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STRUB STAKES QUOTES
JOE TALAMO, GUILT TRIP, WINNER: “It really set up great for him. The extra sixteenth (of a mile from the San Fernando) really helped. I think the mile and a quarter (of the Santa Anita Handicap on March 2) he’ll love even more.
“He’s a professional. I just had to point him in the right direction today. Bob (Baffert) did a great job and I’m happy to have the opportunity for Mr. and Mrs. West. It’s all good.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX, STEPHANOATSEE, SECOND: “It was a good trip for us. There wasn’t any pace for us. He’s a big horse and it took him a long time to get going. The winner got the jump on us, but my horse didn’t get tired.”
MIKE SMITH, FED BIZ, THIRD: “We tucked in behind the pace and let them go up front. We thought we would have the lead but didn’t. Distance was a question and he did well. He made me proud today.”
COREY NAKATANI, TRITAP, FIFTH: “The horse broke really sharp, and I was trying to get back, and I couldn’t get my horse to switch off. It was not a very good race when the outside horse just keeps on riding. I’m not blaming anybody. It didn’t pan out the way I wanted it to. I wanted Fed Biz to get in the lead, and I was going to track in second.
“If the outside horse wanted to go, I was going to let him go to the lead. Let Handsome Mike do his thing and go to the lead. But he got away bad, and I’m right there on the lead wanting to get back. I wanted to be sitting third in the race. I was trying to slow it down.”
BOB BAFFERT, GUILT TRIP, WINNER: “He trained forwardly. Stretching him out was really important for him. The longer distance will really help him. He can sit and wait. Today the pace was pretty fast, so it was a big difference.
“It’s a good option for him (when asked about the Santa Anita Handicap) if he’s doing well. I don’t like to get ahead of myself because we’re superstitious. We don’t want to jinx ourselves.”
ALICE CLAPHAM, ASSISTANT TO GRAHAM MOTION, STEPHANOATSEE, SECOND: Asked about the Santa Anita Handicap: “I’m sure Graham will talk to the owners, but I’m sure it will be on his radar.”
NOTES: Winning owners Gary and Mary West are from Omaha, Nebraska.