MIKE SMITH, NEKO BAY, WINNER: “His last race (third, Gr. III Native Diver Handicap, Dec. 12, Hollywood Park) was better than it seems. We were in behind a slow, slow pace and today John wanted me to get him back and make one run and that’s what he did. The way it turned out, I think his last race set him up perfect for today.”


JOHN SHIRREFFS, NEKO BAY, Winner: “He ran just the way we hoped he would run. We like to have him come off the pace a little bit and he seems to run a little better if he has something left in the tank. As you see, he’s not a big strong horse. When we ran him back at Hollywood Park the first time he ran his guts out, and he was just tired after that race. It took him a long time to recover from that. It’s always difficult to get them strong enough to be campaigned, and that’s been his thing. He hasn’t been really strong enough to go into a real strict, hard campaign.”

NOTES: The winning owners, Ann and Jerry Moss, reside in Beverly Hills, California.