COREY NAKATANI, UNBRIDLED’S NOTE, WINNER: “It was pilot error his last race. I thought he was going to be all right since there was no pace in that race but when you come out of the gate at Hollywood, after a sixteenth of a mile or so, it turns. He thought he was supposed to go and like I said I should have let him do his thing that day, instead of trying to stop him . . .Today, we got the trip we wanted to get and it all worked out. As honest as he is and as hard-trying a colt as he is I just have to thank the connections for keeping me on him. He’s a gem to ride and he’s only getting better with age. He’s back, he’s at his home track now and it was a great win.”
ISAIAS ENRIQUEZ, GALLANT SON, THIRD: “He grabbed a quarter and he tore his shoe apart. The first jump, he went to his knees, but I wasn’t going to force him after that. I was going to nurse him because he’s such a nice horse, but after a 16th of a mile, he grabbed the bit and said let’s go. I said, all right, boy, if you wish, we’re going to go. He’s all heart. He’s the best horse I ever rode in my life.”
SCOTT BLASI, ASSISTANT TO STEVE ASMUSSEN, UNBRIDLED’S NOTE, 3-2 FAVORITE, WINNER: “He loves this course and he got a lot better trip than he got at Hollywood (second in the Hollywood Turf Express on Dec. 8). We were happy with where we were at. Corey (Nakatani) gave him a great ride.
“We’ll have him here for the winter and hopefully we’ll have a series of races to run him in. He likes the course here, so this is the right place to have him. He’s actually run well on the dirt here, too, if you look at his form, so we’ll just see what’s next.”
MIKE MACHOWSKY, EL COMMODORE, SECOND: “He ran great. Great ride by Gary, no complaints. He’ll be back in one of these races. This distance seems to suit him and he was well clear of the rest of the field so I think we’ll try again.”
NOTES: Winning owner Mike McCarty is from Austin, Texas.