(Vino Rosso winning the G1 Santa Anita Gold Cup / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)

From the Santa Anita Media Team:


JOHN VELAZQUEZ, VINO ROSSO, WINNER: “Todd told me he was ready for a mile and a quarter, I talked to Mike Repole on the phone and he said to make sure to thank him because he’s the one who gave me instructions to win the race. So thank you Mike and thank you Todd! We come from seven eighths, we knew we were going to be close.

“I knew the pace would be fast early and I just wanted to stay close. He broke very well and we settled in there. When it was time to go, we knew we had to engage Joel (Rosario) to play the game because he was the horse to beat.  And we got the job done. Vino Rosso seemed to have it all put together today.”

JOEL ROSARIO, GIFT BOX, SECOND: “He broke well out of there. In the beginning, they all got into position and I thought I was in a good spot. I guess he was just second best today. I used him a little in the beginning to get my spot but he settled and was very comfortable after that. Everything he did was just right, he just got a little tired in the end.

“I still think he’s one of the best handicap horses in the country and he’ll improve off of this. I had the trip I wanted, the other horse just ran a better race today.”


AMY MULLEN, ASSISTANT TRAINER TO TODD PLETCHER, WINNER:  “I didn’t have to give John any instructions, just a leg up. John got here six hours ago and he had a conference call with the owners and Todd. I’ve been here a week with Vino Rosso and Mike McCarthy, we trained over the track to get ready for this race.”

TOM AMOSS, TRAINER OF LONE SAILOR, THIRD:  “He was a little farther back than I wanted, but I was happy with what I was seeing up front. I knew at the three eighths (pole) he wouldn’t be able to catch the leaders.”