GARY STEVENS, SLIM SHADEY, WINNER: “It was a very comfortable pace. I was just telling Christina (Olivares for HRTV) that when we came under the wire the first time if they left me alone mid-way down the backside, the race was over with; he was very happy. When I worked him the other morning it seemed like the horse was happy. I just wanted to stay out of his way and let him be his own man, and that’s exactly what he is. He wants to be his own man and have you stay out of his way. I haven’t had a lot of horses sprint home like he did in the last 30 years going a mile and a quarter so it was a sweet feeling.”

(You have been working so hard on your comeback, how does this win feel?)

“It’s an unbelievable feeling thanks to Simon (Callaghan) and the whole team over there for giving me the opportunity on this horse. I’ve had a bad case of the seconditises. I knew things would turn around and this is a good race to have them turn around in.”

JOE TALAMO, INTERACTION, SECOND: “We got through on the rail pretty much the whole way but the winner (Slim Shadey) had things pretty easy up there on the lead. He’s a nice horse too. I was proud of my horse; he ran a good race.”

GARRETT GOMEZ, ALL SQUARED AWAY, THIRD: “Nobody went with the horse up front. That horse is deadly when he makes the lead, when he’s able to kind of cruise up there like that. The best race he ever ran for me was when he did that, and went pretty quick. Nobody went up there and messed with him.”


SIMON CALLAGHAN, SLIM SHADEY, WINNER: “He went out, he relaxed and Gary (Stevens) gave him a nice long rein and that’s the way the horse likes to be ridden. It was perfect. After the first couple of furlongs, I kind of said to myself, ‘Well, there’re no excuses from here.’ It was an ideal situation and Gary did a great job. He just let him relax and that’s the key to this horse.”

Next race? “We’ll wait and go straight to Churchill (Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, May 4) for the race he was second in last year, the Woodford Reserve (Grade I, $500,000, 1 1/8 miles on turf).”

DAN LANDERS, ASSISTANT TO RON McANALLY, INTERACTION, 7-2 FAVORITE, SECOND: “He ran a good race. He finished good. Hopefully he’ll come out of it good and go on to the next step.”

NOTES: Stevens’ first mount at Santa Anita after a seven-year retirement came on Jan. 6, 2013, when he finished third on Jebrica, beaten a neck and a nose, in the sixth race. Stevens turns 50 on March 6.

The winning owner is Phil Cunningham of Essex, England.