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13 Stakes Races Highlight Champions Night

July 25, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

It’s a tremendous all-stakes night of Quarter Horse Racing!

Featuring a record total of $1,093,475 in purses!

Highlighted by three Restricted Grade 1 stakes races!

Three different Pick Four wagers will be offered:

  • Early Pick 4 consist of races #1,2,3,4 (Note: Early Pick 4 has a $75,000 guaranteed pool!)

  • Middle Pick 4 consist of races #6,7,8,9

  • Late Pick 4 consist of races 10, 11, 12, and 13

Download the PPs:
Download “At a Glance” pages:
Download Handicappers Consensus Selections:

A total of 104 of the top California-bred Quarter Horse sprinters in the nation will come together for one night of exciting stakes races in the $1,093,475 California Breeders Champions Night to be held on Saturday at Los Alamitos. The 13-race card will feature three Pick Four wagers (1 thru 4), (6 thru 9), and (10 thru 13), with the richest race of the evening being the $500,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity. The $168,650 Spencer L. Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap and the $140,000 Governor’s Cup Derby are the next two richest stakes races to be held on Champions Night. All three of these races will each feature a 10-horse field.

The Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association’s premier racing night of the year will feature several other outstanding stakes races headlined by the $55,500 California Breeders Matron Stakes for distaffers and the $29,950 Jens L. List Jr Memorial Handicap for 3-year-olds. Now in its ninth installment, Champions Night is offering its richest purses ever for the California-breds. The $1.09 million in purses represents an increase of more than $50,000 from the 2008 purse figures. In addition, every horse racing on Champions Night will earn at least $600.

The lineup of talented horses is grand with names like the Champions of Champions bound Frankie Shoots, 2008 La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Forgive Him, 2007 El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Not A Full Moon, Golden State Million Futurity runner-up Fighter On Fire, 550-yard track record holder El Corona Ariero, defending Spencer Childers winner Soul Of Silence, the Ed Allred’s Governor’s Cup Derby quartet of My Buddie, Really A First, Freaky, and Dreaming Sweet, and stakes winner Modem set to race.

Headlining the Grade II California Breeders Matron Stakes in race nine is Fly Bar Special. A daughter of Grade I-winner Five Bar Molly, this mare has really grown into herself at age five. Three starts ago she was a close second in the Grade III Miss Princess handicap behind the hottest distaffer on the grounds at Los Alamitos, Clydette Mia. Following that performance, Fly Bar Special impressed once again, running fourth behind Frankie Shoots, the eventual winner of the Grade I Vessels Maturity. She will reunite with jockey Rodrigo Aceves for tonight’s race in hopes of capturing some of the magic of their allowance score together on March 20, 2008.

Standing in her way is Paul Jones’ talented mare Gottobes Cat. A winner of her first two starts on the year, this classy gray defeated quality horses in those contests such as Makinmoves Buzz, Corona Crystal, and Mongoose Hawkette. Idle from the races for roughly two months, Gottobes Cat typically runs well off of a layoff and should relish the 400-yard distance of tonight’s event. Look Her Over should also run a nice race.
Although she has yet to start this meet, this regally-bred four-year-old has been training sensationally for her return to the racetrack, bringing a pair of impressive 350-yard drills into tonight’s contest.

Rich Races, Super Horses, Big Night of Races

Named in honor of one of the great owners and breeders of all-time, the $168,650 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap has been graced by some of the outstanding Quarter Horses of recent time. Since its first Champions Night running in 2000, when Ed Allred’s Express King won the inaugural event, the Spencer Childers has featured World Champions A Ransom, Whosleavingwho, and Be A Bono. Last year’s winner Soul Of Silence sprung a big surprise when he defeated AQHA champions Catchmeinyourdreams and Apollitical Time.

Simply put, the Spencer Childers has been a race where national champions have tested their mettle year after year. This year’s edition, which will be contested as the 11th race on the card, features the return of defending winner Soul Of Silence. Returning winners have had luck in this race, as A Ransom defending his crown in 2002, while Be A Bono posted back-to-back-to-back scores from 2004 through 2006. Trained and co-owned by Patricia Visscher for Doug Rau and Marci South, Soul Of Silence will be staring at a Spencer Childers field replete with top-level performers. First in line, literally and figuratively, will be Frankie Shoots, who will start from post one in his first outing since winning the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity. That victory earned Frankie Shoots, a former $6,000 purchase at the 2005 Los Alamitos Ecline Sale, with a guaranteed berth to this year’s Champion of Champions. A win here and a win in that big $1 million race in mid-December could put Frankie Shoots as one of the top contenders for the world title.

