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SENSATIONAL STAR STAKES QUOTES
BRICE BLANC, AMBITIOUS BREW, WINNER: “Mike (Smith, regular rider) was out of town today and I worked him the other morning, but I was still a little surprised to see my name on him. It was a very nice surprise; he had worked really well for me. I talked to Mike a little about the horse, I watched the replays and it seemed pretty straight forward.
“He has plenty of natural, tactical speed and this race looked like it had a few speed horses in it. My plan was to track and Marty told me he has a really nice turn of foot. He told me not to worry and that when it was time to go, he would go for me, which he did.”
GARY STEVENS, LAKERVILLE, SECOND: “I left him too much to do. They weren’t going that fast for those kind of horses. Brice got the jump on me and we couldn’t overcome it. I just kinda tactically beat myself.”
MARTY JONES, AMBITIOUS BREW, WINNER: “He’s a really good horse. He’s one of my favorites.
He’s always acted like he’s something special, so it’s nice to see him win a stake. This race came up a little tougher than I thought it was, but he was still able to handle it. He was just having fun out there. Brice (Blanc) rode him perfect. He rode him with confidence.
“We’ll enjoy this race for now, but I’ll tell you what, I don’t think he could have been more impressive in my eyes, the way he ran. He’s a 110 percent race horse. I think he will (go further). It might be time to try it. I was going to walk down there and nominate him to the Kilroe (Grade I, $350,000 Turf Mile, March 8) if he cools out all right. We’ll keep all our options open.”
OWNER PAMELA ZIEBARTH, AMBITIOUS BREW, WINNER: “We’ve always looked to go longer with him, but it just so happens that he loves the downhill. I guess since we’re at Santa Anita we’ll look at that and see if we want to do a mile or spread him out a little longer. I think this is working though (so far).
“Brice rides some of our fillies, and some of our other horses and rides (Ambitious Brew) in the morning so he was comfortable with him. He’s done great work for us and some of our other horses and it’s so great that he’s willing to come out in the mornings and work them.”
NOTES: Winning owner/breeder Pamela Ziebarth is from San Juan Capistrano.