The AQHA office is closed Thursday, December 25, Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1.

Secretly Hot Takes Holiday Handicap

Major futurity winner adds another 2012 stakes win.

December 31, 2012

Manuel Lorenzana’s Secretly Hot broke sharply from post number four and never trailed on the way to a hard-fought victory over John Andreini and Vince Genco’s Bolt Lightly in the $20,000 Holiday Handicap for 2-year-olds on Sunday at Los Alamitos. The Holiday is the nation’s final American Quarter Horse stakes race of 2012. Live racing will resume at Los Alamitos on Friday, January 4. First post is 7 p.m.

Secretly Hot began the Holiday by enjoying a neck lead over Bolt Lightly right out of the gate and while her rival made things tight at the end, the filly by Walk Thru Fire was able to reach the wire first in the 350-yard race. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jesse Godinez, Secretly Hot was picking up her first victory since winning the $380,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) also by a nose on July 28. Bred by Ed Allred, the 2011 Los Alamitos Equine Sale graduate covered the distance in :17.546 while earning $11,000 for her Holiday victory. Secretly Hot has now won four of eight starts and her bankroll now stands at $176,615. For Godinez, Secretly Hot’s stakes win was his first ever as a trainer at Los Alamitos. His wife, Linda, did saddle a pair of stakes winners a couple of years ago.

Jesse Godinez was a talented exercise rider at Los Alamitos, but a training accident on July 2003 left him with seven broken vertebrae and ended his riding career. Prior to the accident, Godinez worked with outstanding horses like former track record holder Takin On The Cash, Artesia, Special Elaine and Dash To Fame. He galloped Higheasterjet before Willie Shoemaker rode him in a race at Los Alamitos and he even galloped the great Refrigerator for the late Blane Schvaneveldt. Godinez enjoyed a great riding moment in 1990 when he piloted the 45-1 longshot Newmont for owner Two Rock Ranch and trainer Tom Bazley to victory in the Los Alamitos Derby (G1).

Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Paul Jones, Bolt Lightly earned $4,500 for her runner-up effort. Bolt Lightly’s previous start was a third-place finish to Creole Williams in the Corona Chick Handicap at 400 yards. Dynasty Red, Bullet In The Gun, Buy Buy, Secretly Famous and Agent Of Move completed the field.