Sunday, March 10, 2013



COREY NAKATANI, HEAR THE GHOST, WINNER: (Jerry Hollendorfer said he wasn’t surprised by the fast pace, how about you?)

“Not at all. I felt that they were going to go fast. So I thought, ‘let’s get away good and make someone commit to going to the pace we need for him’. He’s a tremendous horse. Jerry said, ‘I’m going to find you a good one’ and I’ve been working some horses for him in the morning, asking for some help. I want to stay home, with my family, and stay on the West Coast. I’d like to get on the Derby trail with a horse, and this is it. He’s given me a chance to win (another) Santa Anita Derby with this colt, and the horse has done everything Jerry has asked him to do so far, so hopefully, he’ll be on that road.”

(With the way he finished up, do you feel this horse can go 1 ¼ miles?)

“I don’t have any doubt that he will. He gets in that high cruising speed, and he just kind of cruises along, you don’t have to ask him, you don’t have to even move on him. He’s a little seasoned horse. He’s gotten better each time that I’ve been able to do something with him. In the mornings, Jerry has been pleased with every step he’s taken, that’s why I say that Jerry deserves all the credit and Dan (Ward, Hollendorfer’s assistant trainer.)

{This was a big race, but how big of a race to you have to win to open the doors of C Nak’s El Loco (Corey’s restaurant) to everyone here at Santa Anita?}
“Everybody can come over and have a free meal tonight!”

JULIEN LEPAROUX, FLASHBACK, EVEN-MONEY FAVORITE, SECOND: "Coming to the first turn he was kind of tight in there. He just took off from there. He just wouldn't do what I wanted to do."

KEVIN KRIGGER, GOLDENCENTS, FOURTH: “Coming into the first turn, I got him to turn off, and I was surprised, as good of a rider as Julien is supposed to be, the move he made around the turn to make us have a dogfight race all the way around. Turning into the backstretch, that’s like committing suicide, you know? If we’re going that fast easily, it’s understandable, but to pressure a race like that . . . being on a favorite, that’s not a favorite’s ride at all. He had the ideal scenario going into the first turn, and I mean, my horse came up tired today. There’s not much else I can say.”

DOUG O’NEILL, GOLDENCENTS, FOURTH: “We’re disappointed, but when you’re running in Derby preps, you have to have a horse that can adapt to different situations. He maybe didn’t settle as well as we would have liked. We’ll make some adjustments to the way that we train him and prepare him for the next one and regroup.”

“I thought Martin Garcia (on Salutos Amigos) would go, but I was shocked that Flashback was so close up. I thought he’d be a little farther back. I’m sure they’ve got to make adjustments, and we have to make adjustments. We’ll be all right.”

“Yeah, I think now you have to (run in the Santa Anita Derby). If he comes out of it good and we’re still thinking about the Derby, we’ll have to look at a prep.”


JERRY HOLLENDORFER, HEAR THE GHOST, WINNER: “I got a lot of enjoyment out of buying this horse and racing him with my partner, Ted Aroney. We’ll find out (about longer distances). That’s where we have to go next. I think we will (stay home for the Santa Anita Derby on April 6).

“I just told Corey (Nakatani) to watch the pace and try to be tactical and not get caught down inside, and those things that we always talk about. I have a great deal of confidence in this guy (Nakatani). He’s won some very big races for me along the way, so he can ride anything of mine.”

How confident was he when he saw the three horses on the lead? “I thought this horse would have a very good chance to run them down today. I thought that all day long. I thought they would put up a pretty good pace.”

BOB BAFFERT, FLASHBACK, EVEN-MONEY FAVORITE, SECOND: “On the first turn, he (Julien Leparoux) said he was behind horses. I think if he had stayed inside it probably would have been better. He took him off there not to get trapped, and then all of a sudden Goldencents came and engaged him and it turned into a match race down the backside.

“I think he ran well despite all that. He had a nice, tough race and he got tired at the end, considering he went so fast, but I think we learned a lot about him today . . . I think we were just intimidated by the free speed today, and the rail, so you learn from racing. That’s what these preps are all about.”

\ PAUL AGUIRRE, TIZ A MINISTER, THIRD: Asked about being so far last early: “If it weren’t Garrett Gomez (riding), I’d be waiting over here for the ambulance. But Garrett’s got a way with those horses.

“That’s a victory to me, to be in the same category as these two horses (Flashback and Goldencents). I know they’re Derby horses, but I’m really proud of him.”

Asked about running in the Santa Anita Derby: “I would think there’s a strong chance. The owner wants to stay here, so we probably will.”

NOTES: The winning owners are Ted Aroney of Rancho Santa Fe who races as Halo Farms, and Jerry Hollendorfer of Port Richmond, CA.

The San Felipe’s Kentucky Derby qualifying points are as follows: 50 to first, 20 to second, 10 to third and five to fourth. Goldencents had 24 going in; Flashback, 10; and Carving, two.

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