Los Alamitos Oaks

Los Alamitos Oaks

Cartel Kisses earns her third stakes victory.

Cartel Kisses. PHOTO: William Zuazo

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Making just her second start at Los Alamitos, Cartel Kisses sped to a nose victory in Saturday's 400-yard, $461,500 Los Alamitos Oaks (G1) for 3-year-old fillies.

Trained by Heath Taylor for owners Larry and Bobbie Rice of Torrington, Wyoming, Cartel Kisses earned a 90 speed index while stopping the timer in :19.764. Rodrigo Vallejo rode the homebred daughter of Kiss My Hocks.

Cartel Kisses was bred by the Rices' Flag Ranch LLC at Purcell, Oklahoma. The filly's most recent win gives her stakes wins at three different stakes in three states, including Oklahoma and New Mexico.

“She’s a once in a lifetime filly,” Larry Rice said. “She likes to run at the end, but it looked like she sure waited until the last minute tonight. I love to stand by the finish line and see it myself, but I wasn't sure if she had won. She just did it at the wire.

"She’s the most honest, dependable horse I’ve ever had," he added. "Heath felt that she would fit this race. We thought about giving her some time off this winter. Heath wanted to bring her out here and let her have some time off here. It’s worked out.”

Taylor credited the owners for allowing him to race Cartel Kisses in California.

“It wasn’t the plan to bring her here,” Taylor admitted. “The plan was to let her rest. I got to thinking about the schedule knowing that this would be a Grade 1 Oaks with a large purse, so I called them and asked them one more time. They thought about it and said that they would bring her out here."

Cartel Kisses was winning for the ninth time in 12 races, and the $193,830 winner's share of the richest-ever Los Alamitos Oaks purse increased her bankroll to $399,284. Her record includes victories in last year's Easy Jet Stakes at Remington Park and Rainbow Juvenile Invitational Stakes at Ruidoso Downs.

“It’s just tremendous, especially for a filly to be that consistent and win that many races,” Taylor added. “She’s been a blessing and very consistent from the start. We are really pleased with this race. She needed every single yard to get there. It took every inch of that 400 yards, but that’s where they pay.”

Mid Knight Flash finished third and was followed by AJ Born Runnin, Streaks Of Power, Budder Off Friends, Fearless Moon, AJ Run For Cash, Bf Lizzierageous, and Quirky Bitty Jess.

Click here for a more detailed recap of the Los Alamitos Oaks.

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