TYLER BAZE, ENOLA GRAY, WINNER: “I had a beautiful trip. She’s an unbelievable filly. Once I put Bejarano (on Desert Steel) away it was pretty much over from there and I just kept her attention.”
PHIL D’AMATO, ENOLA GRAY, WINNER: “I liked that position she was in (pressured by Desert Steel). So long as she’s chasing and on the outside, I think that filly kind of helped her coast along, and crossing the dirt, she just opened up. I really, truly believe the sky’s the limit with this filly. We’re going to plan to stretch her out later on in the year, and then I think she’ll be even more effective.”
NICK ALEXANDER, OWNER/BREEDER, ENOLA GRAY, WINNER: “I’m relieved to win. We haven’t won a race since the last race she won in October. We’ve been nosed out twice. We got disqualified once, on New Year’s Eve so, we needed a win. I’m relieved.
“It played out just about the same as the last time they hooked up (Desert Steel and Enola Gray on the lead in the Cal Cup Distaff down the hill on Oct. 15). I thought we had more horse and she proved it. There was a late scratch of a cheap speed horse that I was thrilled wasn’t in there. The two legitimate horses had a chance to fight it out on the lead.
“We want to stretch her out now on the grass, maybe a Grade III. There’s one that comes up as bit too quickly for her in 18 days or something like that but we’ll find the next one. There’s one in April (one mile turf Royal Heroine Stakes on April 8, Grade II, $200,000). We might even take her home for a week or two and give her a little rest.
“She’s a neat horse, she really is. The dam had not had anything worth a darn before that. Everyone that gets on her says that you can’t even feel her hit the ground. She just has one of those big, long strides. She’s a sweetheart.
“She threw in two horrible races. At 1-9 and 1-5 and she got beat, with no apparent excuse. I think she has to be on the lead, or fighting for it. I think you have to go as fast as you can and that’s the way she likes it. That’s the way her daddy liked it, too.”
NOTES: Winning owner/breeder Nick Alexander is from Los Angeles.