RAFAEL BEJARANO, WILD DUDE, WINNER: “I knew with three horses in the race for Mr. Hollendorfer, I knew Gary (Stevens) was going to send on Moonshine Bay to put a little pressure on the favorite (Martin Garcia, on Secret Circle.) The favorite went to the lead easy, but he was tracking the other horse (Moonshine Bay).
“I saved ground around the turn and waited for the stretch. I knew those two on the front end were going to keep going so I just wanted to wait so I could be clear in the stretch. I just had to wait for the right moment, the right time. My horse loves to come from behind so the only change was I didn’t want to leave too much for him to do at the end so I kept him a little closer today.”
COREY NAKATANI, SAHARA SKY, FIFTH: “I wish we had an excuse. I was riding him, but we couldn’t make up any ground. He probably needed a race. I thought the pace was going to be a little quicker.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER, WILD DUDE, WINNER, MOONSHINE BAY, THIRD, AND SAHARA SKY, FIFTH AND LAST: “Our horse (Wild Dude) got lucky to get out of the one (post), and that’s why we got the win. I just told him (Rafael Bejarano) to be where he wanted to be comfortable. We knew the horse had some tactical speed.
“Yes, it was a big step up for him, but he’s been doing good and the race came up light, so we decided to go with three horses instead of two.
” . . . Gary (Stevens on Moonshine Bay) wouldn’t have gone quite so hard if the horse didn’t break as good as he did, but he was right out there. Secret Circle went for it. I thought Jeff Bonde’s horse (Majestic Stride) would go for it, but maybe he came away a step slow and couldn’t get the lead.”
Asked if he was enjoying “this rivalry with Baffert”–“It’s not a rivalry. Actually, I’m a fan of a lot of the good trainers down here and I’m one of Bob’s fans. I love the way that he trains and the job that he does. If it is a rivalry, it’s a friendly one.”
On Sahara Sky: “I don’t know. I hope nothing’s wrong. I don’t think it is.”
BOB BAFFERT, SECRET CIRCLE, SECOND: “(Secret Circle) was down on the inside (after he passed Moonshine Bay in the stretch) and I don’t think Martin ever saw the winner coming once he put that other horse away. He thought he had it won. He ran well off the layoff, he just got beat. He ran a good race; I just don’t think he saw that other horse.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Jerry Hollendorfer of Point Richmond, CA, and Green B. Smith Jr. of Bryan, Texas.