GEOVANNI FRANCO, SECRET SPICE, WINNER: “I’ve worked her a couple times and she does everything very easy. We broke beautiful and she settled nice. We were able to save ground and going to the far turn, she was targeting those two horses on the lead (Exuberance and Just a Smidge), so we swung out she really ran great. Richie told me she would run big and she did.”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, MARLEY’S FREEDOM, SECOND: “I was in a great spot around the first turn when my stablemate went up to engage the leader, which I thought could only benefit me. I saved some ground around the 1st turn. I would have liked for her to kick into gear around the far turn a little sooner. I wanted to go but she’s a unique horse in that she wants to go when she wants to go. I gave her the cue, but she was on idle mode until she switched leads then she gave me about three more gears, but by that time the leader had already put open lengths on me.”
RICHARD BATAS, SECRET SPICE, WINNER: “She had a month and a half off because of cellulitis and an infection in her hock. We had aimed for the La Brea, but we had to wait until she was ready. She needed that last race (Feb. 7). She put together some great works since then and we decided to try the Beholder Mile. Marley’s Freedom is a great horse. It was our day today and we’ll take it. She put it all together today. I told her owners if you want to win a Grade I you are going to have to be patient and wait, she just put it all together, it was our day today.”
BILLY KOCH, SECRET SPICE, WINNER: “You know, this is one of those things you dream about and I visualized. We were confident we knew she needed a race last time and Ritchie (Baltas) and his staff I really credit them for doing a great job of training her into this race, we were supposed to run two of three weeks ago and with the postponement it really gave him time to really work with her and I’m just so happy for all of our partners, that’s what it’s all about, these people who put their hard earned money into this game which is crazy and to get a Grade I winner this is the pinnacle and we couldn’t be happier for our partners. Everyone has been so patient with this filly and letting her come along and we knew that 106-buyer wasn’t a joke and she proved it today.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Little Red Feather Racing.