VICTOR ESPINOZA, CALIFORNIA CHROME, WINNER: â€œHe knows whatâ€™s going on (when he goes to the gate). Heâ€™s calm and focused, but for some reason, we missed the break a tiny bit, but I put him in the race right away. I didnâ€™t want to get stuck in traffic. It worked out well.â€
GARY STEVENS, CANDY BOY, THIRD: â€œCandy Boy ran a super race. He was just third-best today. I know Victor (Espinoza) got banged around at the start and we did, too. We settled down and we were comfortable, but I could see that Victor was very confident, while giving his horse a little breather. I could tell Victor was going very easy when he began to move. He moved out on the turn and the horse took off. I think my horse will continue to improve.â€
ART SHERMAN, CALIFORNIA CHROME, WINNER: â€œIt was awesome. Thatâ€™s all I can say. I got a little spooked leaving the gate. He got banged around pretty good, but I really think heâ€™s a better horse stalking . . . when he won the San Felipe, he was on the lead all the way which is something new to me, but I really prefer this type of race where heâ€™s right off the lead.
â€œI know that the horse likes to have to have company (when asked his thoughts early in the race). Iâ€™ve seen all his races; heâ€™s pretty competitive. He doesnâ€™t mind being hooked. Right now, heâ€™s kind of freaky and Iâ€™m enjoying it. I canâ€™t believe the races Iâ€™ve been seeing. A length or two might have been all right with me.â€
Asked about comparing him to Swaps: â€œHeâ€™s my Swaps, letâ€™s put it that way. If all goes well, weâ€™ll ship to Kentucky probably a week before the Derby (May 3).
â€œI loved it when Trevor (Denman) said, â€˜Theyâ€™d need to sprout wingsâ€™ to beat him. I love that saying.â€
BOB BAFFERT, HOPPERTUNITY, SECOND: â€œHeâ€™s a really good horse (California Chrome). I was really happy with my race. Iâ€™m glad I ran my horse. He got $200,000 for finishing second. I got beat today but Iâ€™m really happy with my horse. Oh, yeah: heâ€™s going (to the Kentucky Derby on May 3).â€
JOHN SADLER, CANDY BOY, THIRD: â€œWeâ€™d like to race on. Weâ€™ll see where the points fall and if 30 points gets us to move on, weâ€™ll move on. We think our horse likes distance. The speed today has been staying.â€
NOTES: Winning owners/breeders Steve Coburn and Perry Martin are from Wellington, NV and Yuba City, CA, respectively.
SANTA ANITA DERBY QUOTES