ALEX SOLIS, THE PAMPLEMOUSSE, WINNER: “I’ve never ridden anything like him. The way he’s been training, I expected something like this. He has such a high cruising speed and he’s getting more and more amazing. He has such a good mind and he was real relaxed the whole way. If you want to get an idea of how he’ll do going a mile and a quarter, I switched to my left stick and hit him one time at the eighth pole and he just took off. He’s unbelievable.”

GARRETT GOMEZ, TAKE THE POINTS, SECOND: “He ran real good. I mean, he’s a lightly-raced horse. He’s run a route of ground one time. He shipped all the way across the country. He ran a respectable race. The winner looks like he’s the real deal, and my horse had to come to his playing ground. For the second time running a route of ground, he ran a really good race. It was of some concern to me that he wasn’t tracking the way I had hoped he would. I thought he’d be a little more on the bridle. That makes him a smart horse, too. So I had to squeeze him pretty much for three-quarters of a mile, and he took it. I think as he gets older and he gets stronger, he’s going to get better.”


JULIO CANANI, THE PAMPLEMOUSSE, WINNER: “I’m always nervous (before a race), whether I’m running a $10,000 claimer, I’m nervous anyway, because it’s in my blood.”
Told the fractions were moderate: “Time only counts to get out of jail, so whatever happens, slow track or fast track, it’s life.”
Asked how impressed he was when the Pamplemousse drew out in the stretch: “He is a nice horse. Every race, this horse is improving more. The Santa Anita Derby ($750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 miles on April 4) is his next race.”

MIKE McCARTHY, TAKE THE POINTS, SECOND: “We were second best today. He did everything right, Garrett (Gomez) did everything right, it was just one of those deals . . . He did the right thing in tracking the winner. It was kind of the game plan.”
Asked if the Santa Anita Derby (April 4) might be next: “He’s here. We’ll see what happens, how he comes out of this and go from there.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Carol Bienstock and Ann Winner of Encino; Alex Solis II (son of jockey Alex Solis) of Pasadena; and William Strauss of Del Mar.