COREY NAKATANI, QIAONA, WINNER: “That’s her, that’s her style of running (coming from off the pace). You try not to change it, or leave her too much to do. She came with her ‘race face’ on today and I knew she was ready. I kept her happy, and let her run. She was ‘spot-on’ today, she has that racing fight in her. I know that six and a half probably isn’t her best distance but the race set up for us and I knew she was going to put in a big kick. I rode her with a lot of confidence, she put in a big kick and we got there.”
GARY STEVENS, BELLA VIAGGIA, 9-10 FAVORITE, THIRD: “I was in a perfect spot. I thought I had enough horse. I didn’t want to get stopped crossing the dirt and chose to swing out and it was a losing move. It was a horrible move. Mike (Smith on Ismene) had horse and the winner got through where I was sitting, so it was a bad move on my part. The mare was ready, she ran her race and I didn’t do my job.”
ED MOGER, JR., QIAONA, WINNER: “She’s easy to train, because she runs. She runs well every time. There was a lot of speed and he (Corey Nakatani) did a great job around the turn. He saved ground and did a great job.”
Asked what’s next: “We’ll just go one race at a time and see what happens here first. This is her first time with older horses, so . . . but we’ll keep her on turf. She loves the turf.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Curt and Lila Lanning of Richmond, CA.