JOE TALAMO, FANTICOLA, WINNER: “We had a great trip. She settled good off Birdlover and ran a real good race today. I thought the fractions were perfect. We went slow enough that it helped me and Mike (Smith, aboard Birdlover). I’m glad we drew outside of Birdlover; we were able to track her and it worked out from there.
“I think she’s been off the board only once, she runs hard. She’s just been unlucky a few times. In her last out she just didn’t see that other filly. She’s a fighter, when she sees other horses, she’ll fight.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, QUEEN OF THE SAND, SECOND: “They went slow, the pace was slower in the beginning of the race and Fanticola and Joe took advantage of that. I wish I could put pressure on the leaders but Fanticola was in the perfect position to do it. My horse had a perfect trip but my horse has one run. I let her go and she had a little run in the stretch but Fanticola was still running strong.”
PHIL D’AMATO, FANTICOLA, WINNER: “She deserved this. She’d been knocking on the door and had two tough beats in her last two, and this is kind of vindication for all her hard efforts. She’s gotten better and better, with more confidence. Instead of waiting to run her at Del Mar, we decided to go here. Maybe we’ll look at the Mabee (Grade II, $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf Aug. 8) next.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Anthony Fanticola of Newport Coast, CA, and Joe Scardino of Glendora, CA.