UMBERTO RISPOLI, BRANDOTHEBARTENDER, WINNER: “As I said last time, he’s a versatile. You can put him on the street, he can run on the street. I don’t think he’s afraid about anything and he proves that with the years. He’s such an old horse, so he’s an expert, and he’s a nice horse to ride. You can put him wherever you want. (He gave me) speed in the beginning, I could go to the lead but that was not the case. Obviously, I had a very good trip during the race. My thought was to go to the fence right away and track Acclimate which I thought was the horse that was going to bring me further. Obviously, when North County Guy (moved) to the outside, he was a target…(My horse) did the rest, he could win by two lengths but he was waiting for the other horse. He knows what he’s doing.”
CRAIG DOLLASE, BRANDOTHEBARTENDER, WINNER: “He ran great and we thought he would. Umberto rode him perfect and instead of being bottled-up, he was free-running. He’s just a race horse. He knows where the wire is and it’s nice to be able to take advantage of the great Cal-bred program we have out here.
“This horse he makes my job easy. Any trainer out here will say when you have a horse that’s as consistent as he is and lays his body down each and every time. He reminds me of a horse called Awesome Jim who I use to train. A versatile gelding, ran until he was nine. This horse doesn’t know he’s eight years old. He really doesn’t he trains like a young horse and we’re very blessed to have him. I’m very glad we won the shake that day.
“Back to back, we’re kind of shocked. He’s kind of found the fountain of youth here at age eight. He trains so well and we have taken advantage of the Cal-bred program out here, it’s so great. I think this is the third time he’s run in the race, he was in good form and we’ll kind of map out a plan here. But he doesn’t owe us anything. He’s as honest as the day is long.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Flawless Racing, Brian Flanagan and Michael Jarvis.