GARRETT GOMEZ, COMPARI, WINNER: “When we came out of the gate, I was really surprised when I looked over and saw that nobody was really intent on going to the lead. Marty told me to just play it by ear, so I decided to go ahead and send him and they left me alone so it was great. We were concerned about the soft turf and the fact he had been away a while and that he hadn’t gone two turns in a long time. He’s improved so much since I rode him in the Snow Chief (April 25, 2009). Just the way he does things during the race. He’s turned into a good horse and he’s become more professional.”


MARTY JONES, COMPARI, WINNER: “Garrett rode a great race . . . It was a great ride. The horse has already won going a mile and an eighth, so I think he’ll go further. I’m not worried about that. We’ll have to see how he comes out of this race (as to what race might be next), but the Arcadia Handicap (Grade II, $150,000, one mile on turf on April 3) might work out, but we’ll just see how he takes this race.”

NOTES: The winning owners are John Nicoletti of Dos Palos, John Harris of Coalinga and Don Valpredo of Bakersfield.