COREY NAKATANI, BOWIES HERO, WINNER: “It turned out perfect. Phil loved him today and he was right. This horse, when he makes the lead, he kinda grinds a little bit, so I just wanted to make sure he stayed focused. Anytime you’re able to ride and win these kinds of races on a big day like this, yeah, it’s really nice, especially when you’re not expected to win.
FLAVIEN PRAT, WORLD APPROVAL, BEATEN FAVORITE, FIFTH: “No, at no point did I feel
like he was going to catch up and win. I had a good trip, I had a great pace in front of me but he just didn’t fire. That’s it.”
PHIL D’AMATO, BOWIES HERO, WINNER: “Tomorrow is my birthday (42) but we’ll celebrate it today. This horse competes every step of the way. He’s steadily progressing and today he showed he can compete amongst the elite in the turf mile division. Hat’s off to Corey and for helping this horse’s development.”
MARK MARTINEZ, OF AGAVE RACING, PART-OWNER, BOWIES HERO, WINNER:
“I think that was Billy Koch (of Little Red Feather Racing) that said he would spring the upset today.
“Corey had him sitting perfect and it was enough speed for him to run at. I was a little concerned with how soft the track might be but he took to it and it couldn’t have been a better ride. Incredible ride. And, obviously a great training job by Phil and his entire team.
“Well, we’ll just enjoy this one before making any plans but I will say this…I used to say he was an honest horse but now, he’s just a damn good horse.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Agave Racing Stable, ERJ Racing LLC or Madaket Stables, LLC.
Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita Park Vice President, Racing and Racing Secretary, presents the trophy to Corey Nakatani, Phil D’Amato and winning connections.