JOE TALAMO, CHEROKEE HEAVEN, WINNER: “I had a perfect trip. On paper, it didn’t look like there was that much speed in the race. Marty said to lay close if I wanted to and I did, but they were going faster than we thought they would. It didn’t matter, because my horse was fully loaded the whole way and it was just a matter of when I was going to let him run. Even though we were fairly close-up, I think he came home the last sixteenth in sub-five (seconds). He did it the right way.”


MARTY JONES, CHEROKEE HEAVEN, WINNER: “What a year! (Jones saddled Compari to win the $100,000 Sensational Star Handicap on New Year’s Day). He didn’t catch the right trip his last few races . . . He got beat by Ever A Friend (Nov. 5), there was no pace that day. Brice (Blanc) rode him well. It just didn’t set up well for him. Then the other day (Nov. 29) across down (Hollywood Park), he just had a bad post (nine) and got packed wide all the way and kind of ran out of ground. He got the right trip today and it was just racing luck.”

NOTES: The winning owners are George Hicker, Doug McClure and Daniel O. Robinson.