MIKE SMITH, FOREST CHATTER, WINNER: “He’s shown some fight before but I was really surprised at how much he showed today. He had some race today, he really did. We had to fight for all we were worth to pull it off and we were on the winning end; it worked out well.
“We’ve been a bit unlucky at Del Mar. It was either too short or we’d draw a post where I was in the pocket, normally a good place to be on the grass but when you’re going five-eighths they don’t separate. There are so many close finishes going five-eighths and I could never get the room that he needed. He’s got a bit of a long run and I couldn’t really do that with him.
“When you get one that really likes the hill, they’re hard to beat on it. Look at Mizdirection; I think she went nine for nine on it, that’s sick, there’s something to that. He’s so agile that he can turn just as well to the right as he does turning to the left, he’s so easy. He doesn’t mind crossing the dirt. As a matter of fact, he accelerates. When you get one that does that, that’s the key. Many will hesitate going over it and they’ll lose momentum because of it.”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, SOMETHINGS UNUSUAL, SECOND: “It was good. I did everything I think I could have physically done but he’s just the type of horse that when he gets next to another horse he doesn’t want to pass; he’s a hanger. I had the best trip I could have asked for, he just hung on me, that’s it.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, FOREST CHATTER, WINNER: “He’s a good little horse and he trains as good as you’d want. You can get him ready for whatever you want. He got a little bit sour during the middle of the summer and so I just took a little time, freshened him up, and here he is today.”
Asked his reaction through the stretch: “I was worried. At the eighth pole I was scared to death. That horse (Somethings Unusual) looked like he had dead aim on him, but Mike (Smith) nursed him along and did a good job.”
MIKE McCARTHY, SOMETHINGS UNUSUAL, SECOND: “The horse did everything but win. He was coming off a tough beat over the summer at Del Mar, but the winner has an affinity going down the hill and he was very good today. His record speaks for itself, but I’m very pleased with how my horse ran.”
NOTES: Winning owners Marty and Pam Wygod reside in Rancho Santa Fe.