VICTOR ESPINOZA, SOLID WAGER, WINNER (DEAD HEAT): “The way the track is, and the weather…I thought ‘ok I’ll get all dirty and it could be an experience’ but it’s my last race of the year so I’ll just go for it.
“He’s such a cool horse. He likes to just take his time and he tries as hard as he can down the stretch. I was only watching Kent on St. Joe Bay and no one else. His was the only horse I was concerned about getting by down the lane because everyone else looked like they were struggling.
“Sure enough, it was just between the two of us at the wire. It was awesome. When I crossed the wire I couldn’t tell but I was in front of him just a jump after. Kent thought he won right away but I said ‘Hey. Don’t be so sure.’ It’s not often this happens and to do it in a graded stakes for the same trainer?!”
KENT DESORMEAUX, ST. JOE BAY, WINNER (DEAD HEAT): “This is incredible for Pete. Dead Heats are not abnormal, but what is totally unique is being in a dead heat for the same trainer. I’ve ridden 40,000 horses, and that’s only happened to me one other time. It was for Richard Mandella, maybe in 1992, in the Beverly at Hollywood Park.
“There were no losers. We had two horses on the same team in the race, and we tied.
“I had a rough trip. He leaves the gate like a Quarter Horse, and he jumped over every hoof print and all the tractor marks. I really sat down on him leaving the chute and coming on to the main track. He pitched himself well in front, and threw on the brakes. I know for certain that the other horse was lucky to tie, but it’s a good year for Pete, and sometimes things are just out of your hands.”
PETER MILLER, SOLID WAGER AND ST. JOE BAY (DEAD HEAT), WINNER: “This is unbelievable. Both horses ran super. Both riders rode super. I couldn’t call it and obviously the Stewards couldn’t either, so I’m just elated for everyone involved.
“Watching it live I thought the two won, then when I watched the replay I thought the three won and when they put up the “DH” I didn’t know what to do!”
NOTES: The winning owners of Solid Wager are Gary Barber, Cecil Barber and Stanford Stable. The winning owners of St. Joe Bay are David Bernsen and Altamira Racing Stable.