JOE TALAMO, MELATONIN, WINNER: “He’s a jockey’s dream. He just does his thing. He does not have to go to the lead. As you saw, he laid second, comfortably. What impressed me the most about him today was when Win the Space came to him at the eighth pole, he just battled back. He gives you everything he’s got.
“He’s not a horse that grabs the bit much, but he relaxed really well, two, three deep today. Especially going distances like this, you don’t see horses coming from too far back. That helps him, the fact that he can inherit the lead whenever he wants to.
“If they went even quicker, it wouldn’t have mattered. It’s not like he has to be up on the pace, he could have been further back.
“I knew I had a lot of horse turning for home, but my horse dug in so nicely. I don’t know what else to say, he’s an unbelievable horse and the sky’s the limit.”
GARY STEVENS, WIN THE SPACE, SECOND: “It was a huge run. It was a fun race. He settled great for his first time going a mile and a quarter and it was just a really professional race from him. Great job and well done by everybody in that barn.”
DAVID HOFMANS, MELATONIN, WINNER: “I think mostly we gave him enough time to get rid of that awful thing in his body (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis or EPM). I think that held him back and since we got rid of that he’s developed into such a nice horse.
“The emotions were pretty high. I’m normally low key but today I was really nervous. It was his big test today. I thought there were some quality horses in here that he had to beat in order to think about going on (to bigger things). The difference is that today he validated himself. Any horse can beat any horse, on any given day. But to do it again, and maybe even again, then you start thinking.”
“He’s a very smart horse. You can see that Joe could do whatever he wanted with him. They’re perfect together.
“We were gunning for the Breeders’ Cup Classic anyway but to win this is quite a bonus! (The Gold Cup is a Win and You’re In Challenge Race guaranteeing Melatonin automatic berth, with fees paid, into the $6,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 5).”
NOTES: The winning owner is Susan Osborne of Glendale, CA, who races as Tarabilla Farms, Inc.