VICTOR ESPINOZA, CALIFORNIA CHROME, WINNER: â€œIt was great. He ran like I expected him to. Everything worked out today. I wanted to try something new today so I let him go right out of the gate. I donâ€™t know if people expected me to go right to the lead but I wanted to let him enjoy his race, I just let him go. In these races, you canâ€™t just try and do too much with them. I think itâ€™s important for him to do his thing for the first five-eighths and be happy. It seems like he likes both tracks. Heâ€™s been training over at Los Al but he does things so much easier at Santa Anita after having trained at Los Al. He didnâ€™t feel tired at all after the wire.â€
MIKE SMITH, MIDNIGHT HAWK, SECOND: â€œHe did good. He got away a bit slow. He didnâ€™t break as well as weâ€™d like, but in saying that, he had no excuse. The winner just beat me. I wish the outcome was different, but it is what it is.â€ (On California Chrome): â€œHeâ€™s a serious 3-year-old. People should start paying attention to him now.
ART SHERMAN, CALIFORNIA CHROME, WINNER: â€œI didnâ€™t think heâ€™d be on the lead, but he was a handful today. I just told Victor (Espinoza before the race), â€˜You got him.â€™ I told him he broke like that because of that Quarter Horse training at Los Alamitos . . . We all know Santa Anitaâ€™s a speed-biased type of track, so it was really great to see him with the hold he had on him. Itâ€™s unbelievable. â€œIâ€™m looking at the race saying, â€˜Well, I hope that horse (Midnight Hawk) doesnâ€™t press him too hard, but Iâ€™ll tell you, when he asked him to go, he looked like a fresh horse, breaking, didnâ€™t he? Maybe Iâ€™m looking at the wrong race, I donâ€™t know. But I had a lot of fun watching him run.â€ Asked if the Santa Anita Derby (April 5) might be next: â€œWell, weâ€™ll kind of play it by ear. I needed this 50 points (see note below) and weâ€™ll kind of see what happens. Now I think I deserve to go to the (Kentucky) Derby (May 3). I donâ€™t think the distance will make any difference, a mile and a quarter. I think heâ€™ll run all day.â€ Asked what itâ€™s like to have the first Derby horse training at Los Al: â€œThe people are just great. The Quarter Horse people, I got more rooters over there today, you cannot believe it. Every Quarter Horse trainer came over and shook my hand and said, â€˜Go get â€˜em, Art.â€™ It made me feel good. Theyâ€™re going to be proud tonight.â€
BOB BAFFERT, MIDNIGHT HAWK, SECOND: â€œI told Mike, â€˜Thatâ€™s the horse youâ€™ve got to beat.â€™ It was a two-horse race going in. He ran good. My horse ran huge. I was a little disappointed running second-- he ran with that horse, but he couldnâ€™t sustain it, and he got a little tired there at the end. â€œYou donâ€™t want to see a horse go out that fast. When it gets warm like this, the track gets pretty fast. Itâ€™s pretty speed-biased. The horse that won it, heâ€™s a good horse.â€
DAVID HOFMANS, SCHOOLOFHARDROCKS, FOURTH: â€œI thought he ran OK. Iâ€™m sure he got tired, they ran really fast and maybe the track was a little hard for him today . . . but weâ€™ll see. Weâ€™ll go from here!â€
NOTES: The winning owners/breeders are Perry Martin of Yuba City, CA and Steve Coburn of Wellington NV. The San Felipe offered the following qualifying points for the May 3 Kentucky Derby: 50 for first, 20 for second, 10 for third and five for fourth.