ZUMA BEACH STAKES QUOTES

JOCKEY QUOTES

 

COREY NAKATANI, LUCK OF THE KITTEN, WINNER: “He’s got a lot of ability. He’s got a high cruising speed which is good for 2-year-olds and he’s a big strong colt. I have to thank Wesley (Ward, trainer) and the Ramseys (owners) for giving me the chance to ride him. I got to figure him out a little bit today and hopefully we can use this as a steppingstone. He relaxed really nice for me and had plenty left so I think the next step could be the Breeders’ Cup. He deserves a spot in there I think.”

TYLER BAZE, RED BUTTON, SECOND: “With a better trip, we should’ve won it. Nakatani was out in the four and five lanes all the way around there and I finally said (‘heck with it’) and went to the inside around the far turn. We could’ve won it.”

 

MIKE SMITH, DALLAS SKYLINE, FOURTH: “He didn’t really fire today. He sat further back today and he was happy to do it. I was expecting him to be a little more aggressive but he just ran through the motions today for whatever reason. It certainly wasn’t his ‘A’ race by any means. I set him up for a good kick home, but he just never did.”

 

TRAINER QUOTES

 

BLAKE HEAP, ASSISTANT TO WESLEY WARD, LUCK OF THE KITTEN, WINNER: Asked if the plan was to be in front: “He’s speed, he’s always kind of been that way. I told him (Corey Nakatani) to grab him the first jump. If you’re in front, that’s OK, and if somebody else goes, that’s OK.

“They were going pretty fast. I was a little bit worried when I saw the first fraction. I was hoping it was slower. I haven’t talked to Wesley, so I don’t know what’s next, but I would imagine it’s the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile Turf, $1 million at one mile on turf Oct. 31). I would guess that’s where he goes next.”

 

NOTES: Owners/breeders Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey are from Nicholasville, Ky.