MARIO GUTIERREZ, WAKE UP NICK, WINNER: “It worked out perfect today. I thought that Baffert’s horse was going to go for the lead and my plan was to have us sit close but not to rush him. I did the best I could and these are babies, I wanted to save all I could for the end. I know him well, I work him all the time in the mornings so I know what he likes and I know what he doesn’t like; we’re a good pair.”
JOE TALAMO, STORY TO TELL, SECOND: “This is a very nice horse. When he broke his maiden he was in front the whole way and today, he took that kick-back very well, I got him out the last part, he came running. The winner had a little more horse, but I had a lot of horse galloping out, so I think he has a bright future going a little bit longer.”
MARTIN GARCIA, HOLIDAY CAMP, LAST: “I got squeezed pretty bad leaving the gate and my horse got knocked off balance. After that, he just wasn’t himself.”
DOUG O’NEILL, WAKE UP NICK, WINNER: “That was nice (winning against open company off a Cal-bred maiden win). There’s nowhere to run when you win early at the meet like that, and to try and keep him to maintain his sharpness as long as we had, it shows how good this horse is.
“I was impressed. I thought he was in deep water around the turn there, but once he got up near the front . . . Mario (Gutierrez) said he was a little lazy. He needs to be coerced, so once we got him up in there, there was no looking back.”
PAUL REDDAM, WAKE UP NICK, WINNER: “I think he can be a little lazy when he’s out in front so I was glad to see him sit off the lead. I thought he would be sitting third or forth today because we thought there would be a lot of speed, but Mario had him in a good spot and he obviously responded when he needed to.”
NOTES: Winning owner J. Paul Reddam is from Los Angeles.