DAVID FLORES, AWESOME GEM, Winner: “It was a very slow pace and everybody was looking for a position. I thought there was going to be a little more speed with Tres Borrachos and Compari in the race. But they kept going slower and slower and I was just being patient and waiting. Everybody went at the half-mile and I tried not to lose my position and wait for that pocket to come at the end. Mike Smith (Compari) was about ready to shut off the hole but he looked like he ran out of horse so it was very nice of him to leave me that spot. When that hole opened up I couldn’t look for any better spot than that. That was the most beautiful thing, when you have a horse that can accelerate like that at any time. He’s just been unlucky before but today he did the job.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO, RAIL TRIP, Second: “I was traveling well and was in good position on the first turn. After the first turn, (Cigar Man) just pushed me out. I was trying to follow the speed, but they were going so slow. I didn’t want to rush him so I waited for the half-mile. I don’t think he ran his race because he was so wide on the first turn and the second turn.”
MARTIN GARCIA, RICHARD’S KID, Third: “My horse usually comes from way off the pace, but this time they were all just galloping. Nobody wanted to go. He’s a really good horse and I think he just needed the race. Next time, nobody’s going to beat him.”
CRAIG DOLLASE, AWESOME GEM, WINNER: “He finished like he had in his last two works over this track. This horse can run over anything. Synthetic, grass, mud, you name it. He’s very versatile and a real pleasure to train. This means a lot. A lot of work, my help and everybody has been real supportive. The owners have been real patient and given this horse time when he has needed it. He’s like fine wine. He’s just getting better with age. He’s in his prime right now. I have to give a lot of credit to my help keeping this horse around. Keeping him sound and stopping on him when it has been necessary. And here we are. A Grade 1. I was very confident because Awesome Gem is not a very good work horse and his last two works he had really been on edge. The timing worked out great. We mapped this out. We stuck to the plan. His works over this track were too good to not take a shot.’’
RON ELLIS, RAIL TRIP, Second: “Rough trip. It just didn’t work out today. He was wide. I don’t know why. I don’t know what it was. You would have to ask him (Bejarano).’’
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