GARY STEVENS, SHARP SAMURAI, WINNER: “He’s been working so well. When they’re doing that you wish the race was the next day so that nothing happens.
“He’s improved over the summer. Mark and his team have done a tremendous job with him. We haven’t seen the best of him yet. He’s improved with every race. Mark gave me the green light in the paddock that I could go to the lead with him if I wanted to. This horse listens to me so much and just wants to please me. I just want to please him, it’s been a lot of fun.
“Mark said we might have run him on the wrong Saturday and I said the same thing. Mid-summer after I won a couple on him and worked him, I told Mark that he’s about as good of a miler as I’ve been on in a long time. He’s doing the right thing with this gelding. Hopefully he comes out of this good and we’ve got the Derby down at Del Mar.
“If he stays good and continues to improve I think Mark will have the option to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Mile or the Breeders’ Cup Turf next year. If this was six weeks away from the Breeders’ Cup I would be shouting to go in the Breeders’ Cup Turf because you have to be so lucky in the Mile. He’ll get a mile and a half and he’ll get a mile so he’s a lot of fun to ride. I haven’t ridden too many that are this versatile.
“I thought Dangerfield, coming off the sprints and Troublewithatee, with Corey would go. Both of them knew they were up against it and were just trying to pick up pieces. Mark said the speed scratched so I told him I just wanted to get away clean and if I was on the lead I’d take it. Luckily, Mike and I were able to slow it down and he was being patient, as was I. The first time under the wire you’ve already been dealt your hand so you just have to kind of sit.”
MARK GLAT, SHARP SAMURAI, WINNER: “I think he’s learned as he’s gotten older and he’s getting better each time he races. Gary keeps telling me that he just keeps getting better with each race as well.”
TIM YAKTEEN, TRAINER, BIG SCORE, SECOND: “He ran a heckuva race, I just can’t get by Glatt right now…We’ll give him another ‘go’ in the Hollywood Derby (Grade I, 1 1/8 miles turf on Nov. 26).”
JEDD COHEN, RED BARON’S BARN, OWNER, SHARP SAMURAI: “No, I’ve never won stakes in a row with any horse, let alone a horse of this quality. He’s a really good horse and Gary gets along with him so well.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Jed and Robert Cohen of Los Angeles who race as Red Baron’s Barn, LLC, Rancho Temescal, LLC and Mark Glatt.
Trophy presenter Tad Dowd and winning connections all smiles after Gr. II, $200,000 Twilight Derby win
Zoe Metz Photography