BRICE BLANC, SPANISH QUEEN, WINNER: â€œMy saddle slipped a little bit and it affected my steering because she was a little aggressive when that happened. The more I pulled on her, the more the saddle moved forward so I was a little . . . I wouldnâ€™t say out of control but I had to give and take a little bit more so it wouldnâ€™t move any further on me. I finally got her to slow down. It shifted forward on me again once I made the lead. Iâ€™m tall and sheâ€™s little so that made it a little difficult.
â€œSheâ€™s just eating up the ground and getting better with every race. She keeps improving and she loves her job. She has started trusting me more so I can do a little more with her. I think sheâ€™s learning how to be a good racehorse.
â€œI was loaded on the backstretch. She looks like sheâ€™s on the bridle all the time but she does it in a way that sheâ€™s actually relaxed; itâ€™s hard to explain. Sheâ€™s on the bridle but waiting for me to ask her to pick it up. She does it in a way that doesnâ€™t affect her breathing and she does it nicely; thatâ€™s why sheâ€™s able to accelerate like she does the second part of the race.â€
TYLER BAZE, FEATHERED, SECOND: â€œI really didnâ€™t know her, so I watched replays of her races and it looked like she tried hard and never quit in her races and thatâ€™s how she ran today. If we couldâ€™ve gotten a breather somewhere in the middle of the race, I think maybe we couldâ€™ve won today.â€
RICHARD BALTAS, SPANISH QUEEN, WINNER: Asked if she was a bit fresh going by the first time: â€œNo, sheâ€™s never run down the hill, sheâ€™s always been really keen and coming down that hill she might have been a little more. It was a great ride by Brice. He saved ground, she had to earn it and she got it done. Brice has been on her every breeze; heâ€™s gotten to know her really well. Sheâ€™s not very big but sheâ€™s got a big heart and sheâ€™s a lovely filly.
â€œIt was a pretty big deal when Big Macher won the (Grade I) Bing Crosby (Stakes last July at Del Mar), but I was never favored in the Grade I race like I was today with Spanish Queen. Thereâ€™s so much pressure, and when you win, thereâ€™s a big sigh of congratulations and relief. This is a very special horse and I just got lucky to get her. This is the best birthday present I could ever have.â€
HARRY BEDERIAN, PART-OWNER, SPANISH QUEEN, WINNER: â€œWeâ€™ve been partners, Jack and I, almost 20 years.
â€œI didnâ€™t even realize his saddle slipped. We didnâ€™t want to see that! Sheâ€™s unbelievable. Iâ€™ve never had a Grade I winner so Iâ€™m still not sure itâ€™s reality, especially when we saw the 4-5 odds on her. As you can see, Iâ€™m all sweaty, I was shaking I was so nervous.â€
NOTES: Today is Baltasâ€™ 54th birthday. The winning owners are Harry Bederian of Lancaster; Harout Kamberian of Northridge; and Hagop Nakkashian of Chatsworth.
AMERICAN OAKS STAKES QUOTES