VICTOR ESPINOZA, VAGABOND SHOES, WINNER: “Today I wanted to ride smart, sit back and save ground on the first turn. I just wanted to find my way around and it set up well for me. I wanted to control the race and about 300 yards out of the gate I knew I had an excellent position. I was in control of the inside and outside and horses in front of me so I felt I was in good shape.
“From the half mile pole I knew he was full of run, he was dragging me around. I was just waiting. I didn’t want to go too early and I just kept looking for the stretch so I could finally let him run and let him stretch his legs. He ran just like he was supposed to.
“When you know you’re going to have a lot of run still at the end, because the horse is giving you so much power, it’s easy to time. You can feel the power and you know you have a ton of gears left. John really has done an excellent job with this horse.”
MARTIN GARCIA, SI SAGE, SECOND: “Mr. Vienna has always had a lot of confidence in this horse. He told me to get him into the race and get my position. That’s exactly what I did. I had a chance to sit right behind the speed in third and when I asked him to go, he went. I just got beat by a very good horse.”
JOHN SADLER, VAGABOND SHOES, WINNER: “He’s a nice horse. He can run a few different distances, but this is the one I wanted (as opposed to the one-mile Arcadia last Saturday). He can run a mile and an eighth, a mile and a sixteenth . . . He ran a really good race in the Breeders’ Cup, but this looked like his comfort zone. Victor (Espinoza) did a nice job. He made a good move not to get trapped on the inside . . . He wanted to get a little bit clear.”
DARRELL VIENNA, SI SAGE, SECOND: “I’m pretty happy, because we weren’t sure if he’d get the mile and a quarter, and it looked like he got it pretty well today. We were concerned that a mile might be his distance, so it opens up some opportunities for us. A very good ride by Martin. I’m very happy with everything. I’d be happier if he won, but he ran well today.”
MIKE PENDER, JERANIMO, SIXTH: “He just didn’t fire today.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Peter and Kosta Hronis of Delano, CA.