JOEL ROSARIO, PACIFIC OCEAN, Winner: “This was the first time I’ve been on him. I was looking at the form and I saw that both (trainer Bob) Baffert horses had speed so I thought I would take him back a little. But he broke so well, I just let him go because I knew he ould run on the lead, too. Even though he was going fast, he was pretty relaxed. I tried to let him get away on the turn and he responded.”
MIKE SMITH, IRREFUTABLE, Second: “He settled really nice and ran a great race. The other horse just opened up and got away from everyone.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, EUROEARS, Fourth: “They were just going too fast for him. The boss said to let him break and get comfortable and that he didn’t have to be on the lead this time. I was in a perfect position and I thought I was going to finish second for sure because he made a good move from the three-eighths. I thought I might even win. He just got a little bit tired.’’
MIKE MITCHELL, PACIFIC OCEAN, Winner: “I talked to Dennis, Mike and Rudy and I said you guys tell him (Joel Rosario) what to do because I don’t know what to tell him. He blew out in 58 and change (58 3/5 Nov. 12 over Cushion Track) working with Carbonite (who finished fifth in the Underwood) and it was a really solid work for both of them. It’s a good thing I didn’t talk to Joel because I would have said just sit there and let everybody go. And here he’s on the lead. That’s why if you don’t know anything, you don’t say anything. The owners live in California (San Juan Capistrano) and they decided they want to run some horses, so they brought some here from back east. They picked me out as a trainer and it worked out great.”
BOB BAFFERT, IRREFUTABLE, Second: “He had already unsaddled. He was heading back and everything looked OK. He ran great. After he was unsaddled, he took about 10 steps. We thought he was having a heat stroke. He must have had a heart attack.”
Notes: Dennis Narlinger and son Mike run as JMJ Racing Stables…Rudy Delguidice is a bloodstock agent who organized the private purchase of Pacific Ocean from former owners Gary and Mary West…Another horse the Narlingers have with Mitchell is the 3-year-old Casper’s Touch, who is scheduled to make his next start in the Malibu Stakes Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.
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