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FRANK E. KILROE MILE HANDICAP QUOTES, SATURDAY, MARCH 7TH, 2009
RAMON DOMINGUEZ, GIO PONTI, WINNER: “I was trying to save ground and I was trying to follow Ventura. She was getting a great trip and so were we. My horse is usually on the bridle, but they were going pretty quick so he was nice and relaxed. When Garrett (Gomez) asked her to go at the three-eighths, that filly just took off and I didn’t know if I could catch her. I showed some emotion at the wire because I still feel bad about getting beat on this horse in the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf, at Monmouth Park) two years ago. He should have won that day and today I feel vindicated.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, VENTURA, SECOND: “They were staying out off the fence, and a little ways up the backside, I lost my cover . . . She traveled well enough. I think the ground was a little softer than she liked. She likes the synthetic; it’s a little firmer and gives her a little more push. With her little feet, she kind of slips on the softer ground (grass), and she doesn’t quite have the huge acceleration that she really has . . . but she ran a very impressive race.”
NICHOLAS BACHALARD, ASSISTANT TO CHRISTOPHE CLEMENT, GIO PONTI, WINNER: “Winning a Grade I like this is a big achievement. He didn’t run that bad his last race. Maybe I didn’t have him tight enough, but he came into the race in good shape this time and he ran very big . . . Ramon (Dominguez) rode this horse before, and that’s why we chose him. He knows the horse. He rode him well before. He was unlucky with him in the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf in 2007), so I knew he wanted to get revenge.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Shane Ryan of Lexington, Ky., who races as Castleton Lyons.
Bachalard said Christophe Clement was in Florida today.