MIKE SMITH, NESSY, WINNER: “I was so happy to be able to ride for Ian. We go way back, to when he was working for Carl Nafzger in Chicago. As you know, these owners have always wanted to win this race and they pointed for it with this horse. I did ride him with a lot of confidence. I was able to run him up into a couple spots and get him to turn on and turn off. He’s a really classy horse. You can feel him getting into a rhythm and he’s breathing deeply in and out . . . He’s the kind of horse that’ll run all day and when we hit the wire, his ears were pricked.”
IAN WILKES, NESSY, WINNER: “This race is all for Ed (Hudon, co-owner and breeder). The horses went slow enough where he had to beat them, but he’s a cool horse. He’s getting better, that’s the whole thing about it. He’s improving. He’s just five. He’s still a young horse at this stage for this game, because if we stay in business (keep racing him), he’ll get better as we go on.
“He galloped this morning. He’s the kind of horse, he gets a little stirred up, so we wanted him to think it’s a normal day . . . Get that chicken dinner out!
“He’ll go back east. Where he goes (runs) next, I don’t know yet. We’ll enjoy this first.”
NOTES: The winning owners/breeders are Ed and Sharon Hudon who race as Sierra Farm.