COREY NAKATANI, HILLHOUSE HIGH, WINNER: “We had a great trip. She broke really well, was tactically placed, and the inside horse asserted herself with Kent (Desormeaux). I was able to track them and give her a target, which was really good for her. She did the rest. She’s a really good filly.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, MOKAT, SECOND: “We had ourselves in a good position, but the winner was much the best. The winner had a better post and we just came up short. We made a good run. Little by little I’m feeling better and I’ve been getting more opportunities. I lost those couple of months (with an injury), but things are good now.”
RICHARD BALTAS, HILLHOUSE HIGH, WINNER: “Her last two works were very good and Corey actually worked her both times. She finished her last quarter in 22 and change the other day.
“The main thing was that I thought she’d get the trip today. She sat right behind the speed and it just worked out that way. I was really happy with Mokat’s race as well (Baltas’ other runner, who ran second.) It’s unfortunate that she didn’t win, but what can you do – they were running against each other.
“Hillhouse High had the perfect trip today right behind the speed. I was watching both horses just hoping we’d get a piece and we ended up running one-two. I’m just grateful for that.
“Corey has been helping me a lot in the mornings. He was helping me before he even started his comeback and he must have breezed 25 horses for me. His weight is down, his son is his agent and they’re a great team. Corey is so great on the grass. He’s a great rider period but really, really good on the grass.”
MATT NAKATANI, HILLHOUSE HIGH, WINNER: “It really is a great opportunity to have come back and it is really special to have [Golden Eagle Farm Investment, L.P] supporting you like that. I can’t thank everyone on their team, all the owners, have done for us. I am really looking forward to what we can do this year. This is huge and Golden Eagle Farm, they have been around in the game a long time and I know my dad loves any opportunity to ride for them. Patience is key [for Corey Nakatani] on the grass and he always rides the best race.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Golden Eagle Farm Investment LP.