MIKE SMITH, SCHERZINGER, WINNER: “Just a little bit of race-riding today (with a smile). I used her early and got her up there (to the lead) to make Victor (Espinoza, on Teddy’s Promise) to either use his filly or make her take back, one or the other and he chose to take back, which was good for us. When he went to the outside they made a little move on me, which I also thought was good for us because I really like seven-eighths for this filly, she has a big long stride and just keeps coming and coming; she just wore ’em down today.

“She was content. They kind of came over on me (Espinoza, on Teddy’s Promise,) on the far turn, but it was more me just trying to get back out of there. I didn’t want to stay stuck down in there (the rail) for long; it was tight. She went right back into a relaxed mode though and when I called on her she jumped right through.”

RAFAEL BEJARANO, IOTAPA, SECOND “My horse broke good. I was worried a little bit about the other horse, the winner. He was coming running from behind, too. When I saw he broke on the lead, for a moment, I wasn’t worried about it. But when I saw he was kicking back, I knew he was going to have something left in the end. That’s why (I was worried).”

VICTOR ESPINOZA, TEDDY’S PROMISE, 7-5 FAVORITE, THIRD: “The race set up a little bit difficult for me out of the gate. The other horse broke faster than me and I got stuck on the inside. I didn’t want to go head and head with the other horse so I started to use up my horse a little bit to move to the outside. After I was doing that the horse on the outside (Heir Kitty) put pressure on me right away so at that point I had to just let her go a little bit. I used her earlier than I wanted and she flattened out on me at the end.”


JERRY HOLLENDORFER, SCHERZINGER, WINNER: “It was a great job by Mike Smith. We didn’t really expect to be out on the front end, but he used his own judgment and that’s fine with us. We talked it over (running in her first stakes race) with Mike (Smith) and he thought she deserved a shot to run the seven furlongs . . . We didn’t know if we could beat Teddy’s Promise, but we got lucky, got through, and beat her.”

RONALD ELLIS, TEDDY’S PROMISE, THIRD: “This horse’s career has just been awesome. She’s been an awesome filly and she usually brings her A game every time. We can always rely on a good run but we just got beat today. I’m a little disappointed with today’s race. Victor (Espinoza) knows her well enough not to take a hold of her on the backside. I wish he would have let her run out of there but he had to make a snap decision. She’s just not good at taking back off horses and then coming back on and I think that was enough to get her beat.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Mark DeDomenico of Bellevue, WA; Jerry Hollendorfer of Point Richmond, CA; Jason Litt of Lexington, KY; and Alex Solis II of Pasadena.