Stakes Quotes

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March 16, 2013

JOCKEY QUOTES

VICTOR ESPINOZA, BRIGHT THOUGHT, WINNER: “He’s an unbelievable horse, he’s an unbelievable talent. The horse does everything you tell him to, and this was his first time going this distance. He broke running, and I was going to go on with him, but I didn’t want to go head to head with every other horse all the way to the wire so I eased back a bit. I gave him a little breather and started to let him run from the three-eighths (pole).

March 10, 2013

JOCKEY QUOTES

MIKE SMITH, RUMOR, WINNER: (In response to how he felt she came to this race, if he thought she was going to step forward here.)

“Well, it didn’t look that way. Last time I rode her she was just quiet, really, really quiet. Quiet in the gate, didn’t get into the race, just stayed quiet. Today, I said I really want to warm her up, at least, at some point, get her into the race and see what would happen. When I did, she just locked on, and once she did that I knew she was going to run, it was just a matter of being good enough.

March 9, 2013

JOCKEY QUOTES

COREY NAKATANI, HEAR THE GHOST, WINNER: (Jerry Hollendorfer said he wasn’t surprised by the fast pace, how about you?)

“Not at all. I felt that they were going to go fast. So I thought, ‘let’s get away good and make someone commit to going to the pace we need for him’. He’s a tremendous horse. Jerry said, ‘I’m going to find you a good one’ and I’ve been working some horses for him in the morning, asking for some help. I want to stay home, with my family, and stay on the West Coast. I’d like to get on the Derby trail with a horse, and this is it.

JOCKEY QUOTES

EDWIN MALDONADO, BIRDLOVER, WINNER: "Doug (O’Neill) told me to go to the lead and if somebody wants to go out there like a rabbit let them have the lead. Nobody fought me. It was a perfect race."

TRAINER QUOTES

DOUG O’NEILL, BIRDLOVER, WINNER: “Well, we were hoping to get an easy lead in the seventh race . . . it didn’t happen, but this is a nice filly, and so is the other filly (Wittgenstein, sixth). Both of them are very earnest, and it was a wide-open race.

March 2, 2013

JOCKEY QUOTES

GARRETT GOMEZ, BEHOLDER, WINNER: “The other day, the other race (Beholder’s last race on Jan. 21 in the Santa Ynez, where she ran second), I was really surprised when she didn’t run as well as I thought she was going to. But, there was an explanation for it (an ulcer was found in her throat after that race).

“Richard (Mandella) didn’t want to use that as the main excuse but there was a little question mark there from the performance. It wasn’t a horrible performance, but it wasn’t what we expected.

JOCKEY QUOTES

JOE TALAMO, SUGGESTIVE BOY, WINNER: (It’s got to be thrilling to win a Grade I for Ron McAnally on a big day like this): “I tell you what, that picture is going up on my wall. I’ve always wanted to win a big stake for Mr. McAnally. He did an unbelievable job with this horse, he’s very fresh today, and I just had to point him in the right direction.

TRAINER QUOTES

BOB BAFFERT, GAME ON DUDE, 13-10 FAVORITE, WINNER, AND GUILT TRIP, FIFTH: “He’s always been able to go a mile and a quarter. I think Mike (Smith) really gets along with him well. He must have given him a breather along there somewhere . . . but the thing about ‘Dude,’ he’s got to go along at a fast clip. The horse is just a great horse. What he showed today was amazing . . . I give a lot of credit to Mike Smith, but everybody who rode him got along with him well.

February 24, 2013

JOCKEY QUOTES

RAFAEL BEJARANO, AIN’T NO OTHER, WINNER: (You’re winning races for everyone, but especially Jerry Hollendorfer) “Well, you know it’s always a pleasure to run for him. He’s one of the top trainers in California and he’s always giving me great opportunities to ride his horses. He always has good horses. I’m glad to win with his horse today, down the hill.”

(How did the first time blinkers help this horse?) “Well, today he showed me a lot of speed from the gate, but I didn’t want to be on the lead, so I let the speed go a little bit.

February 23, 2013

JOCKEY QUOTES

COREY NAKATANI, UNBRIDLED’S NOTE, WINNER: “I felt I had the race. My horse, he’s such a real nice horse, a real game horse. I want to thank Mr. McCarty (the owner) for letting me have this opportunity with him, and Steve (Blasi, assistant to Steve Asmussen.) You know, it’s been a tough meet for us but they are very good horses. Sometimes they’re not on their game, and today he wasn’t on his best and he was still able to get the job done. The turf was a little soft, had a lot of cut to it and he kept switching leads on it.

JOCKEY QUOTES

JOE TALAMO, SAHARA SKY, WINNER: “They had a real hot pace; it really set up good for us today. I’ll tell you what; this horse is one of those that only gets better with age. Jerry (Hollendorfer) has done a great job with him. He runs well fresh. It was going so fast up there and they stopped pretty good for us, but my horse was really running the last part.”

(If he thinks the horse can stretch out)

“I think he loved it. Anywhere from six to seven furlongs, he’s just a great sprinter. I think anything withone turn he’ll be good at.