MIKE SMITH, VELVET MESQUITE, WINNER: “She’s a big filly and she broke a little slow. I had to ask her a little when we were making that right-hand turn; I didn’t have much choice. She’s so tall that it took her longer to get up after slipping a little at the start. It took her a couple of jumps. When we turned back to the left we had a big gap and she just took advantage of it. We went 22 and change and down this hill that’s like going 23 on a normal track. She was able to establish the lead nicely, was well within herself and had enough to hold them off.
“That hill is hers, it’s almost tailor made for her. That last little bit she just floats. That push off the hill really helps.
“The rail being out (15 feet from the permanent inner rail) always helps when you’re on the lead. I think it gives you a good length advantage. There’s just not enough room and those coming behind you have to maneuver more for a clear spot. If they get a clear run it probably doesn’t make much difference, but they usually don’t.”
BRICE BLANC, HEAT TRAP, SECOND: “She did a great job. There wasn’t enough pressure on the winner early. We quickened when we crossed the dirt, but so did the winner and she had enough left to hold us off.”
MARTIN PEDROZA, GO WEST MARIE, THIRD: “I knew the winner was the speed of the speed and I didn’t want to go head and head with her. I just wanted to make sure my filly broke and it worked out perfect, because we were able to track the winner and we had a good trip.”
BLAKE HEAP, VELVET MESQUITE, WINNER: “I think before she went to Del Mar her weight was a little bit down; she won (at Santa Anita on June 20), but she wasn’t as strong. I backed off on her and now she’s strong and finishing stronger. She’s got more strength.
“Mike (Smith) had been working her but I just told him to ride the race as it sets up. ‘If you’re in front it’s okay. If you’re sitting back, it’s okay.'”
NOTES: The winning owner/breeder is John Harris of Coalinga, CA. He did not attend today’s races.