RAFAEL BEJARANO, BIG MACHER, WINNER: “I thought a few other horses were going to the lead today. Cyclometer didn’t break well so I found my position, I followed the speed and my horse was flying at the end.”

KENT DESORMEAUX, COACH BOB, SECOND: “This is the quickest horse I’ve ridden in 10 years – no doubt. He leaves the latch like a Quarter Horse . . . I love this horse. He has tons of heart.”


RICHARD BALTAS, BIG MACHER, WINNER: “Rafael (Bejarano) said he was going to sit far back, but I told him that if he breaks sharp not to be too far out of it. I think that’s where he likes to be, up close, and he still can kick when he’s up close. He just came into the race real good and it was a great day. When I ran him in the other than (condition), I hooked Big Palms, one of (Bob) Baffert’s good horses. I figured after he ran there, I was going to nominate him for the Cal Cup Sprint. I worked him real slow and asked Rafael to come out and work the horse. He was on the fence with Hollendorfer (Kate’s Event, third) or me and after he worked the horse he said he would ride my horse. We got lucky.”

REINA GONZALEZ, COACH BOB, SECOND: “I’m excited. I really thought he was going to put out a race beyond what he has been showing. He’s had so many foot issues that he’s lost a step or two at the break. He used to be faster than he was today. I’m just so glad he’s confident again and digging in.

“I want to stick with Cal-bred races. We were originally pointing to the Sensational Star (on Feb. 22) but when I saw the schedule there were only three sprints for the season and dirt is his thing. We’ve got his feet in the right direction now so we’ve got to stick with dirt. He always gives 110 percent.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Brendan Bakir (Tachycardia Stables) of Malibu and Tom Mansor of La Mesa.