(Jolie Olimpica floats home to win the Las Cienegas Stakes / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
MIKE SMITH, JOLIE OLIMPICA, WINNER: “I just listened to what Mr. Mandella told me this morning. He said, ‘She trains like she’s really quick, maybe a little too quick, so be still leaving there. If she puts you (up on the pace) fine, if not give her a chance to settle and she should finish. She should want to go a little further than this as well.’
“I was happy to be on a Drosselmeyer, I was blessed enough to win the Belmont (2010) and the Breeders’ Cup Classic (2011) on him and this is his first offspring I’ve gotten a chance to ride.
“Richard told me, ‘she might get a little light on her front end but it’s fine, just show her that everything is okay and she should be all right.’
“The best part of the race was running underneath the wire to be honest with you. She galloped out well within herself, she wasn’t winded at all. She should get a mile for sure any day.”
GARY MANDELLA, SON OF RICHARD MANDELLA, JOLIE OLIMPICA, WINNER: “She adapted quicker than most South American imports. A couple of the really good horses dad’s had over the years took a while to adjust. She was quicker than they were.
“We didn’t necessarily expect her to break that fast, because if you watch her replays in South America, she didn’t always just leave there super-quick. He wasn’t sure if she’d get outrun a little the first part or if she’d do what she did. You don’t know until you put them out there.
“She had a perfect trip. Mike did a great job with her. She was a little upset in the paddock, but Mike got her calmed down in the post parade. He had her in the right frame of mind to break well. Give all the credit to Mike on that. The track record? We’ll take it.”
NOTES: The time of 1:01 established a track record, eclipsing the old mark of 1:01.49 held by Torosay set on Nov. 3, 2019.
The winning owner is Rick Porter, who races as Fox Hills Farms, Inc.