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SANTA MARIA STAKES QUOTES
MARTIN GARCIA, ELLAFITZ, WINNER: “She had pressure all the way around the track, but that’s the way she likes to run. She was alone on the front, and when the other horses got involved she responded and didn’t let them pass. Today she did what she wanted to and just kept going. Whenever I asked her, she just took off. She’s a pretty good filly.
BOB BAFFERT, ELLAFITZ, WINNER: “She had to earn it today. Everybody took her on and the way she fought back was pretty gallant. In order to beat her, they tried to do that, but that’s part of horse racing. You’ve just got to deal with it when you have a front-runner. No, no (it wasn’t unexpected). They tried to go with her but she’s so tough, the way she held everybody off. I thought maybe she’d cave in at the end, and she like took off again at the end. She’s just showing that she’s getting better and better.
“Once she gets in her groove, she’s got a lot of Game On Dude in her. She really fought.”
NOTES: Baffert said next up would be the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on March 17 “if all goes well.” The winning owners are David and Ella Sivage of Scottsdale, AZ.