BRICE BLANC, SPANISH QUEEN, WINNER: “My saddle slipped a little bit and it affected my steering because she was a little aggressive when that happened. The more I pulled on her, the more the saddle moved forward so I was a little . . . I wouldn’t say out of control but I had to give and take a little bit more so it wouldn’t move any further on me. I finally got her to slow down. It shifted forward on me again once I made the lead. I’m tall and she’s little so that made it a little difficult.
“She’s just eating up the ground and getting better with every race. She keeps improving and she loves her job. She has started trusting me more so I can do a little more with her. I think she’s learning how to be a good racehorse.
“I was loaded on the backstretch. She looks like she’s on the bridle all the time but she does it in a way that she’s actually relaxed; it’s hard to explain. She’s on the bridle but waiting for me to ask her to pick it up. She does it in a way that doesn’t affect her breathing and she does it nicely; that’s why she’s able to accelerate like she does the second part of the race.”
TYLER BAZE, FEATHERED, SECOND: “I really didn’t know her, so I watched replays of her races and it looked like she tried hard and never quit in her races and that’s how she ran today. If we could’ve gotten a breather somewhere in the middle of the race, I think maybe we could’ve won today.”
RICHARD BALTAS, SPANISH QUEEN, WINNER: Asked if she was a bit fresh going by the first time: “No, she’s never run down the hill, she’s always been really keen and coming down that hill she might have been a little more. It was a great ride by Brice. He saved ground, she had to earn it and she got it done. Brice has been on her every breeze; he’s gotten to know her really well. She’s not very big but she’s got a big heart and she’s a lovely filly.
“It was a pretty big deal when Big Macher won the (Grade I) Bing Crosby (Stakes last July at Del Mar), but I was never favored in the Grade I race like I was today with Spanish Queen. There’s so much pressure, and when you win, there’s a big sigh of congratulations and relief. This is a very special horse and I just got lucky to get her. This is the best birthday present I could ever have.”
HARRY BEDERIAN, PART-OWNER, SPANISH QUEEN, WINNER: “We’ve been partners, Jack and I, almost 20 years.
“I didn’t even realize his saddle slipped. We didn’t want to see that! She’s unbelievable. I’ve never had a Grade I winner so I’m still not sure it’s reality, especially when we saw the 4-5 odds on her. As you can see, I’m all sweaty, I was shaking I was so nervous.”
NOTES: Today is Baltas’ 54th birthday. The winning owners are Harry Bederian of Lancaster; Harout Kamberian of Northridge; and Hagop Nakkashian of Chatsworth.