Stakes Quotes

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January 20, 2013


GARRETT GOMEZ, MORE CHOCOLATE, WINNER: “I just let her relax and wasn’t in a hurry with her. She was relaxed going into the first turn then jumped up in the bridle on me; I didn’t want to get into a wrestling match with her so I let her be. She settled into a good rhythm going down the backside. I haven’t had a horse turn for home like she did for me in a long time. She was looking around and in a high cruise control.

January 19, 2013


JOE TALAMO, SAHARA SKY, WINNER: (In response to the horse coming off a layoff and going off at such a big price): “I was real confident. I know Jerry (Hollendorfer) always has them nice and tight off the layoff. He ran unbelievable. That was actually the closest he’s ever run; I thought he was going to be 10 lengths further back than he was. He broke sharply, he put me right there, and I still had a lot of horse when I called on him. I just followed him (Rafael Bejarano on Justin Phillip) the whole race; whatever he did, I did.


BRICE BLANC, A JEALOUS WOMAN, WINNER: (In response to having to move early) “When I made the decision, I knew she would quicken for me and keep that steady run going. She’s not one of those fillies that have a quick acceleration but she has a steady, long, fast run. So we . . . Francis (Meza, the trainer) and Eddie (Meza, her husband) have been working to get her to come down a little bit. She was way too fast early on, and didn’t finish quick enough. This whole year has been a great experience for her and for me as well. She is a nice filly to ride.

January 13, 2013


TYLER BAZE, SNOW FALL, WINNER: “I haven’t had that feeling from a horse in a long time. I had so much horse under me, it’s just a great feeling to have from such a good horse like that. Jerry (Hollendorfer) gave me the opportunity, so I was going to take advantage of it.”

(In response to her second-place finish in the Kalookan Queen here Dec.


RAFAEL BEJARANO, JERANIMO, WINNER: “I had a ton of horse from the beginning all the way to the end. I never had to use the stick. He just galloped the whole race. Coming into the stretch I asked a little bit, and he responded with a big kick. The way he ran today was impressive.”

(Is it important to keep an older horse, like Jeranimo happy?)

“(Jeranimo) has run so often that he knows what he’s doing during a race. You can put him wherever you want. He can be on the lead or he can come from behind.

January 12, 2013


MIKE SMITH, FED BIZ, WINNER: “I really liked him when I breezed him before the race on opening day and for some odd reason he got really hot. I hadn’t taken two steps inside the gate and he was over, threw me out the back, and he just wasn’t right after that. I told Bob (Baffert about the incident) when I got to see him later that day and ever since they’ve really been schooling him.

January 6, 2013


GARY STEVENS, JEBRICA, THIRD: “You can prepare all you want – like preparing a horse for a race in the morning. There’s nothing like a race itself. It feels good to get the cobwebs out, and I feel good. I’m proud of the people who have helped me get to this point, and I want to make them proud moving forward.”

(What did it feel like after seven years?)

“It felt really good. I rode long enough to know that turning into the backside, I was going to be loaded coming into the stretch.


MIKE SMITH, MIZDIRECTION, WINNER: “When I saw Kindle get away as well as she did and relax as well as she did, the game plan turned into me thinking that I needed to be closer to run her down. If (Kindle) would have come out of there really running, I might have set back a little bit, but she was cool, calm and collected. So I thought I had better be closer, because when she crosses that dirt, she’s going to kick. And she did.

She (Kindle) actually made me idle for a sixteenth of a mile there, where I wondered if I was going to get there.

January 5, 2013


MARTIN GARCIA, COIL, WINNER: “I had a really good horse inside of me (Ultimate Eagle), and I just tried to follow the way he was going. When I asked him (Coil) to go, he just responded, and that was it. He has been a really good horse for a long time.”

MARTIN PEDROZA, ULTIMATE EAGLE, SECOND: “The race went very well but it’s hard when you have three Bafferts; one chasing you and the other two setting it up for the other one. He ran very well though; second race off the layoff, I couldn’t ask for more.


KEVIN KRIGGER, GOLDENCENTS, WINNER: “Today was a great race – the first race back and he shows us that he’s pretty versatile. We’re all happy and pumped up about it. We had a good challenge (in the stretch), but by the time we got to the eighth pole, I got him on top of his feet, and just said ‘Let’s go,’ and that was it.

“From the gate, I got a little bump from the one (Den’s Legacy) on the inside, and by then Martin (Garcia) had already cleared us a little bit. That made me have to ride a smart race by taking him back and putting him on the outside.