FLAVIEN PRAT, LOMBO, WINNER: “He ran a big race. They put a little pressure on him down the backside, but he was nice and relaxed. I worked him last week and he’s got a lot of speed was concerned he might want to go, but he was relaxed. That was my main concern, but he relaxed and then he went on.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, AYACARA, SECOND: “I love the way my horse finished. I had my choice between the winner and this horse, so I guess I picked the wrong one! Seriously, my horse is improving and he’ll getter better as we go longer.”
MIKE SMITH, PEACE, FIFTH: “He stopped on me the whole race! I thought the blinkers would wake him up but it backfired on us big time. I feel bad because it was my idea.
“He has so much hang in him and he just doesn’t want to pass that last horse. I know he has so much ability in him though, so I thought, let’s just put a set of blinkers on him to make him concentrate. And he did, in the morning. He’s been really aggressive in the right way since we put them on. I thought he’d pull me right up there with them today, but every chance he got, he tried to pull up.
“I mean he felt great, wasn’t even blowing at the end. I’m the only tired one; I was ridin‘.”
MIKE PENDER, LOMBO, WINNER: “He’s definitely a high octane horse. Apparently, Graydar (his sire) had some of the same characteristics and Unbridled’s Song (Graydar’s sire) as well. He’s just a big kid and got a little ADD to him but he’s starting to figure it out. When he does really figure it out, I think he’ll be really dangerous.
“We’ve been training since November to get two turns. I knew he had intense gate speed . . . I knew he was going to break right on the muscle today and take them as far as he could.”
Next race? “Santa Anita’s home, we’re going to do what’s in this horse’s best interest, run him out of his stall for Mr. Stronach and the Santa Anita fans is something I always plan on first and foremost.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Michael Lombardi.
Jeff Lewis, son of the late owners Robert B. and Beverly, presents the trophy to trainer Mike Pender.
Zoe Metz Photography