MIKE SMITH, VAMO A GALUPIAR, WINNER: “The ground has actually been on the hard side the past few days, so the rain actually did us some good. The track had a give to it, which is really good for my filly because she handles the off track. I think if you look at her past performances she’s won every time the track has been soft, and that’s what it was today. It was a bit soft, but very safe. This horse was a victim of circumstances last time. She comes from out of it, so sometimes you get trapped when that happens, and that’s exactly what happened last time. She didn’t have anywhere to go and the rail was way out. Today I was able to get out of the one hole, get clear, and she pretty much took over from there.”

When asked his thoughts about reaching 5,000 career wins (he is at 4,997 and needs three more): “It really means a lot. I’m excited about doing this. Hopefully I’m blessed enough to get this done at Santa Anita because it’s the first place I ever rode in California, so I’d like to get it done here. I’m going to work hard at doing it. Three more to go . . . ”

DAVID FLORES, WILD MIA, SECOND: “I had a great trip. You couldn’t ask for better. I cut the corner beautifully at the top of the stretch and I said, ‘This is good.’ But somebody came from way outside and my filly didn’t know she got beat.”


NEIL DRYSDALE, VAMO A GALUPIAR, WINNER: “At one stage in the stretch I wasn’t sure she was going to get there but she dug in and proved her worth. Mr. Evans (owner Robert) has been very patient and when they come from South America you have to give them lots of time and he was willing to do that. This is the reward.

“She was going away at the end. She’s not stout. She likes the soft ground. All things being equal, she’ll come back in the Santa Barbara (Handicap, Grade II, $150,000 at 1 ¼ miles on turf April 21). I don’t think a mile and a quarter will be a problem.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Robert S. Evans of Stamford, Conn.