(Fighting Man winning the Santa Maria / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)
From the Santa Anita Media Team:
ABEL CEDILLO, FIGHTING MAN, WINNER: “Jimmy (Barnes, assistant to Bob Baffert) told me to send her to the lead. When she broke, she broke like a rocket so I was just trying to slow down. I know I went a little fast but she just did it on her own. The first race I watched was a ride by Joe Talamo (Aug. 17 Torrey Pines). She was just doing the same thing, he didn’t budge (on) her and she won by eight. In her other race (a second place finish in a six furlong allowance on July 19) she was looking around, which she did today, but in the stretch she just did it easy.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, CE CE, THIRD AS THE 3-5 FAVORITE: “I think the long post parade, it seemed like she let down a little, like maybe her energy dropped. She was okay going into the first turn, then she wasn’t herself today.”
BOB BAFFERT, FIGHTING MAD, WINNER: “She needed her last race and she had trained well coming into this. We’ve always been high on her and today, I told the jock to put her on the lead, that’s where she wants to be. She can be a little headstrong, but I could see turning for home, I knew she was gonna be tough to beat. Today, she ran like she did at Del Mar (winning the Grade III Torrey Pines Stakes on Aug. 17), that’s a really good time on this track.”
DID THE DELAYED START CONCERN YOU?: “No, my filly was pretty relaxed and there’s nobody out there, so there’s no noise. That other filly (Hard Not to Love), she’s like that sometimes, so it didn’t bother me.”
NOTES: The winning owners are Gary and Mary West.