GRADE II, $200,000 CITY OF HOPE MILE
__GRADE II, $200,000 CITY OF HOPE MILE __
JUAN HERNANDEZ, HONG KONG HARRY, WINNER: “He had a really nice trip, this horse was sharp today. Out of the gate he was pulling, pulling. This is the kind of horse that he always relaxes and comes with one run, but today I am guessing that he was feeling really good because he was really aggressive at the beginning. He was in a good mood and was just trying to run. I was trailing really well behind the pace and was saving ground. I was hoping for a rail opening but the horse in front of me, he never came off the rail but the other horse (War At Sea) dropped back around the turn I had the opportunity to come out and start making my run. As soon as he switched leads, he picked it up really well and he hit the wire first. He’s a professional. He does everything himself. I just had to push him a little bit today, but he made it.”
PHIL D’AMATO, HONG KONG HARRY, WINNER: “He had his ears pricked ready to go and Juan just did a masterful job. Angled out just like you like to see a turf horse do and motor home. I loved seeing that because he’s kind of more of a docile type horse in the stall, but when he had his heels kicking up the other day it gave me a good indication that he was ready to go. This is a total team effort, the groom Octavio, my assistants, Julie, Rudy and Odolfo, it is just a total team effort with this horse and also to win for the owners it is just awesome. “He is just one of the barn favorite, he is just kind of one of those horses in the morning he does what he needs to do so you never know exactly how cranked he is but he knows when it is showtime.”
TONY VALAZZA, PART-OWNER, HONG KONG HARRY, WINNER: “It’s an unbelievable thrill, we’ve been wanting to run him at del Mar and things didn’t work out. We are so excited that he is back and he’s back in a big way. We have to think about it, for us it is a big feat to be in the Breeders’ Cup if he is not nominated.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Scott Anastasi, Jimmy Ukegawa, and Tony Valazza.