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ZUMA BEACH STAKES QUOTES
COREY NAKATANI, AOTEAROA, WINNER: “I’ve asked Leonard (trainer, Powell) to ride the horse before, so I was stoked to get the opportunity. It’s kinda funny, I rode a horse that I loved at Del Mar and this horse blew right by us the day he broke his maiden (Aug. 4), so I knew this horse could really run. I rode his daddy (Good Journey) and I knew he’d love the grass. On paper, there was a lotta speed in the race, I thought, top to bottom. My horse broke on the lead, but I was able to ease him back, no problem, and he ran a big race.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX, DIAMOND BACHELOR, 2-5 FAVORITE, SECOND: “We went fast to the first turn, so I was content to tuck in behind (Gary Stevens on Station House), which was good for me since the first part took a lot out of him. He ran his race. He got a little distracted in the stretch, looking around, but I’m not taking anything away from the winner. He ran big, but my horse did, too. He ran a good race.”
LEONARD POWELL, AOTEAROA, WINNER: “The breeding was there (to run well on turf, in this, his first race on it). He’s by Good Journey and we always thought he would like the grass, especially the way he moves in the morning.
“Today I was happy because he was a lot better pre-race than he was at Del Mar. In his mind he was a lot better and (Corey) Nakatani gave him a great ride.”
Asked about running in the Breeders’ Cup: “I don’t know. We have to talk with the owner, because he’s not Breeders’ Cup-nominated, so it would be expensive. We’ll see how he comes out first.”
PATRICK BIANCONE, DIAMOND BACHELOR, SECOND: “ . . . We have nothing to complain about. ”Breeders’ Cup? “We’ll come home, we’ll talk.”
NOTES: Winning owner Paul A. Viskovich is from Brentwood, CA.