Sunday, November 27, 2011
MARTIN PEDROZA, ULTIMATE EAGLE, Winner— “This is undoubtedly the best horse I’ve ever ridden. I thought Martial Law was, but this horse is better. He’s a younger version. This is just a beautiful horse to ride. People think he has to be on the lead, but he doesn’t. I wanted to be on the lead, but it wasn’t necessary. When he gets to the front he relaxes immediately. I was pretty confident and he came through like I thought he would.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO, IMAGINING, Second: “I am very pleased with the way he ran. He’s such a classy horse. He’s a game horse and he’s still learning. He’s a young horse and is just going to get better and better. I thought I was going to catch the other horse but he just couldn’t get by.
COREY NAKATANI, WESTERN ARISTOCRAT, Third: “(Cloud Man, who was pulled up on the final turn) was just inside me and I had to hesitate (when the incident occurred). I thought it cost me the race, because that point in the race is so crucial. If he was able to keep his momentum going I think I could have made up that length and a half. It’s unfortunate, but thankfully everybody came back unscathed. My horse ran a good race, but the winner ran a little better.”
MIKE PENDER, ULTIMATE EAGLE, Winner: “It’s miraculous considering where this horse came from. He had colic (June, 2010) and was basically pronounced dead on the table. Somehow, by an act of God, he was brought back to life. He prefers the lead, but he doesn’t have to have it. I was hoping he would assert himself and get the lead by himself, but that (Imagining) was pressing him every step of the way from the half-mile pole home. He just refused to let up. If that horse wasn’t in the race, he would have been 10 in front and who knows what he could have done then. I thought the pace was realistic. Ultimately I’d like to get him back on dirt. He trains so much better on dirt and hasn’t really handled synthetic surfaces all that well. We’ll take it a day at a time from here.”
JEREMY NOSEDA, WESTERN ARISTOCRAT, Third: “My horse ran great. I have to watch the replay.’’
Notes: The Grade I was the first for Pender…Pedroza’s most recent Grade I before Sunday was with E Z’s Gentleman in the 2010 Triple Bend Handicap. The win aboard E Z’s Gentleman was Pedroza’s 1,000th at Hollywood Park…Martial Law’s biggest victory came in the 1989 Santa Anita Handicap.
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