MIKE SMITH (Joker Face) – “I tell you, I’ve been taking heat for the
last three or four days from the boys (in the jockeys room). Rightly so.
I had to win this one. They would never let me live it down if I
didn’t. The key for me today was that my horse was right on his toes.
Peter (trainer Peter Eurton) had him ready. He put blinkers on for this
and he was ready. I think I won it going away from there fast. I tried
to take it wide and get her to drop inside, but she rode it smart. She
didn’t fall for my trap. At the half mile (pole), I took a peek back and
saw she was coming on, so I let my horse go. And that was it. He just
drew away from there. Someone asked if I thought about the possibility
of letting the woman win and the answer to that was ‘no.’ There was
pressure here; pressure to win. For my gender and all that. But there
was fun, too. Look, I grew up doing this (in New Mexico). I knew how to
do it and it was
CHANTAL SUTHERLAND (Parable) – “Even though I didn’t win, it was fun.
It was exciting. When we went onto the backside and there was just the
two of us, that was really neat. Never had that one before. I felt
fairly confident early; thought I was in a good position. But then when
we got to the half-mile pole and Mike started pulling away, I said ‘Oh,
God, I’m in trouble.’ Mike rode a really good race. All credit to him.
To be honest, I’m glad it is over. There was a lot of pressure around
this; a ton of media work leading up to it. But it was fun, too. All in
all, I enjoyed it. And the cheers from the fans here today were special.
The fans were awesome. That made it all worthwhile.”
PETER EURTON (Joker Face) – “Mike made his own strategy based on the
previous races he has ridden. I wasn’t about to tell him how to ride a race.
I just told him about the horse. That he likes to run against the
bridle and that way you’ll get him interested and he’ll stay focused.
But if you just throw his head away he’ll flounder.”
Did he put blinkers on specifically for this race?
“Not specifically. Actually I was going to put the blinkers on the
other day after Bejarano rode him (July 8 at Hollywood Park) and he
finished second. Rafael said (Joker Face) was kind of looking around in
the stretch and it may have cost us the race. Which I’m glad it did,
because this was a lot more fun.
“I was nervous before the race. I just wanted to see a good race. I
didn’t want to see one of those races where a horse might bleed or wind
up 10 lengths back. I just wanted everybody to have a good time, and
that’s the way it turned out.
“Not as competitive as everybody wanted it to be, but enough for me.”
CARLA GAINES (Parable) – “I just told Chantal to not lose contact.
They’d put blinkers on Mike’s horse and I was afraid he was going to
show more speed. But you can’t run my horse off his feet (early) or he
doesn’t come through. He hasn’t really trained that well on this
“But anyway, it was fun. What can you say? We got beat but we get second money.”