JOEL ROSARIO, MR GRUFF, WINNER: “We went pretty fast the first half (mile), but my horse likes to be on the lead, so I sent him. After the first half, he relaxed pretty good and he went all the way.

WHEN ASKED ABOUT BEING OFF MOUNTS WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY: “I had the flu and I was sore all over. I took a lot of medicine and I’m feeling much better. It’s been a great meet, very nice and I appreciate all the opportunities I’ve had.”


RON ELLIS, MR GRUFF, WINNER: “The fractions were OK. He was just doing it so easy. He’s got a lot of natural speed, and Desert Code looked like he was struggling keeping up with him, the first half-mile. He’s (Mr Gruff) really learned to run down this hill, so he just kind of spurted away at the head of the lane. But it looked like Joel (Rosario) had a ton of horse all the way. The reason I jumped him from an a-other-than (allowance race) into this race was to see if he was good enough to handle stake horses, and obviously, he is. I think being a hill specialist can be a big advantage for that Breeders’ Cup race (Turf Sprint). We got some graded earnings for this, and I’ll probably keep him lightly raced, pointing for that race (at Oak Tree on Nov. 7).”

NOTES: Winning owner Gary Broad is from Palm Desert.