MIKE SMITH, DISTINCTIV PASSION, WINNER: “I was just trying to get along with him. The way to keep him going turning for home is to get along with him on the backside. If you can’t do that, they won’t finish for you. I wanted to keep him happy and I was in a great post to do that.
“Believe it or not, they went in forty two, but he rated. Rating doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go slow. He’s got a high cruising speed. I got him comfortable and he was happy going that fast. He had his ears up; I thought we were going in twenty four. Down the lane he was able to hold them off. I was running on fumes by the end but you’re supposed to when you go that fast.”
GARY STEVENS, HEIR OF STORM, SECOND: “He’s a pure pro; every time he gets led over, he loves the game. He’s the ultimate professional. He didn’t get away real clean today; he kind of over-broke. He rated kind for me just off the winner and he just tries his guts out. He’s fun to ride.”
MARTIN GARCIA, SECRET CIRCLE, FOURTH: “They were going pretty fast up there and we tried to make up ground but we just couldn’t. It just wasn’t his day.”
JEFF BONDE, DISTINCTIV PASSION, WINNER: “I was happy he drew outside. Historically, I’ve never trained a horse that’s quicker up the backside. He wants to lock on the bridle like an alligator, and over the last six months in the mornings, he started to relax and then kick and run late.
“I was hoping it transferred to the afternoon. Today’s the first time I ever saw him sit and then kick and run, so he is learning, finally.
“Mike Smith’s the master. We were lucky to get him. Edwin (Maldonado) was committed to Ron Ellis’ horse (Seeking the Sherif) several races back. Nothing against anyone; we were lucky to get Mike and he rode him masterfully.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Edward Brown Jr., Alan Klein, and Phil Lebherz of San Mateo.