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John Ward Handicap headlines Saturday’s racing action

October 24, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Margaritas N Coronas and Dynasty Red, the second and third place finishers in last year’s Wild West Futurity, headline Saturday’s $15,000 John Ward Handicap, an event for Intermountain and Northwest runners.

Owned by Robert Hickman, the Washington-bred Margaritas N Coronas goes after his third stakes victory at Los Alamitos. Trained by Bret Vickery, the Corona Czech gelding won the running of The Plan Handicap and the $35,000 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational Stakes last year while also running second in the $114,000 Wild West.

Spackman Racing and Lin Melton’s Dynasty Red finished third in the Wild West and he’s continued to have a solid 2013 campaign. He ran in the Bitterroot Derby and was third in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap. He ran fifth in the $178,000 PCQHRA Breeders Derby in his last outing for trainer Lin Melton.

The field also features Andrea and Eddy Jensen’s Go For Sixes, the Monty Arrossa-trained winner of the Kip Didericksen Handicap in his last outing.

SH Cowboy Baby, Ocean Runner, Ive Been Special Too, and Easing Thru Traffic complete the field.

Named for champion rider John Ward

The John Ward Handicap is named in honor of one of the great riders in Quarter Horse racing history. At 4’11”, John Ward was small in stature, but in the saddle, the Pocatello native made a huge mark in the sport. John is a winner of numerous major stakes events including the Los Alamitos Championship, Kansas Futurity, Rainbow Futurity, Golden State Derby and HQHRA Championship.

The talented pilot started riding in the late 1960s and is one of only 14 riders to have won over 1,000 Quarter Horse races at Los Alamitos (1,083 to be exact). John piloted 34 stakes winners in his Los Alamitos career with one of his most famous mounts being the great champion Tolltac, who was trained by Denny Ekins. One of Ward’s most memorable wins came aboard Tolltac in the Grade 1 Kindergarten Futurity in 1983.

Other top horses that he rode at Los Alamitos include Mr. Doty Bars, Private Practice, (Los Alamitos Championship winner) Pacific Dream, Uncle Wes, Flashy Go Moore, Bar Roula, Windy’s Request, Viking Anne, Anna Hi, Peccadillo. John won the 1974 Rainbow Futurity aboard Tiny’s Gay.