GARRETT GOMEZ, GEORGIE BOY, WINNER: “He was very workmanlike today. He’s a better horse when he can sit back and settle like we did. I was glad to see Solis’ horse (Yankee Bravo, with jockey Alex) get rank and take off like he did, that made my job easier. I squeezed him a little at the top of the lane and he responded like it was a morning breeze. When we made the lead, I got into him a little bit just to keep him focused, to keep him from pulling himself up.”


KATHY WALSH, GEORGIE BOY, WINNER: “It’s been very important for him to relax the last two races. It just took him a while to settle when he came back (from the Damascus Stakes last Oct. 25). He became a little fresh. With no pace in the race (San Carlos), it makes it a little tough for Garrett (Gomez). He tried to get him to settle back, and then there’s no pace, he has to let him go. It’s much better if he sits still on him and try to make the one run. Today, he had no option . . . We’ll think about it (stretching out). I think he’ll stretch out, especially with Garrett riding him. He gets him to settle right away. No reflection on anybody else who rode him. He’s just been rank the first two races this year, and he’s been settling down in the mornings, actually, and the (exercise) boys have been doing a great job with him.”

Asked about the possibility of running on the turf: “I’d love to run him on the grass. It’s such a big decision to make . . . I kind of thought about the Cal-bred race, a flat mile coming up ($100,000 Crystal Water Handicap on Feb. 28), and then this race came along, and I thought we’d better go here.

NOTES: Winning owner/breeder George Schwary is from San Fernando, CA.