COREY NAKATANI, AOTEAROA, WINNER: “I’ve asked Leonard (trainer, Powell) to ride the horse before, so I was stoked to get the opportunity. It’s kinda funny, I rode a horse that I loved at Del Mar and this horse blew right by us the day he broke his maiden (Aug. 4), so I knew this horse could really run. I rode his daddy (Good Journey) and I knew he’d love the grass. On paper, there was a lotta speed in the race, I thought, top to bottom. My horse broke on the lead, but I was able to ease him back, no problem, and he ran a big race.”
LEONARD POWELL, AOTEAROA, WINNER: “The breeding was there (to run well on turf, in this, his first race on it). He’s by Good Journey and we always thought he would like the grass, especially the way he moves in the morning.
“Today I was happy because he was a lot better pre-race than he was at Del Mar. In his mind he was a lot better and (Corey) Nakatani gave him a great ride.”
Asked about running in the Breeders’ Cup: “I don’t know. We have to talk with the owner, because he’s not Breeders’ Cup-nominated, so it would be expensive. We’ll see how he comes out first.”
PATRICK BIANCONE, DIAMOND BACHELOR, SECOND: “ . . . We have nothing to complain about. ”Breeders’ Cup? “We’ll come home, we’ll talk.”
NOTES: Winning owner Paul A. Viskovich is from Brentwood, CA.