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Ochoa’s local debut headlines Los Alamitos Invitational Championship on Sunday

October 11, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Rylees Boy (#10) wins last year's Champion of Champions, December 15, 2012
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Ochoa, Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leader in money earned with $2,687,615, and Remington Park Invitational Championship winner Priceless Feature will make their respective local debuts when they head an outstanding field in Sunday’s Grade 1 $150,000 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship.

The lineup for the 440-yard Invitational will also feature Chivalry SR, who won this race last year, last year’s Champion of Champions winner Rylees Boy and AQHA champion 3-year-old colt Hez Our Secret. The field from the rail out is as follows; Hez Our Secret, Jess Lips, Priceless Feature, Rylees Boy, Aha Moment, JM Blue Light, Ochoa, Chivalry SR, Creole Williams and Really A Fantasy.

All eyes will be on the multiple champion Ochoa, as the Texas-bred gelding by Tres Seis, will make his anticipated debut Los Alamitos debut in the Invitational. Owned by J Bar 7 Ranch LLC, Katsy and Monte Cluck and Doug Benson and trained by Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath, Ochoa has been at Los Alamitos for well over a month now and his preparations have included a nice :17.90 gate workout at 350 yards. Bred by John Jones Jr. Interests Ltd, Ochoa has won 10 of 14 career starts. His record includes victories in the All American Futurity and All American Derby and as a 4-year-old in the Mr Jet Moore Handicap at Ruidoso Downs on August 4. Ochoa finished second to Ed Melzer’s Priceless Feature in the Remington Park Championship back on June 1.

Trained by Eddie Willis, Priceless Feature will have an opportunity to move into the number one spot in the AQHA National Poll for older horse with a big effort in the Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. Bred by Sam Green, the son of Feature Mr Jess is currently the number three ranked horse in the nation. He’s behind the number one rated runner Last To Fire, winner of the Vessels Maturity and Go Man Go Handicap, and All American Derby winner Feature Hero, who arrived at Los Alamitos recently. Last To Fire and Feature Hero have already earned berths to the Champion of Champions. Priceless Hero also has a berth to the Champion of Champions thanks to his Remington Park Championship victory on June 1. The Oklahoma bred has not raced since scoring that victory at 5-1 odds, but he did post a 220 yard turn and work here on October 1. He also worked 220 yards at Ruidoso Downs on August 8. Jimmy Dean Brooks will ride him.

Stern Ranches’ Chivalry SR will look to become the sixth horse to successfully defend his Invitational Championship on Sunday. The son of Walk Thru Fire was a surprise winner at 6-1 odds in last year’s Invitational and is now looking for his first win since that start. He was third in the Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap two races ago and was a good fifth against a star-loaded field in the Go Man Go Handicap in his last outing. Paul Jones will saddle the homebred runner, who will be ridden by Cody Jensen. Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez’s 8-year-old superstar Rylees Boy looks to continue his outstanding campaign in the Invitational. Racing’s Energizer Bunny became the oldest Champion of Champions winner last year and has since won the Los Alamitos Winter Championship and rallied from seventh place to finish second in the Go Man Go Handicap. Ramon Sanchez will ride him for Paul Jones.

Johnny Trotter enjoyed a fine Saturday night last week after his horses won the Dash For Cash Futurity and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. The owner looks to enjoy a fine Sunday with his champion Hez Our Secret. The nation’s top 3-year-old colt of 2012 is looking for a return berth to the Champion of Champions with a fine effort in the Invitational. Fourth in last year’s Champion of Champions, the First Down Dash horse was third in the Winter Championship earlier this year and likely needed a race when running seventh in the Go Man Go. Ricky Ramirez will ride the Trey Wood-trained sprinter.

Jones will also saddle Jimmy and Marilyn Harrel’s Aha Moment, a talented 3-year-old colt by No Secrets Here who as a 2-year-old raced in the All American and Los Alamitos Two Million futurities. The trainer will also send out Double Bar S Ranch’s Creole Williams, who was third in the Winter Derby earlier this season, and Edgar Avechuco’s JM Blue Light, who endured a tough trip in the Go Man Go in his last start. Eddie Willis will saddle Valeriano Racing Stables LLC’s Jess Lips in the Invitational. The Mr Jess Perry horse is a an experienced Grade 1 performer everywhere he has been including Los Alamitos, Ruidoso Downs, Remington Park and Lone Star Park. Juniors Quarter Horses, Inc’s Really A Fantasy will complete the field. The First Down Dash stallion won three of six starts in 2012. He’s looking for his first start of the season, but he does come in after running second in a stakes races at Sam Houston Race Park. Jose De La Torre will saddle him with Manuel Gutierrez aboard.