EDWIN MALDONADO, DISTINCTIV PASSION, WINNER: “This time he put his ears forward as soon as we left the gate and I didn’t move on him; he relaxed beautifully today.
“I knew I had enough to win today. I was just waiting to push the button, waiting on San Onofre. I knew it was going to be a two-horse race.
“That trip to Dubai, he was fine. He was fine the whole time but that grass was too long and wet and he couldn’t get a grip off of it. He came back good after the race and during the race he was good.”
MIKE SMITH, SAN ONOFRE, SECOND: “Distinctiv Passion was hard to catch today. He has unbelievable speed and it’s hard to catch him coming from behind. My horse finished up real well, though. I wish we were going six and a half today.”
JEFF BONDE, DISTINCTIV PASSION, WINNER: Asked if he was surprised he had little pressure up front early: “I know my horse is quicker than anybody I’ve ever had. I’ve never seen anybody that could go with him early. Everybody who ever has, paid the price. I figured they were thinking they’d try to catch him late.
“The Dubai race (on turf) was a totally wasted race. If you look at all the American horses over there that ran on the turf, they did miserably. On the main track, they did fine. The grass lies over five inches, and we’re staying at this hotel that looks right down on the track and they’re watering it every night. Even though you’re in a desert, it’s a bog.
“I’m sure you’ll see the horse next in the Bing Crosby (at Del Mar).”
NOTES: The winning owners are Edward Brown, Alan Klein and Phil Lebherz.