MIKE SMITH, M ONE RIFLE, WINNER: “I’m so proud of the way he’s been improving. At the quarter pole, I asked him to run and he just dropped down and gave it to me. When we headed for home I asked him for a little more and he was right there for me. He ran super.”


BRUCE HEADLEY, M ONE RIFLE , WINNER: “Winning this race is an exhilarating experience, on a day like today, with all these fans here. I’ve been trying to win the Malibu my whole life (Headley will be 76 on Feb. 14, 2010), since 1952. I was confident at the 16th pole. This horse has natural speed . . . and Mike (Smith) did a masterful job. He reminds me of Shoe (Bill Shoemaker). That’s why I ride Mike Smith. The outside post was definitely an advantage. The inside’s always the worst, but the inside couldn’t happen to a better man (referring to Bob Baffert, who saddled runner-up Misremembered, the favorite, who broke from the No. 1 post). It’s somebody to beat when you beat Mr. Baffert.
“I’m pretty sure we’ll keep him sprinting. I don’t know yet. In 1952 I was galloping Berseem. He broke a world’s record at Golden Gate in eight and three (1:08 3/5 for six furlongs) as a 3-year-old. He came back and ran in the Malibu (in 1954) and they broke the world’s record that day (1:20 3/5 for seven furlongs), but he got beat a nose by Imbros. That’s when I was 18, so I’ve always wanted to win the Malibu since that time. It’s taken me this long, 57 years.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Ed Bernstein of Las Vegas, Bryan Greenspun of Henderson, NV, Bruce Headley of Arcadia, et al.