FLAVIEN PRAT, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “It was a lot different today. Last time was very bad and nothing went well. Today she broke just a tad slow, but she got going and really relaxed for me on the backside. We’ve been working on her relaxing because she has a tendency sometimes to be very aggressive.
She was quite good today and we look forward to the next step.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, FAITHFULLY, SECOND: “It was a good run. I know that number four (Paradise Woods) was supposed to be on the lead. I just hopped a little bit (at the start) and made sure not to stay too far back. I tried to give my horse a shot throughout the whole race. I was in perfect position. I had a beautiful trip. It’s just that the winner was clearly the best today.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “I wasn’t as confident (as I’ve been in the past going into this race), not in her ability but the fact that she’s kind of gone south, mentally, on us. We had to get through some hard times, and we did. She responded. It was a lot of schooling.
“This was a relief. I was worried something would go wrong again, but it went right.
“I have to give Marty (Wygod, part owner) a lot of credit. I hate to do it (joking). He actually convinced me to go to the longer race. I was kind of leaning towards the sprint and just keeping my options open. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have worked her the seven furlongs the other day. I thought with the seven I could go a little shorter, or a little longer. But he suggested the long race might be the way to go and I have to give him credit. He was right. I would have come around with the idea anyway (joking again). . . . She took it well but you never know if it’s going to work until you run ’em.
“The Distaff is the goal. I couldn’t ask for more than what we had today so I’ll have to put him down as the assistant trainer I guess.”
MARTIN WYGOD, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “It sure does feel good (to have her back in form), but she had good excuses in her last two races. I never lost confidence in her, and (trainer Richard Mandella) never lost confidence in her, either. It always makes you feel good going into whatever we decide we want to do with her. It didn’t take much out of her – she was hardly blowing, and you could see he was having difficulty pulling her up.”
(On her next start): “It’s too far in advance to make a decision.”
NOTES: Paradise Woods is owned by Martin and Pam Wygod and Steven Sarkowsky.