TYLER BAZE, QUICK CASABLANCA, WINNER: “To do it for Mr. McAnally is so great, it feels special. He got an unlucky trip last time and he’s a wonderful horse to ride, very talented and he loves long distance races and they’re my favorite. It’s a race you watch as a kid wondering if it’s a race you could ever win and to finally have the chance to do that . . . to win it, it’s fantastic.
“In the paddock the only thing Mr. McAnally told me was to just gallop him the first time around. That was no problem, he’s a real cool horse, push-button, like a pony. I galloped that first mile and picked it up from there and tried to figure out how I was going to push the button because with him, it’s all or nothing. He was really flying that last three-eighths of a mile.”
RON McANALLY, QUICK CASABLANCA, WINNER: “The race set up well. I just told Tyler to let him gallop past the finish line first time around. I was a little afraid going twice around on soft ground.”
On winning his first race of the meet from only 14 starters: “We haven’t run that much. We don’t have those kinds of horses anymore. Charlie (Whittingham, who won the San Juan 14 times) was one of a kind. To win this race 14 times, that’s a good horseman.
“This is a good horse. He’s an easy horse to ride. We just let him gallop around the first time
around, and the second time, he made that move. He had plenty left.
“He’s an old horse, he’s a pro. He’s been around a long time. He’s been to Chile, he’s been to New York, he’s been to Florida. He’s one professional horse, and he’s old, like me (83).”
NOTES: This was McAnally’s fourth San Juan win. The others were by John Henry (1980), Amerique (1998) and Interaction (2013). Winning owner Pablo Gomez resides in Garden City, New York.