EDWIN MALDONADO, FAHAN MURA, WINNER: “She’s a really fun horse to ride. She’s become so much more professional. She used to pull quite a bit, but now, she relaxes so nice…I want to thank Vladimir and the owners for putting me on her. Today, she made the lead easy and then she did all the work.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO, EXCELLENT SUNSET, SECOND:  “My filly is improving with every race. She was very professional today. We wanted to put her into the race and she relaxed…we had a good position but there was no pressure on the winner. She relaxed on the lead and nobody could catch her.”


VLADIMIR CERIN, FAHAN MURA, WINNER: “The fractions were good for her, but they were good for her last time, too (when she weakened to 12th in the Grade I Matriarch Dec. 2). For some reason she just didn’t fire. I leave it in Edwin’s hands. He’s improved her by letting her be herself. He never interferes with her. He’s a big reason why she’s doing well.”

PART OWNER DAWN MELLEN, FAHAN MURA, WINNER: “She’s definitely a joy to have. We’re so happy she’s in our barn. To claim her in New York and be able to bring her out to California, she’s done incredibly well.

“It was my father’s doing so you’d have to ask him what it was about her that was so intriguing. He has a great eye for horses and he picked a winner.

“She definitely rises to the occasion and gives 110 percent every time she gets on the track.

“We’re just going to enjoy this win for the moment and haven’t decided where she’ll go next.”

ANNA MEAH, EXCELLENT SUNSET, SECOND: “It was a good effort. There was just no way we could catch the lead horse. Raffy (Bejarano) did a perfect job. It was just not our day.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Bran Jam Stable and Clark.