KENT DESORMEAUX, VELVET MESQUITE, WINNER: “I want to thank John Harris for breeding possibly the most gorgeous-looking mare. She has perfect balance; she’s a monster.
“She is really coming into her own. I think Blake and the whole team have figured her out. She just strutted her stuff today. I was so confident after only 50 yards. She was a completely different ride today, she really has turned a corner and she won. This was the first time going to the gate where she didn’t turn a hair. That was the incredible difference. I think that if she goes to the gate like she did today, there’s nothing she can’t do. The way that she was brining me around the racetrack, I knew they were all going to be in trouble and they were; she won.”
BLAKE HEAP, VELVET MESQUITE, WINNER: “Last time she broke a bit slow and Rafael really didn’t know her (Bejarano, up for the first time in Velvet Mesquite’s most recent race down the hill on Jan. 3rd) and he was thinking he had to have her near the lead. He urged her a little, tiny bit and going in forty-three was too much for her and to hang on against top class fillies, is very tough. She’s come into herself good, she’s a top class filly; she’s tough.”
BLAKE HEAP, VELVET MESQUITE, WINNER: “Her last race (Grade II Monrovia) was a tough one. Shrinking Violet (second in that race) was in there and we broke a little slow. Rafael (Bejarano, who rode her in the Monrovia) just nudged her, and you don’t really need to nudge her. Going in forty-three was too much for her, and to hang on against top-class fillies is very tough. She’s come into her own and she’s a top-class filly. She’s tough. Today, everything went perfect. She wants to be just off the pace and everything went right.”
JOHN HARRIS, VELVET MESQUITE, WINNER: “It always looks easy, but we always liked this filly. She showed a lot of promise every year, but as a mare gets older, you’re not sure if they can maintain their form. They’re run out of condition, so they have to be good to make it work. So now, our big quandary is to breed her or keep her running. But today, she made a pretty good case for staying in training.
“There are a lot of options to breed her; it’s always tempting and we will. It would have been an easier decision if she ran a mediocre race. But now, it’s hard to quit winners. She’ll be a great broodmare. Six (years old) is sort of on the cusp, but she can race a few more times and we can still breed her.
“I got into the racing game when I was 10, so it’s been over 60 years.”
NOTES: Winning owner/breeder John Harris resides in Coalinga.