Monday, August 25, 2008
GO BETWEEN, GOMEZ WIN PACIFIC CLASSIC
Peter Vegso's favored Go Between, runner-up in both the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup this year, gave jockey Garrett Gomez his second million-dollar victory in two days East to West, capturing the Grade I $1 million Pacific Classic, signature event of the summer racing season at Del Mar.
Gomez, who won the $1 million Travers Stakes for three-year-olds aboard West Coast-based Colonel John at Saratoga, Saturday, drove Go Between to a neck victory over Well Armed, with Mast Track third and Zappa fourth in a field of ten older horses.
Go Between, a five-year-old son of Point Given, is trained by Bill Mott, who was running a horse in the Pacific Classic for the first time since l996 when Cigar was upset by Dare And Go as he sought his 17th consecutive victory to break the great Citation's record.
Go Between accomplished the mile and one-quarter in 2:01.18 and paid $7.60,. $5.60 and $3 while earning a prize of $600,000 with his eighth win in 26 starts. He now has earnings of $2,783,880. He also earned a place in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday, October 25 since the Pacific Classic is a qualifier for that championship day of racing.
Well Armed, who was piloted by Aaron Gryder in a sterling performance, paid $5.80 and $5.60, while Mast Track paid $5.80 to show.
GARRETT GOMEZ (Go Between) -- "I was really pleased with my position. I was back there but I was only seven or eight (lengths) off them. The only time I had to make a decision was at the four and a half (furlong) pole (nine-sixteenths pole). I had to decide whether to wait and make that late run or go around and go for it right then and there. I decided to go for it and it worked. It sure helps when you have a horse like him. It makes me look good. Bill Mott and his crew do a heckuva job. They make my job easy."
AARON GRYDER (Well Armed) -- "They said this horse was one-dimensional; that he had to run on the lead. They asked me what I was going to do if I couldn't make the lead. But he doesn't have to be there. I put him right where it was best and he ran a super race. He's a super horse and they do that sort of thing. They run like he did today."
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Mast Track) -- "My horse ran good. I liked the position we were in and when I asked him, he kicked it in. We had a good trip."
ALAN GARCIA (Zappa) -- "My horse ran great. We got in a little trouble, but nothing major. I was pleased with his race."
VICTOR ESPINOZA (Mostacolli Mort) -- "I thought they'd go quicker up front. Too slow for me. But we had the good trip and we gave it the good try."
COREY NAKATANI (Barcola) -- "I had the trip I wanted. When we turned (for home) I smooched to him and he cut. For about 50 yards we were going. Then he just got tired."
DAVID FLORES (Surf Cat) -- "He ran a good race; he tried. He just got tired at the end. When they went by him he tried again, but the distance has to be a question with him. Maybe a mile and an eighth is more his style."
JOEL ROSARIO (Delosvientos) -- "He broke just a little slow and I couldn't get to the front. He wants to be there. At the three-quarter (pole) I tried to put him up in there, but there were too many in front of me."
TYLER BAZE (Awesome Gem) -- "I had a good trip. On the backside I moved up to the outside of Go Between, but when I asked him to run, the gas pedal was empty."
SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN (Student Council) -- "He got a little tough with me on the backstretch, but we didn't have any excuses."
KENNY McCARTHY (asst. trainer to Bill Mott, Go Between) -- "That was our plan going into it. He has a running style that is good for this distance and Garrett [jockey Garrett Gomez] fits him so well. They're a great team. I don't think he was too far back at any time. Maybe the early fractions were a little softer than we anticipated, but they went a good half after that and I think Garrett always had them in his sights."
EOIN HARTY (Well Armed) -- "We're proud of the horse. He ran very well. He just got beat a head. He ran huge. He ran just the way we thought it would come up. He just got outrun."
HUMBERTO ASCANIO (asst. to Robert Frankel, Mast Track) -- "I think he ran a good race. I'm happy the way he ran. You always want to win. He laid fourth most of the way and then when he got to the stretch the rider asked him to go, but the best horse won."
BRUCE HEADLEY (Surf Cat) -- "I have no excuses. I just got outrun. The winner ran a great race."
CRAIG DOLLASE (Awesome Gem) -- "He just got a little tired. Maybe he didn't have enough seasoning. We'll be back for another day."
DARREN FLEMING (asst. to Steven Asmussen, Student Council) -- "He ran his race. It just wasn't enough. He got outrun today."
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