angle-left Vessels Maturity Trials

Vessels Maturity Trials

He Looks Hot sets the fastest qualifying time to the July 7, $155,100 final at Los Alamitos.
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Ed Allred's He Looks Hot is the fastest qualifier to the July 7, $155,100 Vessels Maturity (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Racing in the third of three 400-yard trials on Sunday, He Looks Hot defeated second-fastest qualifier and 2017 Vessels Maturity winner BH Lisas Boy by a neck in :19.569. Vinnie Bednar rode the homebred 7-year-old gelding for trainer Scott Willoughby.

 “I knew we were moving, and we definitely broke on top,” Bednar added. “I just had to hang on. The horse did the rest.”

He Looks Hot covered his final 220 yards in :9.37 while making his first start since March 29.

“He’s run down through there pretty good several times in his career with (final fractional) times of :09.35 to :09.37,” Willoughby said. “That’s how he finishes sometimes. He’s just a great horse. We were so far off a race and I didn’t know if we needed this race badly. We worked him the other day and he worked great (:18 flat on June 2). It was a nice, easy work for him.

"He does it against the greatest horses in the country," the trainer added. "BH Lisas Boy ran a fantastic race. It’s going to be a good final. Hopefully we can hook up and have a good trip down through there."

Raced exclusively at Los Alamitos, He Looks Hot has won 12 of 32 starts and has earned $1,237,073. The gelding's six stakes wins include the 2014 Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity (G1) and 2016 Vessels Maturity.

BH Lisas Boy was ridden for the first time by Oscar Andrade Jr. for owner and trainer Bill Hoburg. The homebred 7-year-old Mighty Invictus was clocked in :19.599.

Third-fastest qualifier Tarzanito, last year's champion aged stallion, won the second Vessels Maturity trial by a half of a length from sixth-fastest qualifier Eyes The Favorite. Eddie Garcia rode the 5-year-old son of Favorite Cartel for owner A1A Racing LLC and trainer Yanet Rodriguez.

“We are proud of that horse,” said Dr. George Fallieras of A1A Racing. “We have so much confidence in him. We feel that if he can get a clean break – that’s his Achilles’ Heel - then we have a chance.  If he can get a clean break, he can run with anyone."

Tarzanito was bred in California by Patricia Visscher. The stallion has won one of four starts this season, and he ended his 2018 campaign with a ninth-place finish in the Champion of Champions (G1).

"We considered retiring him (at the end of the 2018 season)," Fallieras said. "In the Champion of Champions, he had a terrible trip out of the gate. He’s not too heavily raced. He’s in great shape. We had him looked over by the vets and he’s completely sound.

"The horse felt good so we said ‘Why not? Why not let him run a little bit more?’ He’ll tell us (when he’s ready for retirement). Maybe it’s one race more, maybe it’s two more. We’ll listen to the horse and he’ll tell us when it’s time. As long as he’s feeling good and looking good we’ll keep running him.”

Click here for a complete list of Vessels Maturity qualifiers. Click here for a more detailed look at the trials.

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