give you her all.”

JOE TALAMO, IOTAPA, SECOND: “It was an absolutely perfect trip.

March 9, 2014


JOHN VELAZQUEZ, JUDY THE BEAUTY, WINNER: “When she broke I wanted to make sure she got a position that she was comfortable with. She’s normally more in-hand during the post parade and she was quiet and when she got into the gate she was very quiet. So when we came out of the there I gave her a little hit (with the reins) to come out running, and she did. I wish I didn’t do it because we ended up being too close to the pace. It was a perfect trip though and she handled it very well.

March 8, 2014


VICTOR ESPINOZA, CALIFORNIA CHROME, WINNER: “It was great. He ran like I expected him to. Everything worked out today. I wanted to try something new today so I let him go right out of the gate. I don’t know if people expected me to go right to the lead but I wanted to let him enjoy his race, I just let him go. In these races, you can’t just try and do too much with them. I think it’s important for him to do his thing for the first five-eighths and be happy. It seems like he likes both tracks.


JOEL ROSARIO, SAHARA SKY, WINNER: “It was a really good ride. He was in a little bit of trouble turning for home. I had to try and find some room and as soon as someone gave me enough room I tried to find my way through, and when I asked him he was good. He was good after all that.”

LUIS SAEZ, BIG MACHER, SECOND: “My horse has a lot of speed. He got in a good position. Coming into the stretch, I felt I had a lot of horse. My horse wasn’t tired; he could run, but the other horse beat me.


COREY NAKATANI, WINNING PRIZE, WINNER: “I talked to Neil about it this morning, and we felt we were ready if he was going to go ahead and go and do his thing. We knew we could track him. I know this horse didn’t have to be on the lead, but today, it was coming easy to him, and I wasn’t going to take it away. Whatever he was comfortable with, we were going to do. We were getting a little bit of pressure, but I was able to get him relaxed. He had his ears pricked, and it was just nice and comfortable.


MIKE SMITH, GAME ON DUDE, WINNER: “I knew he was going to run today. I knew it from the post parade when we turned around to go to the gate. He was on his toes today, he was on fire. He’s like that when he runs well. He ran big; I just had that feeling that he was going to. Down the backside he was happy, he was cruisin’, he was well within himself. He was throwing numbers, I knew we were going fast; I actually went even faster this time than I did last time (San Antonio Feb. 8).