KENT DESORMEAUX, SHRINKING VIOLET, WINNER: “She tracked well; she runs like a European. The leaders spread crossing the dirt so I filled that spot and she was full of run at that point.
“This was all Wesley Ward, trainer and owner. The filly has been to 12 different race tracks, but so have I over the years and a part of those were with Wesley Ward so I’m glad he didn’t bring sand to the beach. He let me pilot her, I’ve ridden her before, I know her well and I hope he knows that and it’s probably the reason we’re in the Winner’s Circle.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, HEAT TRAP, SECOND: “I didn’t really have a clean trip. I got in a little bit of trouble by the three-eighths pole and also turning for home. I was going to swing out and the horse in front of me swung out so I had to drop inside again. It cost me a little bit right there. I don’t know if it cost me the win but . . . she’s pretty nice, she ran a great race.”
BLAKE HEAP. ASSISTANT TO WESLEY WARD, SHRINKING VIOLET, WINNER, AND VELVET MESQUITE, THIRD: “We won, that’s what counts. All three horses ran great (including the Ward-trained To My Valentine, who finished fifth, beaten less than two lengths). The winner is a nice filly.
“The only thing I told Kent (Desormeaux) was that the two horse (To My Valentine) had to be kind of in front, and for him to break and try to get through up the fence. It just happened to work perfect for him. Mike (Smith) said my filly (Velvet Mesquite) hit the gate with her elbow and nearly knocked him off. That’s why she broke so slow. He said, ‘I either had to take her back or let her go. It probably cost me the race.'”
NOTES: The winning owner/trainer is Wesley Ward of Hallandale, FL.