DRAYDEN VAN DYKE, MARLEY’S FREEDOM, WINNER: “”Bob (Baffert) told me to be sure to warm her up real good and to get her running away from there.  She did and we had a good tactical spot.  I was just sitting on her, but I had to get after Selcourt a little early because it looked like she was running pretty easy on the lead.”

JOE TALAMO, SELCOURT, SECOND: “She flew out of there, she broke like a shot today and we got to set our own fractions. She was very relaxed and hat’s off to the winner. Man, Marley’s Freedom has been able to string some really nice races together. I was really proud of my mare today though. Even when Marley’s Freedom came to her, she was fighting. I thought we were going to steal it there for a second at the top of the lane.”


BARBARA PERRY, MARLEY’S FREEDOM, WINNER: “She (Marley’s Freedom) is amazing… she just is a gift from God, she’s so sweet and so much fun to be around and she just lays it down every time she runs.”

RON PERRY MARLEY’S FREEDOM, WINNER: “We call what Marley does, she doesn’t stalk she hunts. She was hunting Selcort (Second) all the way down the backside, Drayden (Van Dyke) had an intent to sit on her and not let her get away and that’s what he did, he ran a perfect race, she ran a perfect race.”

RON – “My t-shirt is indeed a tradition (black tee under his open dress shirt with an image of Bob Marley on it) any time she runs. Two years ago I traded a gentleman in a bar in Oakland for a dress shirt.”

BARBARA – “Rick physically runs while she races, and I cheer.”

RON – “Yes. I drift down to about the eighth pole and I help her make her run down the lane. The thanks need to go to Bob, and Jimmy, and Pasquale and the entire team. They do an amazing job and they brought her to a different level. She’s a great horse and in their hands she’s almost perfect.”

 BARBARA – “It all starts with them team from the very beginning and the farm even. Everybody has worked together and Bob has just been absolutely amazing with (her). She is just a completely different horse with him. She’s so special and so sweet. She loves her job but she’s such a love in the barn as well.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Cicero Farms LLC.

Cicero Farms’ Marley’s Freedom and jockey Drayden Van Dyke win the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes, Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Santa Anita Park, Arcadia CA. © BENOIT PHOTO