EDWIN MALDONADO, STORM FIGHTER, WINNER: “It was the plan to go to the lead. There was no speed in the race so we thought we would take advantage of that. I thought one of Hollendorfer’s horses would go with me to pressure us, but we made the lead easy and it was all him. I think he likes this distance. Last time out (at a mile) he went forty five for the half and he’s been training great ever since so I think he likes it.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, ROUSING SERMON, SECOND: “I had a good trip. My horse broke good from the gate. The winner was much the best. He went pretty easy to the lead. He went a pretty fast pace, but the way he was in hand, it was easy for him. My horse showed a big kick and he never quit. He was still running to the end. He might have needed a little more distance; last time, he ran a mile and a quarter and today, it was a mile. He needed that extra quarter. It was a good trip, but the winner was the best today.”
BRUCE HEADLEY, STORM FIGHTER, WINNER: “It’s great to win a race like this for Mr. Mabee. He represents three generations of breeders here in California and they’ve been great for the game over the years. We stopped on this horse after the Santa Anita Derby, gave him a rest and he’s doing really well. When you give ’em the time, everything’s fine. You let them grow up and fill out and run and get back to 100 percent before you run them again.
“He’s a big strong horse and he’s perfectly sound. He likes to run so if he can improve, that’s not out of his reach. Everything’s going fine and tonight I’ll have some wine. This is like pennies in a wishing well, only time will tell.”
JOHN R. MABEE, STORM FIGHTER, WINNER: “(Renowned California owner/breeders) John and Betty Mabee were my grandparents, so right now I’m carrying the torch for them; it’s emotional.
“We haven’t decided (on his next race) yet but we want to sit down and see what the next three or four weeks have in store.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Golden Eagle Farm Investment, Limited Partners.