JOE TALAMO, TOUGH SUNDAY, WINNER: “Nick has been a big supporter of mine, really since I’ve been an apprentice out here. It’s always great to win a stakes like this for an owner like that.
“What a cool horse, he pretty much did all the work today. I just put him in the race. We had a great set up with Masochistic and Richard’s Boy inside of us and we just sat off of them and then he did all the work down the lane.
“His name suits him well. That’s so remarkable for him to not only make the races but to go on and win a stakes like this. It’s pretty remarkable.”
STEVE MIYADI, TOUGH SUNDAY, WINNER: “When I first went to go work for Mike Mitchell, that’s where I met Nick. That was a long time ago and Mike told me that the number one rule was that when I stood with him, there was no cheering. I know he’s watching and I know he’s mad, because I cheered, the length of the stretch today.
“This horse has had a lot of things against him and he’s overcome them.”
NICK ALEXANDER, OWNER, TOUGH SUNDAY, WINNER: “I’m shaking, I’m going to cry. We thought several times that he was the best horse in the race and he would just miss. With this one, everything worked out. The right horses scratched, he had the right spot outside of the speed, Joe rode him perfectly, the track was a little off which is in his breeding, and he just sailed.
“He’s got a lot of human characteristics, he’s a silly boy. He likes to play with people around the barn and he’s just kind of a goof but on the racetrack he gets serious. He’s so cool.
“And I just want to say one more thing. Back home, Carrie (Drake, barn manager) and Frankie (Rodriguez, barn foreman), this is for you guys. You’re the ones that saved his life. I love you both and this is for you.”
NOTES: Owned and bred by Nick Alexander, Tough Sunday was born with “dummy foal syndrome.” After a tough labor and without oxygen for five minutes, he was born deaf, blind and without the instinct to nurse. Carrie Drake and Frankie Rodriguez, along with Nick Alexander, all made the quick decision to save the foal and rushed him and his dam, Sunday Dress, to Alamo Pintado Clinic, located just five minutes down the road from Alexander’s Santa Ynez ranch.
After about a week of care, Nick visited the foal after hearing he hadn’t improved much. When he walked by his ICU stall, Nick noticed that the foal was following him with his gaze. When he believed he could see, he decided to keep doing what it took to save the foal.
Trainer Bill Spawr presents the trophy to owner/breeder Nick Alexander, Steve Miyadi and Joe Talamo.