Santa Anita News
CLEMENT L. HIRSCH TURF CHAMPIONSHIP QUOTES
PATRICK VALENZUELA, ACCLAMATION, WINNER: “This win feels great. This horse has done everything I asked him to do, and he’s done a lot in the past for other jockeys. He’s just a great, great horse who just gives it his all and lays it out on the racetrack.”
When asked whether he was worried about the oncoming threat of Champ Pegasus: “No, not at all. I had plenty of horse left.”
GARRETT GOMEZ, CHAMP PEGASUS, SECOND: “He ran a really good race. Acclamation is really good right now. He’s got a lot of confidence. We’ve got to get this horse on the winning track again and I can see us flip-flopping in placings. I was excited with the way he ran.”
DON WARREN, ACCLAMATION, WINNER: “It was very well done, a well-ridden race. We had planned some strategy for either the three horse (Champ Pegasus) to go to the lead or the eight horse (Make Music for Me), either one, so we were actually prepared to lay second to somebody if they wanted to go. Otherwise, we would put our horse on a two or three-length lead.
“It’s very nice to see him lay second or third like that and then go on and win and then come in :23-something the last quarter. At the top of the stretch, I thought this was going to be a horse race like it was in the Pacific Classic but we held him off. With about a sixteenth to go, I said, ‘They can’t catch him. They can’t go by him.’”
Asked about the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Turf: “They’re both up in the air. It could be the Turf or the Classic. Weather’s going to play a part in it, because we like the firm turf. We think we would have a big shot on firm turf. We don’t think the Europeans are all that great, unless it’s soft. Then they have a big advantage when it’s yielding or soft . . . I would prefer the Breeders’ Turf. If it rains, then we might go Classic. We could go either way depending on the weather.
“It (this type of race) is exactly what we wanted five weeks out from the Breeders’ Cup (Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs), to have this turf race at a mile and a quarter. I feel now that we’re either ready for the mile and a half Turf or the mile and a quarter Classic.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, CHAMP PEGASUS, SECOND: “The winner was just too much but my horse was trying him hard. Maybe with another race in him, I’ll rise to that level next time. We’ll take serious thought about the Breeders’ Cup Turf.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Peter and Mary Hilvers of Sanger and Bud and Judy Johnston of Ontario.