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11 stakes races on tap for California Breeders Champions Night

July 29, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Ed Allred’s outstanding Grade 1 winning duo of He Looks Hot and Quirky are among the stars that will look to shine brightly on a great night of Quarter Horse racing Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Eleven stakes races will be on tap on Saturday as part of the California Breeders Champions Night, a showcase event for Quarter Horses bred in the Golden State. The evening will feature combined purses of $885,000 to be highlighted by the $387,500 Governor’s Cup Futurity, the $200,000 Governor’s Cup Derby and the $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap. First post for California Breeders Champions Night is 7 p.m. The fields for the first four races on the card - which make up the popular early Pick Four - will consist of 10, 10, 9 and 8 horses.

Trained by Scott Willoughby, He Looks Hot appears to be the horse to beat in the Spencer Childers for 3-year-olds and upward at 400 yards following his neck victory in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity on July 3. The effort earned He Looks Hot a berth in the Champion of Champions. The Allred-bred son of Walk Thru Fire could go over $1 million in earnings with a win in the Spencer Childers. He Looks Hot has won four of 11 career starts with his Vessels Maturity triumph and his Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity victory ranking as the gelding’s two biggest moments so far.

He Looks Hot will be facing a strong cast that includes Hector Villalobos’ Forget It, a winner of three-time derbies in 2015, including the Governor’s Cup Derby. Jose Moreno will saddle the Foose gelding, which will enter with 10 wins from 18 starts and earnings of $543,964. The Spencer Childers will also feature 2015 All American Derby third place finisher Fire Fortune, which is owned and trained by Jaime Gomez, and Paul Jones and Thompson Racing, Inc’s Flay, an impressive winner in the Dillingham Handicap on May 7. Flay is the lone 3-year-old in this race.

Allred’s Quirky, the AQHA champion aged mare in 2015, will be making her first start since winning the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap on January 3 when she leads the way in the $40,000 California Breeders Matron Stakes. The Stel Corona will be looking to defend her Matron Stakes title while hoping to become only the third horse - and first mare - with three stakes victories on Champions Night. The only other three-time winners on this night are AQHA World Champions A Ransom and Be A Bono. Quirky won the Debutante Stakes during her sophomore campaign.

Trained by James Glenn Jr., Quirky will come into this event after a razor sharp gate workout of :17.70 on July 2. She had had previously posted a :17.90 turn-and-work on June 14. Eulices Gomez will be aboard the Allred-bred. Francisco Vega’s Bac In Front, a winner of two derbies in 2015, will be making her 2016 debut in the Matron Stakes. Trained by Gomez, Bac In Front won the La Primera Del Ano Derby and PCQHRA Breeders Derby last year. She also won the Dillingham Handicap. Carlos Huerta will ride. Miss Princess Handicap winner Vivid, Denim N Diamond Handicap winner Foo Who, Denim N Diamonds runner-up Bring Me Home and Charger Bar participant Walk Around Blues will also race in the Matron Stakes at 400 yards.

The $387,500 Governor’s Cup Futurity will be headed by a pair of runners that compete in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity including runner-up Worth Doing. Racing for Fawna Knight and trained by Mark Skeen, Worth Doing qualified with the 10th fastest time to the Ed Burke before running a huge race when second only behind the outstanding Chazaq in the Ed Burke. Worth Doing then came back to post the ninth fastest time to the Governor’s Cup Futurity. “We had the 10th fastest time and ran second in the Ed Burke,” said jockey Tony Guymon. “Now we have the ninth fastest time so hopefully we can do one better in the final than we did in the Ed Burke. That would be great.”

Rod MacPherson Jr.’s AJS Anna Smoke has won four of five starts and posted the fastest qualifying time to the Governor’s Cup Futurity. The son of Separatist won his trial by 1¼ lengths, which is similar to how he’s won his other races. His other wins have been by 1¼ lengths and twice by ¾ lengths. Cesar De Alba will ride AJS Anna Smoke, which was bred by the late Anna MacPherson.

Other top names in the Governor’s Cup Futurity include Allred’s Seared, a powerful gelding looking to become the second juvenile sired by Kiddy Up to win this race. Up For It was the first. Seared posted a hard-fought victory over Linda Cannon’s Kiddy Up gelding Up For Dashing on trial night. With Thoroughbred bloodlines, Seared figures to pack a late punch in this race. Up For Dashing will also be competing in the final and will represent the barn of trainer Charles Treece, who saddled Hard Hitting to victory in the Governor’s Cup Futurity.

While Quirky and Bac In Front will face-off in the Matron, their younger full sisters, A Bit Quirky and Smell Perfume, will meet in the Governor’s Cup Futurity. Quirky’s sister, A Bit Quirky, qualified after running second to Myfavoritestreaker, while Bac In Front’s sister, Smell Fortune, ran second to American Force. Meanwhile, Myfavoritestreaker and American Force are stablemates from the barn of trainer John Cooper and owner Ron Hartley. MacPherson Jr.’s Kiddy Up Cowgirl and John and Cina Sperry’s Kindergarten finalist Stelfast will complete the field.

Chris O’Dell will saddle two top runners in the $200,000 Governor’s Cup Derby in the form of Phoebes Dynasty and Thermonuclear Energy. Owned by Parsons Ranch, Phoebes Dynasty won the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year, which at the time was his fourth straight victory. Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Thermonuclear Energy was bumped around big time in the trials, but then bulled his way through to find space and blew away his rivals on the way to a 1¼-length victory. Rodrigo Aceves will back aboard. The fastest qualifier is Bruce and Jill Thompson’s Fervents Dynasty, which posted a solid 3/4 length victory on trial night for trainer Juan Aleman. Others to watch include Martha Wells’ trial winner Chicks Fayvorite, a half-brother of the talented stakes winner Forrest Fire, and the talented Sale Topper, Snitching, Unclaimed Dividend, Zendaya, Makin Moments and Checkn Fire.

The $25,000 Jens List Memorial Stakes will be headed by Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Dynasty Energy, a winner on this night in the Freshman Stakes for boys last year, while the $25,000 Debutante will be headed by Nymph and Maggie Durant, the 1-2 finishers in the Emma Bug Handicap earlier this year.