Del Mar Derby (Grade II) (First Division)
DEL MAR, CALIFORNIA SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2013
MIKE SMITH (Gabriel Charles, winner) – “Jeff (trainer Jeff Mullins) and his crew have done a wonderful job turning this colt around. They took the blinkers off and got him to settle. He’s always had a nice turn of foot, but he used to fire it early. Now they’ve got him waiting and firing at the end. I had a good trip today and it all worked out right. When we came through the lane, I just waved the stick at him. The other day when I hit him, the first time he responded. But then the next time he just got mad. So I let him do his own thing today.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Gervinho, second) – “No real excuses. He ran well. I just wish I would have gotten first jump. The winner did. But the No. 9 horse (Redwood Kitten) got in my way and I had to wait. But he ran well.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA (Redwood Kitten, third) – “A good race for my horse. We were in the right spot, we just didn’t get there. A good try for him, though.”
GARY STEVENS (Procurement, fourth) – “I got shuffled back at the gate and I couldn’t get that forward position I wanted. But I caught some good breaks after that. Just not his day, though.”
JULIEN LEPAROUX (Rising Legend, ninth) – “The saddle slipped.”
JEFF MULLINS (Gabriel Charles, winner) -- “I wore this tie so that if we didn’t win I could hang myself. Mike (Smith) made about two or three moves in there, but he said he was doing it comfortably and that made his job easy. It’s gratifying to know he’ll go two turns, which has always been kind of a question mark with this horse. I don’t know if it was by design the way Mike rode him last time, but he figured out something about him and it sure worked."
SPLITS: :23.80 :48.26 1:12.35 1:35.60 1:46.94
The stakes win was the second of the meet for Smith and his second in the Del Mar Derby. He now has 38 Del Mar stakes wins.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for Mullins and his first victory in the Del Mar Derby. He now has 15 stakes wins at Del Mar.
Gabriel Charles is owned by Michael House of El Cajon, CA and Sam Britt of Grenville, NM.