Notes & Quotes From the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday: Sparky Ville

(Sparky Ville winning the San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita on Sunday / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)

From the Santa Anita Media Team:

JOCKEY QUOTES

JOEL ROSARIO, SPARKY VILLE, WINNER: “Going into the far turn, I was in tight, but I had to wait because I thought those horses were moving a little early.  When we left the quarter pole, I asked him and he really picked it up.  I thought those horses would come back to me and we would win easy, but (Dessman) kept fighting and it was close.  I knew he had run well with Gary (Stevens, recently retired Hall of Famer) and I’m happy with the way he ran today.  He was comfortable sitting in behind those horses and I like the way he picked it up when I asked him to go.”

FLAVIEN PRAT, DESSMAN, SECOND:  “I moved too soon.  He fought back when he saw that horse…He ran great.

TRAINER QUOTES

JEFF BONDE, SPARKY VILLE, WINNER: “I was absolutely dancing into the Winner’s Circle. It was so exciting and Joel has been like one of my kids ever since he came from Bay Meadows. We tease each other a lot. We greet each other by grunting and everybody looks at us like, ‘what’s that all about’ but we’ve been doing it for years. So it’s wonderful to win with him. The owners are great people that really deserve something like this.

“This horse seems like he’s more adept at seven furlongs to a mile so I’m not sure he wants a mile and a quarter …

“I could tell my horse had won, but I was so excited in the stretch I thought I was gonna pass out.

“We are very happy with the way our horse had trained for this race, but it’s always scary when you get a look at those Baffert ‘Maseratis’, it pretty much unfolded the way we had hoped.

“The people that own this horse, they’ve got this colt a seven furlong-miler type maybe time will tell differently, but the other colt they are focusing on him going the two turns.”

NOTES: The winning owner is Del Secco DCS Racing.

That’s very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” an emotional O’Connell said after Well Defined’s two-and-three-quarter length victory from a charging Kentucky Wildcat in 1:42.70 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth, .26 seconds off 2018 winner Flameaway’s stakes record. So Alive finished a distant third, with the 19-10 favorite, Knicks Go, getting nipped for fourth at the wire by Counter Offer.

“He’s had little things that have happened and he’s grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on,” O’Connell said of the Florida-bred Well Defined, a son of With Distinction by Fru Fru, out of Medaglia d’Oro. “I like this horse a lot and the decision (on what’s next) will be up to the owners (Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge, LLC), but we just want him healthy. Maybe the (Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9) – who knows.”

“His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile,” she said, “and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside. He’s a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.”

KATHLEEN O’CONNELL, TRAINER OF WINNER WELL DEFINED

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