angle-left Q-Racing Blog: Filling the Field

Q-Racing Blog: Filling the Field

The Champion of Champions is only three weekends away.

text size

By Ty Wyant

Thanks to the $1,009,650 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) and the two Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials in recent weeks, we have a much clearer view of who will be competing in the $600,000 Champion of Champions.

In a previous blog, we discussed the probable and possible entrants at that time for the $600,000 Champion of Champions on December 14.

Expected to go against Los Alamitos Super Derby winner Flash And Roll and Z. Wayne qualifiers Hotstepper, He Looks Hot and Jesstacartel are Zoomin For Spuds, Katies Easy Moves, BH Lisas Boy, Political Attraction, Tequila Sangria and SF Hot Pass.

The horses with the three-fastest times in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials qualified for the Champion of Champions.

A pair of qualifiers came out of the first 400-yard Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial. They are Monica Williams’ Hotstepper with a :19.536 mark and Dr. Ed Allred’s homebred He Looks Hot with a :19.539 time. The margin is listed as a nose, however it could have been half a nostril, if that became an official margin.

Lesley Joyner’s Jesstacartel won the second Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial with the third-fastest time of :19.686.

The Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials were held a week after the 400-yard Los Alamitos Super Derby was contested.

Any defections from the Champion of Champions will be replaced with horses racing to the next fastest times in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials.

Flash And Roll

Scott Bryant’s Flash And Roll won a thrilling Los Alamitos Super Derby and, once again, showed her adoration for Los Alamitos. She is undefeated from six starts at the track and has earned $1,599,007 of her $1,689,718 career earnings at Los Alamitos. She also holds the distinction of being the only horse to win the Golden State Million Futurity, the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and the Los Alamitos Super Derby.

Flash And Roll was the 2018 champion 2-year-old and champion 2-year-old filly.

The 400-yard Los Alamitos Super Derby was a showdown with Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Powerful Favorite, who came into the Super Derby off a 7-for-7 record this year with all of his starts at Los Alamitos. He won the $198,700 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1), the $211,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby (G3) and the $195,000 Governor’s Cup Derby (RG3).

The Justin Joiner-trained Flash And Roll held a nose lead early in the Super Derby over Powerful Favorite and that margin didn’t vary much throughout the race. Flash And Roll made a late surge under jockey Cody Jensen to secure the win by a neck and send her on to the Champion of Champions. 

The Super Derby win vaulted her into the third position in the AQHA Racing National Poll

Hotstepper

The Paul Jones-trained Hotstepper gained his first Los Alamitos win in the first Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial after being defeated in his three previous outs at the Southern California track.

Hotstepper flashed the form that earned the gelding the 2018 champion 3-year-old and 3-year-old gelding titles. A year ago, he won the $1,238,655 All American Derby (G1) and the $375,610 Texas Classic Derby (G1).

He Looks Hot

He Looks Hot may be 7 years old, however he is still in tremendous form and will be racing in his fourth consecutive Champion of Champions. This year, the Scott Willoughby-trained gelding won his second $100,000 Spencer L. Childers California Breeders Championship (RG1) after taking the $35,000 Moonist Handicap. He was also third in the $100,000 Go Man Go Handicap (G1).

Jesstacartel

Jesstacartel, second by a head in last year’s Champion of Champions, scored his second win from six 2019 starts with his nose victory in the second Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial. The 4-year-old gelding finished well to gain the win as the 8-5 favorite. 

The member of the Mark Skeen stable was third in the $155,100 Vessels Maturity (G1) after winning his trial.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.