ELVIS TRUJILLO, SAM’S SISTER, WINNER: “I had a perfect trip. I saw a lot of speed in the race when I looked at it and three or four horses went to the lead. I sat covered up and in the stretch, I was in the clear.
“The last sixteenth I could see Rafael (Bejarano on front-running favorite, Taris) working and I could see her tail flapping so I knew I had it. I came flying and I caught them right away. She’s a very nice horse. I have to thank Mr. Hollendorfer for giving me the opportunity to ride such a nice horse.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, TARIS, SECOND: “We were feeling so much pressure. The other horse (Sam’s Sister) was chasing me the entire race. I tried to get her relaxed after she broke out to the lead very easily, but I was never able to get her to be relaxed. The other horse (Uzziel) was chasing me the entire time.
“By the time it came to the stretch, my horse was running on empty. My horse was still running and trying to win, but the other horse was able to pass me in the end. I still think my filly was the best horse in the race.”
JOEL ROSARIO, THANK YOU MARYLOU, THIRD: “It was a good trip. I thought they went pretty quick out front . . . It looked like the track was playing a little to speed. She did great. She put in a nice run and I thought for a second I would win. But she ran great, just third-best today.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, SAM’S SISTER, WINNER: Asked about returning to dirt: “We really wanted to run in this race. It’s nice to knock off a Grade I on opening day. We were afraid of the one horse (Taris), but we didn’t want to duck her. She was well meant, so I think we beat a really nice filly.
“When we got here to Santa Anita and reviewed the stakes schedule, we pretty much thought that we wanted to point her for the La Brea if she was going good. We had confidence in her from her first couple of victories. We’ve always liked her.”
Asked if a two-turn race might be next: “I don’t know. I’m going to look and see what there is and not try to plan too far ahead, but we’ll be looking at some big races for her.
“I just told him (Elvis Trujillo) I thought the three path was really good today and that he had an ideal post and he should try to be there, but I think he went inside and then went outside. He did a good job and the end result was good so I’m very pleased.”
NOTES: This is Brother Derek’s first Grade I winner. The winning owners are Mark Dedomenico of Belleview, WA; Jerry Hollendorfer of Point Richmond, CA; and George Todaro of Seattle.