GARY STEVENS, ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR, WINNER: “It looked like it was going to be messy on paper and it was. There was no real speed in the race and he was very fresh today.
“I wasn’t afraid to put him on the lead if that’s where he wanted to be but Mike (Smith, on Going Somewhere) sent his horse away from there pretty hard and was intent on getting the lead. ‘Ashley’ got a little rank with me just before we crossed over the dirt but then he shut down for me and was push button.
“I knew Flavien (Prat, on Ganesh) was behind me playing the waiting game and he chose to go inside of me so I forced him to go clear inside and I wasn’t ready to move yet. We were too far out and I didn’t want to swing four wide until we straightened out into the lane and a lot of horses you can’t do that with. He’s so intelligent and he listens to what I want him to do. I got to know him even better today, it’s only the second time I’ve been on him. He’s a real warrior and a lot of fun to ride.
“I know Pete has never won the San Juan Capistrano and I’ve never won the San Juan so hopefully you’ll see us in there at the end of the meet.”
MIKE SMITH, GOING SOMEWHERE, THIRD: “He’ll get a lot out of this. The plan was to go to the lead and it worked well. We had a shot to win it and he just got a little tired at the end. Like I said, he’ll get a lot out of this race.”
PETER EURTON, ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR, WINNER: “(Ashley’s Folly, dam of Ashleyluvsssugar) was a pretty darn good mare and everything she’s foaled has won a maiden special weight and now this is her first graded stakes winner.”
“I think that the track was much slower today. In his last race they went 45 for the half and today they went in 48 so I don’t know if it’s a combination of both the track being slower and a lack of pace in there. I didn’t know what he was going to do so I just left it up to Gary today.
“Our goal, for me, and I hope it’s the same for everyone is to go in the San Juan Capistrano (Grade III, 1 ¾ miles on turf June 28), which has always been a fun race and I’ve always thought it would be pretty cool to win.”
JOE CIAGLIA, CO-OWNER/BREEDER ASHELYLUVSSUGAR: “This is just an amazing feeling. We knew he’d be a little fresh, with two months off, but Gary’s super smart and he got him relaxed and had him well-spotted. He had to check there (on the far turn), but he got outside and from there, we knew we had a chance to win. After his last race (a win in the Grade II, 1 ½ miles turf San Luis Rey Stakes March 21) we were hoping it wasn’t a fluke…Now we know he’s for real. We’d like to run in the Breeders’ Cup, but we’ve got a decision to make. The deadline is June 10 and we’ll have to put up $50,000.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Sharon Alesia of Carlsbad; Michael Mellen (Bran Jam Stable) of Connecticut; and Joe Ciaglia of Upland.