January 26, 2012
The Gerardo Ochoa-Pena-owned and-trained Rylees Boy, named 2011 champion aged gelding on January 18, begins his 2012 season in the same race that he started his 2010 and 2011 seasons when he heads in the $50,000 KOFX Handicap (G3) over 350 yards on Saturday afternoon at Sunland Park.
Rylees Boy (Heza Motor Scooter-Pipistrelle by Rocky Jones) has shown his quickness in the KOFX over the past two years, even though he has thrived at longer distances. Two years ago, the gelding surged to get a neck win over the solid Shy Ann Jess and champion Brenda Beautiful. Then, last year, he started his championship season when he was second behind the sharp Strike It Quick as the 19-10 favorite.
Rylees Boy quickly rebounded from last year’s KOFX defeat when he made the remainder of his 2011 outs at longer distances. He won the Bank of America Sunland Park Championship Challenge (G2) and then scored a mild upset in the Remington Park Championship (G1), each at 440 yards. Then, after a four-month rest, he came back to finish second by a neck in the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at 440 yards and third behind world champion Cold Cash 123 in the Championship at Sunland Park (G1) over 400 yards.
The 7-year-old gelding has always thrived at Sunland Park. Competing strictly in graded stakes or their trials, Rylees Boy has raced to five wins, two seconds and two thirds from nine starts at the track near El Paso.
Hugo Sierra’s Corona For You (Corona For Me-My First Twist by First Down Dash) is stepping back up to stakes company after two close wins at Sunland Park. She beat females in a $40,000 optional-claiming race at 300 yards and then defeated Jess A Runner and Freaky over 300 yards in a $40,000 allowance race. In her most recent stakes start, the Merial Distaff Challenge Championship (G1) on October 29, she was sixth behind championship contenders Sheza Bad Habit, Fredaville and Fovee.
Champion trainer Paul Jones sends out the pair of Sunland Winter Derby (G2) winner Kool Angel (First N Kool-Angels Best Effort by Proudest Effort) and Ruidoso Derby (G1) third-place finisher JD Baccarat (Mr Jess Perry-Sizzling Lola by First Down Dash).
Macias Performance Horses’ Kool Angel has found her best form at Sunland Park with two wins since joining the Jones barn. She won her Sunland Winter Derby trial by 2 lengths and then backed up that win with her first stakes win in her stakes debut when she won the Sunland Winter Derby at nearly 3-1 odds.
Owned by Johnny Cope, Stan Herzog, Butch Southway and R.D. Hubbard, JD Baccarat has competed at the Grade 1 level throughout his two years of competition. The gelding qualified for the 2010 All American Futurity (G1) and then came back last year to finish third in the Ruidoso Derby (G1) before reeling off three-straight wins in trials to Grade 1 or Grade 2 derbies.
In his most recent start, JD Baccarat was fourth in that $40,000 allowance race behind Corona For You after a troubled start.
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