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POTRERO GRANDE STAKES QUOTES
MIKE SMITH, AMAZOMBIE, WINNER: “I’m really just beside myself right now. For it to happen on Amazombie is so fitting. Who could have drawn it up any better? I’m just really happy that I finally got to 5,000. Those last two wins were tough. I’m glad that I got it over with. I was a little bit concerned at the quarter-pole today, but by the time I reached the eighth-pole I was very comfortable. This horse is a champ.”
Further comments on 5,000 wins:
“The times that are the happiest seem to come with a big relief after. In the back of my mind I kind of thought this would be it. I know my last two shots were probably my best shots going in. I know I was live on these last two. It’s incredible. Just to get put in that group of guys that have won 5,000 I’m just beside myself. This is very humbling. I feel really good. I’ll sleep good tonight.”
MARTIN GARCIA, ROMAN THREAT, SECOND: “It was only his second start. At the half mile we got pressure. That was the race. I had to take advantage of the race, what’s going on the lead. Next time he’s going to be a really tough horse.”
BILL SPAWR, AMAZOMBIE, WINNER: “He’s back. He (Mike Smith) only let him run a quarter mile, is all he did. We’re ready for the Tiznow (Stakes at Hollywood Park on April 28, $125,000 at 7 ½ furlongs, a race Amazombie won last year).
“We talked (strategy) this morning, Mike and I at the barn. With all the (late) scratches, he said, ‘The other (Spawr-trained) horse (Thunder of Zion) has got no chance. Just scratch him and I have control of the race,’ and he was right.
“Amazombie’s stronger this year. He’s gained weight, but it was too much for the San Carlos going seven-eighths (third on Feb. 25) and I think now he’s at racing weight, what it should be. But he’s stronger, he’s got more muscle, better color, and probably weighs 60, 70 pounds more and it’s all muscle. I feel this year—our goal this year is the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint at Santa Anita on Nov. 3) if we’re fortunate enough to get there, and this is our first step.”
BRAD PEGRAM, AGENT FOR MIKE SMITH: “I’m extremely happy for him. He’s Mike Smith. What can I say? For this (5,000th win) to be on Amazombie, I couldn’t have hand-picked it any better.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Tom Sanford and Bill Spawr of San Gabriel. Amazombie won the Potrero Grande last year with Smith aboard. Today’s on-track attendance was 33,166.