MIKE SMITH, OUR SILVER OAK, WINNER: “I followed one of the owner’s instructions to a T, and the good news is, I didn’t run out of them. I got plenty left for next time he runs. Actually, I had a really, really good trip, even though the horse was really tough to saddle and my saddle did start to move back in the paddock before we came out. But I didn’t want to go over there (to re-saddle) and get him all riled up.
“It wasn’t bad enough where I couldn’t ride him as hard as I want to, but I didn’t need to, so it worked out good.”
KENT DESORMEAUX, IRISH HEATWAVE, SECOND: “He was a little fresh and that cost him today. He still fought, he tried to win, but the tank was a little empty.”
JONATHAN WONG, OUR SILVER OAK, WINNER: “We got a great trip. Mike Smith, he’s the man. You can’t get a better rider. This is my first stakes win at Santa Anita.
“Honestly I had no clue who was in second (Irish Heatwave), I was just following my horse around the turn, I saw him flying to the outside and when I saw he won, I was just jumping up and down.
“He is best as a turf runner, especially being by Unusual Heat. He’s bred up and down for grass. He is just a really cool horse and I am very grateful to everyone who gave me the opportunity to train him and Mike Smith for the great ride.”
MICHAEL NENTWIG, CO-OWNER, OUR SILVER OAK WINNER: “I was worried that it was a closer photo than I thought. We were up top jumping around and I wanted to make sure he actually got his nose down.
“It’s a big win for us and the horse is better than his record shows. He won first time sprinting in Los Alamitos and with his breeding, he is clearly better going two turns and on the turf. I am just so happy for my partners, Bobby, Jones, Ray Pagano, and Jonathan Wong who has done super since he got the horse. I’m just thrilled for everyone, it’s a team effort. I’m so thrilled for the guys who put in the hard work at the barn. It’s all about that the family effort.”
BOBBY JONES, CO-OWNER, OUR SILVER OAK: “I told Mike Smith to get out there and close, don’t be too far back; he told me after that I gave him the right instructions.
NOTES: Wong has been training “about five years.” This is his first stakes win at Santa Anita.