RAFAEL BEJARANO, GERVINHO, WINNER: “(Coming around the final turn), I was in great position, but then I saw the No. 1 horse (Outside Nashville) – he pushed the No. 10 (Si Sage) really bad, so the No. 10 crossed me completely. I almost clipped heels. So that’s why I came out – I was trying to save my path. After that, I had to get back and let him run again. He showed me a big kick. He was definitely the best horse in the race today.”
JOE TALAMO, PROCUREMENT, SECOND: “I didn’t talk to the stewards but I did go down to watch the replay. The horse to the inside of me (Outside Nashville) took my path. It wasn’t Gervinho’s fault at all. I didn’t have to wait too long (for an inside path), it really started to open up on the inside. It was more a matter of getting his momentum going. If that hadn’t happened at the top of the stretch I really think we had it. I was following the winner the whole way and was just waiting for us to turn home to be able to swing out. The incident didn’t help my chances. When I did find the hole, my horse kicked in.”
CARLA GAINES, GERVINHO, WINNER: “He took the path I wanted. I just told Rafael to settle into stride and make a run at the quarter pole on the outside. He did exactly as I asked, but someone got in his way, on the way. When the other horse got in the way I thought we were done, so I was so happy to see him re-rally.
“He’s such a big horse, he’s huge. He’s been delightful. When he was two, after he ran in the Breeders’ Cup, he got a little issue in his knee. We turned him out and since then he’s been on a roll. The other mile races we have wanted to enter in just weren’t the right timing so this is great. We’ll see how he comes out of this but obviously we would think about the Cal-bred race next month (The California Cup Turf Classic at 1 1/8 Miles).”
OWNER KEITH BRACKPOOL, GERVINHO, WINNER: “He won the two-year old Zuma Beach race here and he came from off the pace there and you never would have imagined he would have gotten there. When he ran in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile a few weeks later, he was right up with the pace and I don’t think it suited him to be right up there.
“He came out of the Breeders’ Cup with a small injury; we took a chip out and we gave him some time. He came out in the Silky Sullivan at Golden Gate and ran a close second. Then, he came back and won the Oceanside on opening day at Del Mar, so I’m a big fan of opening days. I think this is it until we re-open (laughs). I have to find somewhere else to open.
“I thought he ran a very game race in the Del Mar Derby. He just got nipped. We gave him a trial in a mile and a quarter and I don’t think that is his best distance; I certainly thought a mile was, but when you have a good 3-year-old, you always want to try them in those derbies and he was fourth. One of the newspapers wrote today that the next time this horse runs a bad race will be the first time. That’s a great tribute.
(On the inquiry): “Normally, when you win a race and there’s an inquiry, you’re sweating bullets. I was a little nervous, but not much because we were taken out at the top and frankly, I thought the race was over. How he recovered from that and went on to win, is remarkable in a mile, Grade II race. It looked like he was spinning his wheels and he kept going and going. It was very exciting.”
NOTES: Winning owner Keith Brackpool resides in Manhattan Beach.