MARTIN GARCIA, THE FACTOR, WINNER: “He has a lot of speed and I know that the horse inside of me had a lot of speed too. I just let him break by himself. The more you fight, the more he’s going to take off. He doesn’t want to be behind horses, so I just let him be comfortable and he kept going. He is still learning. This is only the third time he has been out. I think the more that he runs, the better he will get. I don’t think any horse can keep up with him, as fast as he went. I want to thank Mr. (Bob) Baffert and the owners. They gave me a chance to get him back. A lot of jockeys have been winning races for him, so I want to say thanks again to Bob and the owners for giving me another chance.”


BOB BAFFERT, THE FACTOR , WINNER: “He’s so talented. I knew he was going to get a lot of pressure up front . . . I told Martin (Garcia), ‘You are the speed. Let’s go with him and find out what he’s made of,’ . . . He got a little tired at the end. That’s a nice horse that ran second . . . If you would have asked me three weeks ago, we weren’t going to run him here. Then I worked him in (one) 11 and four (fifths; actually 1:12 at Hollywood Park on Feb. 8), he got a little tired galloping out, and I told George (co-owner George Bolton), ‘We might have a shot, if he works great again,’ and then the other day (Feb. 14 at Hollywood), he worked (seven furlongs) in (one) 24 (and two-fifths) and galloped out a mile in (one) 37. So I thought, well, he’s going to be short but he’s ready to run. He’s such a good horse.”
Asked what might be next: “One thing about George, he’s very patient. He’s been in this game a long time and we’ll wait for The Factor to tell us when he’s ready to jump back into the fray . . . It’s hard to get a horse like this. They don’t come around very often . . . he’ll benefit from this race. I knew it was going to be a really fast pace. The more I looked at the race, we were right in between the two speed horses, and I was afraid they would leave there and try to put the squeeze on him . . . and that was the only way we he could get beat, was if they put the squeeze on him and he had to check him and take him back. Just let him do his thing and don’t worry about it. I think he’s good enough to keep going and win and he did.”

JEFF BONDE, SWAY AWAY, SECOND: “It’s heartbreaking to lose, but that’s the way the game goes. This horse is the best (Kentucky) Derby chance I’ve had in many years. He probably could have used one more work and he maybe got back a little too far today, but he showed me enough that I’m still a believer in him. He’s eligible to all the (3-year-old) stakes here, all the (3-year-old) stakes at Oaklawn. Whichever one looks good for us, that’s where we’ll be.”

NOTES: The winning owners are George Bolton of San Francisco and David Shimmon of Los Gatos, who races as Fog City Stable.