MARTIN PEDROZA, E Z’S GENTLEMAN, Winner: “When I used to be in the jock’s room with Shoemaker and McCarron I was the bambino. That’s what Shoemaker used to call me, The Bambino. Now they call me the veteran here. I’m sweating so much because this is like winning the Santa Anita Handicap or six races in a day. To get my 1,000th win here in a Grade 1, it means a lot to me. Baffert told me ‘if you would have gotten him beat, I would have beat you up.’ Mike Smith (M One Rifle) rode a great race…he figured there was only two speeds, him and me. He kept me inside just enough so I could stay there. He was hoping I’d come around him and maybe he could steal the race. And who knows, if he got away he might have been tough. I said to myself, I’m here and and I’m not going to give up my position.”
MARTIN GARCIA, SANGAREE, Second: “He ran really well. He keeps running good races. I thought I had a chance to catch him (E Z’S GENTLEMAN) but that other horse just kept going. But my horse ran well, no excuses.”
BOB BAFFERT, E Z’S GENTLEMAN, Winner and SANGAREE, Second: “I didn’t give either jockey any instructions. When (E Z’s Gentleman) was dueling, I thought, `Oh, no he doesn’t run like that, but he just put it to him (pacesetter M One Rifle); he got aggressive with him from the inside. He got up in there and he got aggressive with him because he didn’t want M One Rifle to sneak away because he can do that to you. Martin knew what he was doing and the other horse came on and ran well. Recently, E Z’s Gentleman has just gotten better and better with age. This horse just kept on running. The timing was great for today.’’
Notes: The win was the 1,000th at Hollywood Park for Pedroza, He is only the 10th rider to reach the milestone, joining leader Laffit Pincay, Jr. (3,049), Bill Shoemaker (2,416), Chris McCarron (1,920), Alex Solis (1,582), Eddie Delahoussaye (1,535), Patrick Valenzuela (1,354), Gary Stevens (1,274), Corey Nakatani (1,146) and John Longden (1,038)….Pincay, Shoemaker, McCarron, Delahoussaye, Stevens and Longden are all in the Hall of Fame….The victory was the first in a graded stakes for E Z’s Gentleman…The win was the first in a Grade 1 at Hollywood Park for Pedroza.
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