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World Champion Cold Cash 123 headlines great Champion of Champions field tonight at Los Al

December 15, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

T-Bill Stables’ homebred Cold Cash 123 will make his case for a second straight World Championship, starting from the #8 post, when an outstanding field competes in the Grade 1 $750,000 Champion of Champions tonight at Los Alamitos.

The 440-yard race has determined more World Champions than any other—in its 40 editions to date, only two horses that have won the Champion of Champions have not taken home a championship title that same year, while 26 of the winners were World Champions in the year of their victory. This year’s race is likely to be no different.

Cold Cash 123 adores 440 yards, with nine wins from 11 career starts at the distance. The 2011 world champion, Cold Cash 123 is the only horse in the field to have won three Grade 1 races so far this year. He won the Leo Stakes, Remington Park Invitational Championship and Go Man Go Handicap before finishing third in the Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship.

Post eight was great for Cold Cash 123 in his Los Alamitos debut back on September 23 when the son of Oak Tree Special won the Go Man Go Handicap by a half-length. Cold Cash 123’s connections picked #8 for the Champion of Champions during the post position selection show held in the Finish Line at the Orange County oval on Wednesday.

Cold Cash 123 had the seventh choice in the draw and trainer Denny Ekins started thinking about post number eight.

“I don’t think I took a breath for about five minutes as each pick was made,” Ekins said. “I was thinking of post number eight. When our turn came and the #8 spot was open, I was thrilled. It took me about a second to figure that that would be a great spot for Cold Cash 123. I spoke to owners [Walter and Carolyn Bay] and they were happy with post eight, and I spoke to Sleepy Gilbreath, who trained Cold Cash 123 earlier this year, and he was also happy with the eighth post. It is going to be a great race with a tremendous group of runners.”

One of those great runners is Javier Molina’s El Aguila Real, winner of three straight races before finishing a very close second in the Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. His wins include the Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) and Vessels Maturity (G1), each at 400 yards. With the fourth choice in the selection show, assistant trainer Jose Benavides selected post number five for El Aguila Real.

“El Aguila Real will be one of the last horses to enter the starting gate,” said Benavides. “He’s usually ready to run when they load him in the gate so I don’t want him waiting long in the gate. We talked it over with jockey Eduardo Nicasio and he also liked post #5. This horse is doing great and he’s coming off of a very solid race in the (Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship).”

The field of top horses also includes the horse that defeated him in the Invitational Championship: Stern Ranches’ homebred Chivalry Sr, who also finished third in last year’s Champion of Champions.

Los Alamitos Super Derby winner Deniro’s trainer Jose De La Torre went for the #9 post, while trainer Paul Jones took #10 for Bank of America Challenge Championship winner Rylees Boy.

Double Bar S Ranch’s five-time Champion of Champions finalist Jess You And I will start from post #3 for trainer Paul Jones.

“I think we did pretty good with the post positions for Rylees Boy and Jess You And I,” Jones said.

Jess You And I is the richest horse in the field, with $1,824,739.