TYLER BAZE, ALERT BAY, WINNER: “He’s a nice horse. He’ll do anything, dirt, synthetic, any distance, anything! I wanted to break sharp, which he did, because I wanted to keep close to the pace. Halfway down the backside I had a chance to ease him out of the tight spot we were in and give him a breather. He took a deep breath going into the far turn and I said, ‘it’s time to go!’ I didn’t know how he would take getting dirt kicked in his face; he’s never had to, but it didn’t bother him. He’s a phenomenal animal, he’s professional.”
GARY STEVENS, LIFE IS A JOY, SECOND: “The horse really improved today. He ran super big for us. I wish we were a little closer. It was tough coming from behind and going six wide.”
BLAINE WRIGHT, ALERT BAY, WINNER: “This is my first stakes win here. I’ve been training my whole life, really, but on my own since 2006. Tyler (Baze) and I go back a ways. Our families have known each other forever.
“We told Tyler the track was real tight today, try to stay as close as you can without taking the run away from him. I said, ‘Watch when the dirt hits him in the face,’ because he’s run on turf, he’s run on Tapeta synthetic, and sometimes those horses get to stinging a little bit in their face and they’ll back up.
“Tyler said he never balked from it, but he did watch his last race and he got stopped, so he decided he was going to take him out of there and give him a breather. He said he took a big, nice breath on me and I knew I had a good race underneath him.”
BRYAN ANDERSON, RACING MANAGER, ALERT BAY, WINNER: “Baze rode (Alert Bay) here before and (Julien) Couton rode him up at Golden Gate in his last race. We like both guys. Julien won the Emerald Downs Derby for us last year (in August aboard Worldventurer). We like both riders, but since Tyler rode him here at Santa Anita last time we kept him on and he’ll ride him here again. It’s just one of those calls you make (as an owner).”
NOTES: This is Wright’s first stakes win at Santa Anita. Winning owner Peter Redekop is from Richmond, British Columbia.