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SAN FERNANDO STAKES QUOTES
MIKE SMITH, FED BIZ, WINNER: “I really liked him when I breezed him before the race on opening day and for some odd reason he got really hot. I hadn’t taken two steps inside the gate and he was over, threw me out the back, and he just wasn’t right after that. I told Bob (Baffert about the incident) when I got to see him later that day and ever since they’ve really been schooling him. Jimmy (Baffert assistant Barnes) has been taking him over and Dana (Barnes) has been with him every morning in the gate, and it paid off today; that was the whole key.
(In response to having to hold off Tritap in the stretch)
“Yeah, (the stretch duel) once I got him over to his right lead. Early on, he used to be a little stubborn about switching to his right; once I got him over there, he’s game, he wouldn’t have let somebody by him unless they surprised him.”
(In response to having two possible mounts in the Big ‘Cap; he is the regular rider of Game On Dude)
“Great place to be, great place to be, it certainly is a good position to be in. If you’re having to choose a few, at least you are having opportunities. The tough part is when you don’t anything to choose from. I’ll be glad to have to pick one out.
(In response to Stevens’ comeback)
“It’s just great, so great to have him back in the room. He brings the best out in me, I still learn so much from him; even these last few days, he’s looking better than ever and I wish him the best. Hopefully, it will be me and him dueling down the lane one day.”
COREY NAKATANI, TRITAP, SECOND: “He ran his butt off. We had a real good position but he also had to do quite a bit from the position we had. I had to draw him far out to let him run a little to gain a better position to take the spunk out of him, but obviously I didn’t want to get caught too far out. He ran a dynamite race and it was unfortunate that we got beat.”
JOE TALAMO, GUILT TRIP, THIRD: “The trip wasn’t bad. I was tucked in. Looking back, I wish I had just circled the field. I think if I’d have gone five wide, I don’t know if he’d have won, but he came flying. He’s a nice horse.”
MARTIN GARCIA, MIKE HIGH MAGIC, 4-1 FAVORITE, NINTH AND LAST: “He just didn’t break.”
BOB BAFFERT, FED BIZ, WINNER, GUILT TRIP, THIRD AND MILE HIGH MAGIC, LAST: “I wasn’t sure I was going to run him in here, and he acted up so much (before the Malibu), but he was doing really well the other day and this horse needed to get a win.
“I expect so much from this horse, when he loses, it’s very disappointing. He’s a very talented horse and he was good today going to the gate and he ran well. In the Malibu, he went to the gate and he tried to sit down in there . . . so it was a tough go. I kept telling (owner) Kaleem (Shad), ‘He’s such a good horse.’”
Asked about the next race for Fed Biz: “I’m just working on my résumé for next year’s Eclipse Awards. If I can make the third spot again . . . “
NOTES: Winning owner Kaleem Shah resides in San Diego.