JOE TALAMO, SANTA TERESITA, WINNER: “She just had a beautiful trip. I decided to keep her as relaxed as possible, but she tends to get a little strong early. That’s her style and you can’t take that away from her. She’s a stalking kind of filly and I was able to keep her outside of the one (Briecat, under Jose Valdivia) and that helped her to stay relaxed. At the quarter pole I said ‘Okay mama, let’s go,’ and she really gave it to me. She was striding out great and this was a great way to finish up the day.”


ERIC GUILLOT, SANTA TERESITA, WINNER: “Michael Baze (who rode Santa Teresita in her last three races, including a 10th place finish on a “good” turf course in the Grade III Tuzla Handicap at Hollywood Park on Jan. 25) is a very good kid, a very smart rider. She’s kind of a grinder, a big-footed horse, and was struggling with the heavy turf, just like she did at Delaware (seventh by 26 ¼ lengths in the Delaware Handicap on traditional dirt last July 13) . . . Today, coming back in three weeks with a race under her belt, she was coming to this race perfect. I was pretty high on her today. I thought she’d run big and she did. I told Joe (Talamo), ‘She just don’t like being buried on inside on the rail . . . she hates it, she gets rank. She was fresh. I told him, ‘Make sure you kind of grab her, hold her. I didn’t want to get the lead that early, but she was so good today, she ran huge.”

Guillot said he would consider the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on March 14 for Santa Teresita’s next race.

NOTES: The winning owner is Michel Blanco Moreno of Lafayette, La., who races as Southern Equine Stable, LLC. -30-