JOE TALAMO, CARACORTADO, WINNER: “He’s a very nice horse, and Mike (Machowsky) has done such a good job with him. He’s a freak on turf and has such a tremendous turn of foot. I really appreciate the opportunity; they did a heck of a job. Mike’s been working with him on the turf and I have been working him every time. He just explodes that last eighth. I think one of his workouts, he came home in ten and four and I didn’t even ask him the last eighth. He’s a tremendous horse.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO, JERANIMO, FOURTH: “For some reason, he was kind of flat, which surprised me, because he’s always shown a big kick. He always makes a big run in the end. So today, was disappointing. Maybe he was bleeding on the inside--maybe that’s why he was flat. He sort of ran out of gas.”


MIKE MACHOWSKY, CARACORTADO, WINNER: “The Sunshine Millions has always been really good to us, and to win this race, and managing this horse to get to this point, has been very satisfying. The great thing about him is he’s run on every surface so far. Right now, percentages would point to staying on the turf, but he’s so versatile I’m just going to play out my options . . . I’ve never been one to tie a jock’s hands (regarding strategy) . . . I just told Joe, handicapping the race, we’d be sitting third or fourth, but you never know what’s going to happen in a race until the gates open and everything unfolds. I thought Victor (Espinoza, on The Usual Q.T.) tried to put him in a little tight out of the gate. The first eighth of a mile he kind of came over on my horse, but it was probably just race riding, knowing my horse was one of the ones to beat . . . Joe just took back off that horse and got a comfortable spot.”

Asked about the next race: “Right now, March 5 will be the date, whether it’s the Kilroe Mile (on turf) or the Santa Anita Handicap (at 1 ¼ miles on the main track), we’ll just wait and see how it all plays out. At the level he’s at now, every race is going to be a tough, tough race, but I want to make it as easy as possible on him . . . He’s a gelding and I want him racing with us a long time.”

JAMES CASSIDY, THE USUAL Q.T., SECOND: “The horse ran huge. They ran very, very fast. I feel a lot more confident now. He kept trying. Victor said he kept pulling him to the lead and then he saw the other horse there but he kept trying. I’m very happy with the effort.”

MIKE PENDER, JERANIMO, FOURTH: “He had a perfect trip – there are no excuses. They did keep him pinned in on the rail, but he loves it down there, so that’s no excuse. He just came up short. He just didn’t have it today. It seemed like he ran out of air at the quarter pole.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Donald Blahut of Newhall and Mike Machowsky (Lo Hi Racing) of Monrovia.