MIKE SMITH, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “Sometimes the first ones are the best ones, I’d like to take some credit but honestly it was John Sherriff and his crew, man they did a lot of work on this mare and they finally got her to a point where she will listen to you a little bit, I left the gate and had a great post, I stayed as still as I could and just kind of let her get that big beautiful stride of hers going, once she did that she had the race under control.
“I wanted to engage her against Just a Smidge but, when you engage horses they are taught to fight. They will get after each other so the pace would have been quicker, I might be losing a little bit of ground but, I got her to do it relaxed. If I can get them to relax, I’d rather do that. Once I came into the far turn and engaged her, you saw what she did, she took off and she might have done that earlier. Sometimes this works sometimes it doesn’t.
“Working her in the morning helped and just being around her, she used to run against Unique Bella quite a bit and honestly they are very very similar, it’s too bad they haven’t raced against each other because they would knock each other in the head so I basically rode her like I did Unique Bella.”
JOHN SHIRREFFS, TRAINER OF PARADISE WOODS WINNER: “When we first got her, she was very anxious. When she gets mad, she stays mad for a long time, so we spent a long time focused on ways to keep her from getting anxious. The first thing was to get her to relax in her gallops and hopefully, we’ve taught her a better way to relax. She has tremendous ability and we need repeatable performances and we need her to develop a style. As you saw today, she was sitting there relaxed, she was just off that filly (Just a Smidge) but she wasn’t pulling. That’s the kind of talent she has.
“This is very gratifying because (co-owner) Marty Wygod really wanted to campaign her this year and there was a lot of criticism about not breeding her.”
NOTES: The winning owners are. Steven Sarkowsky, Martin J. Wygod, and Pam Wygod.