SAN FELIPE STAKES QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

ALONSO QUINONEZ, PREMIER PEGASUS, WINNER: “I want to say thank you to Mr. Cho for giving me the opportunity. I have to thank Maria (Ayala, Cho’s assistant). She does all the work and she knows what she’s doing. We knew he was going to run a lot better this time. It is always good to win this kind of race. The horses were flying on the lead during the first part of the race and I knew they were going to come back to the field. I was just hoping to make a move at the right time and he did. He waited for me until I asked him. At the three-eighths pole he switched leads and grabbed the bridle. I didn’t hold his intentions back, I just let him go. He knew it was time to go because he is a very special horse. I’m happy with the horse and hopefully we have a good future with him.”
In regards to the slump (see note below): “If you cry nobody is going to listen. I’ve had a couple slumps before, but this has been a tough one. This is the race you want to win to start again though.”

TRAINER QUOTES

MYUNG KWON CHO, PREMIER PEGASUS, WINNER (THROUGH HIS 17-YEAR-OLD SON, RAXON): “We took the blinkers off because we were thinking it would make him relax a little bit more. We didn’t want him to sprint out with all these speed horses. He‘s a smart horse so we knew that he’d be ready to run without blinkers.
“There was no concern (about finishing third in the San Vicente). He came back strong, he came back ready, and he had a great workout and he looked great.”
The senior Cho indicated Premier Pegasus would make his next start in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles on April 9.

BOB BAFFERT, JAYCITO, SECOND: “He did good. He was way back there. The horse learned a lot today, so we’ll go step by step.”

PETER MILLER, COMMA TO THE TOP, FOURTH: “I’m very happy with his race. The fractions were ridiculous, suicidal. He was wide the whole way and he put those two away and kind of gave a little bit of a spurt and then he threw his ears up. He kind of pulled himself up for a little bit there, which he had never done before. I’m really happy with the race and he hung in there very well and he wasn’t beaten far for second. We’re keeping all of our options open. We just don’t want to hook a race where it’s ridiculous fractions like this.”

NOTES: Quinonez had lost 69 straight races before winning the San Felipe. His last win came Feb. 13 on Harborton for trainer Gary Stute. The winning margin of 7 ¾ lengths was the largest ever in the San Felipe, topping Consolidator’s 6 ½-length win over Giacomo in 2005. Winning owner/breeder/trainer Myung Kwon Cho is from Rolling Hills, CA. He is 68 years old.

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