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LAVA MAN CALIFORNIA CUP CLASSIC QUOTES
TYLER BAZE, LUCKY PRIMO, WINNER: “Lucky Primo, I love that name. At this stage of my career I’m definitely appreciating things more, especially the shots everybody’s giving me right now. I’ve got a whole lot of live horses that people have been putting me on and it’s just a blessing.”
BRICE BLANC, GOT EVEN, SECOND: “I had a beautiful trip. It worked out great, just like Peter (Miller) and I planned it in the paddock. Peter was a little worried and wasn’t sure he could go the distance, but he relaxed really nicely and finished up strong. He got really comfortable and I kept picking it up on the backside. The winner is a nice horse, so running second behind him isn’t a bad effort at all. He’s run 7, 7/12 before, but this was his first time going two turns. ”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, JOHN SCOTT, THIRD: “The race set up great, but I just didn’t have enough horse. Today was not his day . . . and I was lucky to finish third.”
JOSHUA LITT, LUCKY PRIMO, WINNER: “He trains on synthetic over at Hollywood (Cushion Track), but he’s run on this dirt course last year a couple times. He ran good. Once off a long layoff he ran a really good third. He handles everything pretty much. I think he’s probably best on grass but he handles anything.
“Twenty-three and four the first quarter, that’s a gift in this kind of race. You couldn’t ask for anything better. We figured we’d sit behind Pete Miller (Got Even). I thought they’d go faster than that but I’m certainly not complaining.”
Asked how long he’s been training: “I stopped training for about five years, and started training when I was 27; I’m 42, so I trained for about nine or 10 years straight and then stopped for like five years because I was in the vanning business, so I started again about a year and a half ago. Altogether I’ve been training about 12 years.”
Next race? “We go race by race with him. If he’s good enough we’ll go on with him. Sometimes you have to give him time off. He’s just a solid, solid Cal-bred. Look at the size of him. He’s a big, huge horse, tries really hard, he’s extremely talented.
“He’s always had soundness issues. For us, we hope to make it to these races, so we kind of strategize it so we can make it here in pretty good shape.”
PETER MILLER, GOT EVEN, SECOND: “He had a great trip. I told Brice (Blanc) to put him on the lead, that he’s real brave on the front end, and the horse really ran hard. He gave it everything he had, but he just came up a bit short. A nice payday for running second.”
CARLA GAINES, JOHN SCOTT, THIRD: “Victor (Espinoza) just said that he broke slowly and he had to kind of urge him to get him to the bit. He wasn’t really that interested today.”
NOTES: The winning owner/breeder is Joshua Litt of LaVerne (J B K Stables) and Jason Litt, Joshua’s brother, from Los Angeles.