IGGY PUGLISI, SPIRIT RULES, WINNER: “The break helped us out a ton . . . He was in (the gate) a really short period of time and he really caught a flyer from there. I couldn’t give that up. There were too many fast horses in there, so when I could scoot my way over to San Onofre, I figured I’d at least have a shot at it.
Through the stretch: “I could feel that inside horse (San Onofre) really starting to battle back . . . but my horse ran really good. He’s been lights out, a really hard-knocking horse.”
MIKE SMITH, SAN ONOFRE, SECOND: “Just got out-run today. I stumbled a little leaving (the gate), which cost me a clear lead, but if I’d have been running, I don’t think it would have bothered him. The horse hasn’t run in a year. The horse that beat me is a good old horse that’s been running all year and is fit. It’s a whole lot different in the morning, especially when they take it to you early. I was really happy with the way he ran, and I think he’ll really move forward off it.”
PAUL AGUIRRE, SPIRIT RULES, WINNER: “He’s a big horse and whenever he draws outside and he gets near the lead, he’s going to be tough. They may run him down but it’s not going to be because he quits. He’ll give every ounce he has right to the wire.
“This Cal-bred program is fantastic. We don’t have a lot of things to hang our hats on these days in horse racing, but the Cal-bred program is really something to be proud of. It’s made this horse have a nice career.”
KAREN HEADLEY, SAN ONOFRE, SECOND: “I knew I was going in there a little short. He’s a nice horse, and I knew that he had one more condition.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Barbara Accardy, Jeanmarc Murphy and Craig Siedler of San Diego.