ELVIS TRUJILLO, CALCULATOR, WINNER: “It was a perfect trip. I went wide because I’d rather go wide than be in between horses, or caught inside. I wanted a clean trip. He did it very easy today. Stretching out will be no problem for him; he’s very good.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, ROCK SHANDY, SECOND: “He went very nice. I think he’s going to be a nice colt; he’s still trying to figure it out, he’s still green. I think he’ll be better on the dirt rather than the turf. The way he works in the morning, I’ve always been very impressed. As a colt, he may be a late learner. It was a big step for him today.”
PETER MILLER, CALCULATOR, WINNER; ROCK SHANDY, SECOND; AND ST. JOE BAY, FOURTH: “I was trying to watch all of them, and I thought I could run one, two, three for a minute, but they ran one, two, four, so it wasn’t bad at all.
“I was very concerned (with where Calculator was on the first turn), because it looked like five or six of them were sending, and I said, ‘Oh, no. We’re going to be 10-wide,’ but he (Elvis Trujillo) saw the same thing and he adjusted and brought him back into maybe the three or four path. We had a wide trip, but there’s less trouble out wide.
“I didn’t expect him to be this good (today). I was hoping he was good enough to win at 90 percent (fitness). The water gets deeper from here on out, so we’re going to have to step up our game and move forward off of this one.
“We’ll see how the horse comes out, but I wouldn’t rule out coming back in a month in the Lewis (Grade II, $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on Feb. 7). The timing of it is good and when my horses are good, I like to run them. He’s good right now so I’m going to run him.”
Asked if the Santa Anita Derby (April 4) would be a long-range goal if all goes well: “That makes a lot of sense right now, but I’ll get with Mr. Pell (owner, see note below) and we’ll kind of map things out.”
On Rock Shandy: “Super. Really pleased with how Rock Shandy ran. I think he’s just getting better and better. He had an inside trip and took a lot of dirt. For his first race on the dirt I was really pleased.”
NOTES: The winning owner is Richard Pell of Rye, N.Y. The winning horse receives 10 qualifying points towards determining the field for the May 2 Kentucky Derby if more than 20 enter. Second is worth four points, third, two, and fourth, one point.