JOE TALAMO, TOUGH IT OUT, WINNER: “We had a good trip. Phil just told me to ride him like Kent Desormeaux on Exaggerator, so we stayed in the five path and went from there. I thought the track was pretty fair for the first few races, and these last few you can come from behind; it feels great.”
FERNANDO PEREZ, TOUGH BUT NICE, SEVENTH: “He bumped me so hard on the backside, the number 5. He was four wide, and he’s still bumping me, so that took everything away from my horse. Absolutely.”
PHILIP D’AMATO, TOUGH IT OUT, WINNER: “This is just a tremendous feeling. Mike Mitchell (his late mentor) and Nick Alexander, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.”
NOTES: The victory gave D’Amato a 39-34 lead over Doug O’Neill in the Winter Meet trainer standings with one racing day remaining.
Winning owner/breeder Nick Alexander resides in Los Angeles.