MIKE SMITH, RUMOR, WINNER: (In response to how he felt she came to this race, if he thought she was going to step forward here.)
“Well, it didn’t look that way. Last time I rode her she was just quiet, really, really quiet. Quiet in the gate, didn’t get into the race, just stayed quiet. Today, I said I really want to warm her up, at least, at some point, get her into the race and see what would happen. When I did, she just locked on, and once she did that I knew she was going to run, it was just a matter of being good enough. You know, I’m not too sure Teddy Promise ran her race today, but when I saw that she wasn’t really ‘kickin’ on I thought I had a shot to win it. Once I got her clear she went on about her business. She went to the front a little sooner than you would want, but like I said, you never know with ‘Teddy;’ she might fire a big one on us. You got to get her when you can, and that’s what we did. She kind of loafed a little at the end and she won well within herself.”
“I had a terrible morning. You don’t know how hard it was for me to get here. I came from Arkansas this morning, my flight was cancelled and I’ve been on standbys since four this morning. I’ve never been so happy to catch a standby in my life.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, TEDDY’S PROMISE, 4-5 FAVORITE, SECOND: “She broke a little awkwardly out of the gate. We had to stand there a long time because the other horse (No. 3, Shumoos) didn’t want to load, so she got a little impatient. When she broke, she broke to the inside and we got bumped a little bit, and when I grabbed her, to straighten her up, that’s when she really grabbed the bridle, and wanted to go.
“She’s not that easy to ride, she likes it her way, and I didn’t want to slow her down. I did, want to slow her down, and stay behind the other horse, but it’s one of those things. I didn’t want to just do what I wanted to do; I wanted her to be comfortable.”
RICHARD MANDELLA, RUMOR, WINNER: “She had a perfect trip. I didn’t really think we’d beat Teddy’s Promise, because she’s such a good mare, but my mare ran her heart out today . . . She’s not the best mare in the world, but she’s not far off.
“She never looked like she really extended herself down the hill (in the Wishing Well on Feb. 10). I don’t think she liked it . . . She runs well enough on synthetic. We might look at the Madison at Keeneland (Grade I, $300,000 at seven furlongs on Polytrack April 13). If she had run poorly, she’s done enough to be a broodmare, but the gals (owners) have said if she’s doing well we can keep her racing. We’ll see how it goes, but obviously we’re in pretty good shape right now.”
RON ELLIS, TEDDY’S PROMISE, 4-5 FAVORITE, SECOND: “He (Victor Espinoza) had a lot of horse and kind of had to let her go. She just got run down, but we were eight, 10 lengths in front of the rest of the field. Rumor ran a huge race today.
“I don’t know (what’s next). The Humana Distaff (at Churchill Downs on May 4) was a consideration had she won this race easy, but we’ll have to see what they (owners) want to do.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Ramona Bass (Ft. Worth, Texas), Claiborne Farms (Paris, Kentucky), and Adele Dilschneider (St. Louis, Missouri).