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SHAM STAKES QUOTES
GARRETT GOMEZ, OUT OF BOUNDS, WINNER: “My horse jumped away really well and traveled really good. I was able to cover up behind a couple horses. He did everything really professional for a horse that’s only run a couple of times. I was excited by his last couple races. He’s such a good-sized colt and I thought the two turns would really help him because he’s such a long-striding horse. It’s just a matter of getting him to understand how to do it the right way. I think he’s got enough ability to do it. He showed us all today. He traveled really well, did things the right way, and finished up well. When I first came off the turn I thought I was going to run right by the favorite (Secret Circle), but this horse is just young enough to where he doesn’t quite understand everything about the game yet. I had to spank him a couple times to let him understand what I was wanting from him, and when I got into him a little bit he progressed and went forward.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, SECRET CIRCLE, SECOND: “I felt like I had a lot of horse at the three-eighths pole, so I just let him go little by little. I switched leads at the top of the stretch and he showed me a big kick, but at the same time, he started looking at the horse on the rail (Longview Drive). My horse tried to stay close to him and that’s why he lugged in. That’s when I started hitting him. He passed the inside horse but wasn’t paying attention to the outside horse (Out of Bounds).”
EOIN HARTY, OUT OF BOUNDS, WINNER: “He looked like he had plenty of horse under him at every stage of the way. I was pretty sure Bob (Baffert) thought he was in the garden spot, too. He wasn’t on the lead but he was going easy.
“He’s a very big horse, but he’s a gentle giant. He’s come around mentally as well as physically, and sometimes it takes a while for both to catch up. Lucky this horse has the mental attributes as well as the physical attributes.
“I really didn’t know what to say to Garrett (pre-race instructions). I kind of left it in his hands. I felt sure that Bob’s horse would be on the lead simply because of his style of running and the way he’d been working. I just told Garrett, ‘Don’t do the grunt work for everybody else. If Baffert’s on the lead, think of the big picture. There are lots of battles but only one war.’
“I felt very confident in the middle of the turn. I looked up and Garrett still had plenty of horse . . . I felt confident during the course of the stretch he was going to run them down.”
Next race? “I don’t want to come up with an answer. It certainly will be here at Santa Anita, though.”
BOB BAFFERT, SECRET CIRCLE, 1-2 FAVORITE, SECOND: “He just got beat. He didn’t shut it down. He wasn’t exhausted when he came back, so it was a good experience for him. It was the first time he was able to rate off of horses. I think he got a lot out of it.”
Asked what race might be next: “Oh, I don’t know. We’ll take some time to decide.”
NOTES: Garrett Gomez extended his streak of consecutive stakes victories at Santa Anita this meet to four. He has six stakes wins overall this meet. The winning owner is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Lexington, Ky., who races as Darley Stable.