SAN FELIPE STAKE QUOTES, SATURDAY, MARCH 14TH, 2009

JOCKEY QUOTES

GARRETT GOMEZ, PIONEEROF THE NILE, WINNER: “He was nice and settled going into the first turn and I was happy with my position, but they slowed it down and I didn’t want to have to take too much hold and go as slow as they were going. When we turned down the backside, I moved him out, hoping that maybe the others would pick it up, but they didn’t, so I just went on with it. When we got to the eighth pole, he went to waiting on the other horses. We didn’t have a target late, but you can see that when I do get into him, he lengthens his stride. He can handle any scenario, but if we had a legitimate pace to sit behind, he’s more effective.”

TRAINER QUOTES

BOB BAFFERT, PIONEEROF THE NILE, WINNER: “He’s becoming very professional. He was a May foal, so he’s not even three yet. I like what I saw today. This will tighten the screws up for the Santa Anita Derby ($750,000, Grade I, 1 1/8 miles on April 4) . . . It won’t be like this in the Santa Anita Derby, because he’ll have (The) Pamplemousse. I just wanted to get through here. He sat there and did the right thing. I was a little bit nervous today because it looked too easy on paper, and usually, that’s when things go wrong . . . He likes to take off after a horse. He was doing great, but I just like that he got through this and he handled it well, no problems, and it wasn’t too hard on him . . . At the eighth pole, he just shut it down. Garrett (Gomez) said, ‘Here we go again.’ It’s like the CashCall (Futurity). He did the same thing . . . He likes to run at horses, and he’ll get plenty to run at from here on out.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Ahmed Zayat of Hackensack, N.J.

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