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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Metropolitan Handicap (G1) Quotes

Jerry Hollendorfer, winning trainer of Sahara Sky (No. 7): “My partner [co-owner Kim Lloyd] and I talked it over, and one of our goals was to win the Metropolitan Mile. I’d never won it, and I wanted a chance to win it, and Kim did, also. We had a little added confidence because we thought our horse ran good in New York over at Aqueduct [when second in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap], and with a little bit better trip we might have even won that race.

“I told [Joel Rosario] to watch his pace. We knew there was some speed to set that up, and I told him the horse likes left-handed whipping, so I told to hit both left- and right-handed, and he came running and got up the last jump.

“I’ll take him back to California and give him a good, long time between races like we do, and we’ll make a new decision on where to go. We give him a lot of time between races, and he rewards us every time.

“The way he ran today, it looks like he could get off a little more ground. I’ll watch the films and watch the gallop out and see what I think about that, but it might be a possibility to look at [longer races]. I don’t want to keep flying him across the country, though.”

Joel Rosario, winning jockey aboard Sahara Sky (No. 7): “I was thinking I won, but it was so close and I was so far to the outside, sometimes it’s hard to tell. I thought we had a head in front, but the angle was different and I didn’t know.

“[Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer] always gave me opportunities. In California, when I was doing good, he gave me a lot of opportunities on his horses, and I appreciate that.

“He’s the kind of horse that makes one little, late run. If you push him a little early, he kind of stays there, but when he’s like that, far back, he’ll give it to you. I think he ran a very good race today.”

Todd Pletcher, trainer of runner-up Cross Traffic (No. 1): “He ran a great race.”

John Velazquez, rider aboard runner-up Cross Traffic (No. 1): “He ran good and got nailed at the wire. There’s not much else to say.”

Bill Mott, trainer of beaten favorite and third-place finisher Flat Out (No. 6): “He got bounced pretty good at the five-sixteenths pole. No doubt about it, they bounced him around pretty good. I think he had a pretty good head of steam going and a horse came [over] and it looked like he went boom, this way, and boom, that way; he was bouncing back and forth a couple of times. [Junior Alvarado] said it cost him a lot of momentum. It’s pretty hard for me to fault [Junior]; at that time it looked like the path of least resistance – until he got there. Just when he got there, it looked like the other horse dropped in. But, he put in a good effort.”

Junior Alvarado, rider aboard beaten favorite and third-place finisher Flat Out (No. 6): “At the three-eighths pole I had a hole and wanted to get in a better position so he could pick it up, and it took a while for him to get that position. And then the hole closed and I had to check him. That definitely cost us the race. He should have won that race. After that [incident], I thought he was going to finish last after all the bumping and clipping heels and everything. I thought he wouldn’t give me anything after that but he did. He should have won that race.”

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