AWESOME AGAIN STAKES QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

GARY STEVENS, MUCHO MACHO MAN, WINNER: “The race was pretty much over at the three-eighths pole. He has a tremendous stride and he runs the turns really well. He’s very athletic. I let him stretch himself a little at the three-eighths pole and had him pick it up again at the quarter pole. Had the race been a mile and one quarter I probably wouldn’t have been as aggressive as I was but they told me to get a good race in and get a good gallop out of him afterwards, which I did. This horse only has to make up a neck from last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic and I think he’s a bigger, stronger horse than he was last year.”

TRAINER QUOTES

KATHY RITVO, MUCHO MACHO MAN, WINNER: (On getting a second chance in the Breeders’ Cup Classic): “I just hope we can get ready for the (Breeders’ Cup) races. He’s doing great. I don’t know what else to say right now. He’s doing real well.”

(On bringing him out early--Sept. 9--to train at Santa Anita): “I don’t think it made much difference. He’s a runner. He travels well. He seems to thrive here.”

RACING MANAGER FINN GREEN, MUCHO MACHO MAN, WINNER: (On Gary Stevens’ ride) “Fabulous. It was a great ride. We told Gary he’d been on some great horses and we hoped we were putting him on a great horse today. He was excited. We were all excited.

“The horse travels well. We shipped once early to Churchill for the Alysheba and the track was not to his liking and we trained there too long. But he loves this race track. It was a good ship.

(On the Classic field). “It’s gonna be strong. Game On Dude is running really well this year. Ron the Greek (winning the Jockey Club Gold Cup) looked great today. We looked pretty good, too.”

BOB BAFFERT, PAYNTER, SECOND: “I think he ran well. He was behind there. He took a lot of dirt; actually he settled pretty well and came wide. He was finishing up really well. The winner ran a big race. He will continue on to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. I liked his race.”

On Liaison: “He was in there. Some horses they just run into the sand here and he didn’t like that. He likes to be outside.”

On Take Control: “I was hoping he would run a little bit better but I was taking a shot with him off the layoff to do something but it didn’t work out.”

LEONARD POWELL, SOI PHET, THIRD: “The race set up for us similar to what we thought it would. We wanted to be close to the pace like we were. The outside covered us into the first turn, but the jockey (Irving Orozco) did a good job of getting off the rail, and getting a clean trip. Mucho Macho Man came up on our outside and we got caught a bit flat-footed, but then after that he was game until the end.”

Next for Soi Phet, who was claimed for $16,000 in May and having just run in the money in a Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race? “I don’t know yet. We’ll see how he comes out of it.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Dean Reeves of Swanee, Georgia. Today’s on track attendance was 12,216.