ABEL CEDILLO, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “Mike (Smith) told me you’ve got to keep her calm and she’ll try hard. I kept her outside of Secret Spice and everything worked perfect. She was standing perfect in the gate and we knew that Prat (Flavien, aboard Secret Spice) was the speed and he would go. We broke good . . . I wanted to be close and not let him (Prat) go by himself. I just want to thank all the owners and trainers for letting me ride their horses.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, SECRET SPICE, SECOND: “She ran good. We just got beat by a better horse today.”
JOHN SHIRREFFS, PARADISE WOODS, WINNER: “We wanted her to break well and not get shuffled back and hopefully to be in the clear. In the past she’s gotten shuffled back and got sucked behind horses, but today she broke well and was able to get to the outside.”
Asked about the jockey switch: “We weren’t sure Mike (Smith) would be available for the Breeders’ Cup, so this was the time if you’re going to make a change.”
Was it owner Marty Wygod’s decision to keep her in training? “Absolutely. He was the one who had so much faith in her and wanted to see her run another year. Turning for home, it seemed like she was maintaining her stride and she had good action all the way.”
Asked if Abel had breezed her: “No. It was the first time (on her) today.” Did he tell him anything? “Win. It’s obviously very special to win a race named for Zenyatta. Walking down, my wife Dotti was almost in tears because we won the Classic on Zenyatta’s 10th anniversary (winning the BC Classic in 2009). It was a special moment.
“Abel has just been riding terrifically! We got the hot rider at the right time.
“This race is so special you can’t even begin to fathom or believe that you will win the Zenyatta, it is so hard to do, having trained Zenyatta and to win the Zenyatta is really special.
“We will be taking it day by day to train for the Breeders’ Cup.”
DOTTIE INGORDO SHIRREFFS (JOHN’S WIFE): “It’s very thrilling to win it on Zenyatta’s 10th anniversary (of winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2009) . . .We’re very thrilled.”
NOTES: The winning owners are HS Stable LLC, Pam Wygod or Martin Wygod.