JOEL ROSARIO, WILLYCONKER, WINNER: “The race set up perfect for me today. I just tried to lay in behind the speed, save ground and make one run with him. He tried hard today to beat Mr. Commons and ran a really good race today. I was very happy to turn the tables on Mr. Commons today; my horse gave everything he had. I just tried to run my race and see how far I could go.”

MIKE SMITH, MR. COMMONS, SECOND: “He ran great. I had an eighth of a mile to get by
him, and I didn’t do it. That’s pretty much what it is. He was a bit dull on his punch. He’s got a quicker turn of foot than that. He accelerated really well for about three jumps, and then he kind of hung at that point, kind of idled. I reached back and encouraged him a time or two with the stick, and that didn’t seem to help. He kind of pinned his ears back, and I went to a hand ride, using the reins. But the winner never folded. They went a mile in 33, so I can’t complain. It was a good race. We’ll just have to come back and see if we can get them next time.”


DOUG O’NEILL, WILLYCONKER, WINNER: “What a great ride. That’s why you use a guy like Rosario. He just had him in a perfect spot and then as soon as they turned for home, he got in the right line and just got it done.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Martin Gardner of North Hollywood, David Kenney of Yorba Linda and Michael Viele of Anaheim.