VICTOR ESPINOZA, BIG KICK, WINNER: “I wanted to let him run out of there. I didn’t want to rate him too much. I wanted to let him do it and he was doing it comfortably. I wanted to open up two or three lengths and it was so easy so I let him stretch his legs even more. We got to the three-eighths and it was time to open it up as much as I could. I thought that if I could open up from there they were all going to have a hard time catching me. It worked out. I was too far in front to be worried about (Quick Casablanca and Joe Talamo) and he still had plenty left and enough energy to get it done.
JOE TALAMO, QUICK CASABLANCA, SECOND: “I had a great trip but I got outrun. (Big Kick) set his own pace and I just had to keep going with it. From the half-mile pole home I was trying to make up ground. I tip my hat to him, that horse was goin’ for the distance, it was impressive.
“It feels so good to win the riding title. It’s a lot of hard work and it just shows that can pay off. My agent Scotty (McClellan) has just always done an unbelievable job so I hope we can keep it going into Del Mar.”
MIKE MACHOWSKY, BIG KICK, WINNER: “I just told Victor (Espinoza) to be aggressive away from there and try to get him to relax and it all worked out. He’s just a high-loping horse, he gets the lead and he kind of relaxes. He’ll go fast if you need him to, or you can slow him down like he did today.
“When he came by the wire the first time, I couldn’t have been happier. His ears were flicking back and forth and Victor was sitting on him . . . I knew he’d kick clear.”
Next race? “I’ll probably look at the Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 23 (at a mile and three-eighths on turf), a race with distance. Distance is his thing.”
DAN LANDERS, ASSISTANT TO RON McANALLY, QUICK CASABLANCA, SECOND: “That’s racing.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Ernest Marchosky of Altadena, Ken Shaw or Kate Walters, Mike Machowsky (Lo-Hi Stable) of Monrovia, and John Mendenhall.