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870-yard race to highlights Saturday card; strong field assembled for Sunday’s Katella Handicap

March 22, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ric Oh Shay ready for 870

Alvin Cross Child’s stakes placed runner Ric Oh Shay is among the runners that will participate in the first 870-yard race of the meeting, a $14,000 allowance event on Saturday night at Los Alamitos. The field will feature a pair of Quarter Horses and four Thoroughbreds squaring off in the evening’s seventh race. First post time is 6:30 p.m.

Trained by Jimmy Glenn, Jr., Ric Oh Shay figures to flash a lot of speed based on the quality work he performed on the Los Alamitos straightaway. The son of Feature Mr Jess ran third in the James Smith Memorial Handicap at 350 yards and Dillingham Memorial Handicap at 400 yards here last year, but he finished out of the money in the A Ransom Handicap and Barbra B Handicap during his two most recent starts. Nevertheless, Ric Oh Shay could perform nicely at his new distance. He worked 660 yards in :35 flat in preparation for this event. Ruben Gonzalez’s Time For A Royal Dip is the other Quarter Horse going around the turn on Saturday. Out of the stakes winning mare Time For Royal Dash, Time For A Royal Dip is actually making a return to the distance division, as his last victory came at 870 yards back in November of 2009. A Grade 1 stakes performer at 440-yards, the 9-year-old Time For A Royal Dip will be making his 26th career start.

Lewis Greenspan’s Magoo is one of the horses to beat based on his impressive 2˝-length victory when facing fellow Thoroughbreds back on February 21. Another one to watch is Patrick McDonnell’s Pretty Darn Quick, a winner of four of his last five starts at 4˝ furlongs. Saturday’s card will also feature six sprinters in a $12,300 allowance event at 350 yards. PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Stel My Corona will headline this field that also includes Lyle Lovett’s stakes winner Stray Cat.

Northwest stars Sparky E Boy and Vodka With Ice to go in Katella

The running of the Katella Handicap is named after the main street entrance to Los Alamitos Race Course. Seven top notch sprinters will use Sunday’s $25,000 Katella Handicap at 350 yards as an avenue to test their mettle against some of the toughest older runners in training at the Orange County oval.

The field includes three sprinters with experience in the prestigious Champion of Champions and each horse in the field has posted at least one stakes victory at Los Alamitos. Sparky E Boy was the runner-up in the 2011 Champion of Champions while Vodka With Ice and Significant Heart finished sixth and 10th, respectively, in last year’s star-studded running of the Champion of Champions.

Owned by Reed Pierson and Brad Stevenson, Sparky E Boy will come into this race after running second in the Cypress Handicap and last year he was second in the Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap. Oscar Peinado will ride the multiple stakes winning 7-year-old, who has earned over $350,000 in his career. Sparky E Boy has hit the board in 25 of 36 career starts. Abigail Kawananakoa’s Significant Heart won five of seven starts last season and while she ran out of the money in the Charger Bar Handicap on January 5, she made that start only three weeks after running a quarter of a mile in the Champion of Champions on December 14. The Paul Jones-trained Significant Heart is the only female running in this event.

Gerardo Parra's Vodka With Ice won the Grade 1 Bank of America Challenge Championship last year prior to running in the Champion of Champions. He returned to win his trial to the Los Alamitos Winter Championship and then finished in the top five in that Grade 1 final. The 9-year-old gelding by Stoli loves distance so the key to his success here is to be within striking distance during the first 100 yards of the Katella. Raul Valenzuela will ride Vodka With Ice for trainer Juan Aleman.

Ed Allred’s Once Over has finished in the top two in his last three stakes appearances at Los Alamitos. Trained by Scott Willoughby, Once Over won the Pete Wood Handicap by daylight on February 14 and before that he was second in the Barbra B Handicap and the Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap. In between those race, Once Over ran in a stakes race at Zia Park. The Katella field will also feature the talented Town Policy Handicap winner Seperate Interest and multiple stakes winner High School Secrets and Fols Jesse. High School Secrets won a pair of solid stakes races last year.