FLAVIEN PRAT, HOPPERTUNITY, WINNER: “He did a good job. He broke OK today; he’s usually a bit slow from the gate. He broke good, the pace was good, so that helped us a lot.
“I thought I was beat to tell you the truth.”
MIKE SMITH, IMPERATIVE, SECOND: “I had to wait for some room to get him out and that really cost me. I still thought he won! I’m dumbfounded right now, I can’t even talk. I could have sworn that we won.”
BOB BAFFERT, HOPPERTUNITY, WINNER: “I thought I did (get the photo), but I didn’t want to move. When we were looking, I thought he got it . . . I thought Hoppertunity had his head down at the right time. It was a great run. He always comes flying late.
“He got away decent for him. He’s just getting rolling now . . . It was a good prep for him for Dubai (World Cup on March 26). I just told Flavien, ‘His first jump, he needs a little help leaving there.’ After that, it’s just a matter of if he gets up or not. That’s about it . . . This was a good day for us.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman of Phoenix.