The field for the Spencer Childers will also feature Not A Full Moon, who figures to love the 400-yard distance here after running out of ground when finishing third to Lassen County in the Independence Day Handicap on June 28. El Corona Ariero has a completely opposite task, as he is shortening up for this race after setting a 550-yard track record in his last start on June 12. El Corona Ariero won the Sprint Stakes at 350 yards in last year’s Champions Night. Lissette Hernandez, a 20-year-old student at Cal Poly Pomona, will saddle El Corona Ariero. He will be only her fourth starter ever in her young training career. Don Juan Bryan, who finished second in the Vessels Maturity, and the returning Ten Oclock Scholar will also make this race interesting. Owned by Gianni Samaja, Don Juan Bryan SA moves to an inside post position after running a couple of wicked races from the outside post. Ten Oclock Scholar is back in action in 2008, his first start since finishing third in one of the most memorable races of 2007, the blanket finish in Los Alamitos Super Derby. You want more top aged horses?
Modem is a multiple stakes winner and, like El Corona Ariero, a former Sprint Stakes winner, Materialist was moved up to first in the Grade 3 Vandy’s Flash Handicap in his last start, while allowance winner Nofishinonafullmoon, and last year’s 550-yard California Breeders Sophomore Stakes runner-up Paradise Point will complete the field.

Ed Allred is holding all the aces in Saturday’s $140,000 Governor’s Cup Derby. Budding superstar My Buddie, Governor’s Cup fastest qualifier Really A First, multiple Grade 1 finalist Freaky, and the outstanding El Primero Del Ano Derby performer Dreaming Sweet will represent the Hall of Fame owner and breeder. My Buddie will start from post 10, a spot that trainer Cody Joiner loves. “He should stay out of trouble,” said Joiner.

Shescheckinumout, winner of the La Pacifica Handicap, is one to watch as she’s hit the board in each of her last seven starts. Nancy Scane’s Ought To Be Rapid, second in last year’s Governor’s Cup Futurity, was impressive in winning his derby trial two weeks ago, while Alessio, Brown & Davies’
Precious Edna showed nice ability when battling Ought To Be Rapid and Dreaming Sweet in the trials.

J.R. Villarreal’s Corona Private Jet, second in the Kaweah Bar Handicap, earlier this year will face 2008 first-time starters He Storms and Armyguy in this year’s $28,450 Sprint Stakes. A solid group of seven that will also include 2006 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Quiero Separarte will be featured in this 350-yard race….Fighter On Fire, a tenacious winner of six races and over $300,000, will headline the Jens L.
List Jr. Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds. Fighter On Fire will enter this race after drilling 350 yards in :18.10. He won the Freshman Stakes on Champions Night last year. Zin Man and Philadelphia Patriot are among the horses in this solid 8-horse field at 400 yards that figure to give Fighter On Fire a run for the money.

Nice Babies and Plenty of Solid Races

The California Breeders’ Freshman Stakes drew 16 entries that resulted in the 350-yard race being split into two separate divisions. Paul Jones and Runaway Ranch’s Asyouwish, a half sister to Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Foose, head the first division. Asyouwish looked razor sharp in her debut, breaking her maiden by ¾ lengths in a time of :15.40. She had a nightmare outing in the trials to the Governor’s Cup, as he stumbled leaving the gate on the way to an eighth place finish.

Vessels, Feldkamp, Grebe and Smith’s Buffalo Head, who ran a solid third to Governor’s Cup finalists Hard Hitting and First Magical Dash, and Mr B, a full brother to three-time Champions Night winner A Ransom, are among the others racing in the first Freshman Stakes race. The second edition of the Freshman Stakes features a very talented group of juvenile runners. Taking center stage is Show Me A Beduino, one of his barn’s top two-year-olds. Third in the Grade I Kindergarten Futurity prior to a costly disqualification, this gelding looked terrific in his first two starts of the year. Most recently, he knocked heads with talented runners like Rieda Hay Worth, third in last month’s Ed Burke Million Futurity, and Hard Hitting, the fastest qualifier to the 2008 Governor’s Cup Futurity, and looms the one to beat.

His competition in tonight’s race will likely come from a pair of horses drawn along the inside in Suger Mama and Another Wise Lady. Suger Mama debuted impressively at Los Alamitos, running third behind a good field that included Hes Regal, the third-place finisher in this year’s Kindergarten Futurity. Last time out she broke her maiden in style, earning an 86 speed index for the victory. Additionally, she experienced trouble in both of those starts and should perform even better with a clean trip.

Another Wise Lady could also spoil the party. Never worse than second in her three race career, this filly dropped a tough head photo to Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist Jimmy Delivers two starts back.

Veteran pilot Carlos Bautista returns to the saddle on Friday night following a CHRB suspension. A career winner of 801 Quarter Horse races at Los Alamitos, Bautista’s first mount comes aboard SR Obi Wan in the first division of the Freshman Stakes…A strong purse of $30,800 will be up for grabs in the California Breeders Sophomore Stakes - which kicks off the racing action. Go Straight, who ran second to Governor’s Cup Derby finalist Short Czech in an allowance test two races ago, and recent allowance winner Firstdown Just Gil are among the top horses in this 550-yard test…La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Forgive Him headlines a compact field in the inaugural running of the $26,500 Debutante Stakes for sophomore fillies. Trained by Mike Joiner, Forgive Him has won her last two outings…There are three claiming stakes races on tap on Champions Night - all of them featuring nice purses for these $10,000 and $5,000 claimers.