GARY STEVENS, GIANT EXPECTATIONS, WINNER: “It looked like we were going to see a sub-23 first quarter, and we covered the first quarter in 24 and change and the half at almost 50, and the race was pretty much over. He’s got a great turn of foot the last quarter mile, and it was a lot of fun.
“He’s a really good colt. I don’t think people knew how good his Breeders’ Cup race was – he absolutely got left at the start, and he didn’t like the dirt getting kicked in his face. He was really the only horse that closed any ground at all that day. He’s come back and worked brilliant. I haven’t sat on him since the Breeders’ Cup. I was pleasantly surprised at the opening fractions – I thought I was going to have to use him pretty good, but my plan was to put him on the lead or close to it. I just didn’t want to have dirt in his face. I had a big smile on my face going around the first turn – the race was won going into that first turn.”
MIKE SMITH, COLLECTED, THIRD: “It was a bad ride. It was my fault. I slipped leaving the gate. We should have been on the lead. Then they were going too slow and we couldn’t get there in the end.”
PETER EURTON, GIANT EXPECTATIONS, WINNER: Asked if he was surprised to be on the lead: “When I saw 49 and change (for a half mile) I wasn’t surprised at that point, because he is a very fast horse. You can see that by the way he works, but he needs to get out of the gate, which he did today. He was a little tight but he (Gary Stevens) kind of sent him away from there and the next thing you it was 24 (24.69) for the quarter mile) and 49 (49.19 for the half) and it was game over. He’s just an amazing horse who needs his kind of race.
“I don’t know (what race might be next). I’m just going to enjoy this. We’re not nominated to anything.”
BOB BAFFERT, COLLECTED, THIRD, AND HOPPERTUNITY, FOURTH: “We (Collected) should have been on the lead and the other horse (Hoppertunity) was too close.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Exline-Border Racing LLC, Gatto Racing LLC or Zubek.