The AQHA Office is closed Monday, September 7, in observance of Labor Day.

Allred Takes Three on Cal Champions Night

Top breeder and owner captures two of the marquee events at Los Alamitos.

July 28, 2013

American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame owner and breeder Ed Allred enjoyed an outstanding California Breeders’ Champions Night as his homebreds won the $380,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2), the $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap (RG1) and also the evening’s opening race – the $15,000 Sophomore Claiming Stakes – on Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course.

A total of nine stakes races, plus two claiming stakes, were contested on the 14th annual Champions Night, a showcase event for the top California-bred Quarter Horses in training. Other top races on the card included the $180,000 Governor’s Cup Derby (RG2), the $50,000 Matron Stakes (RG3) and the $25,000 Jens L. List Jr. Memorial Stakes (R). Double Bar S Ranch’s Scoop Of Sunshine pulled away to win the Governor’s Cup Derby, while Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez’s Check N Fetch scored her third stakes of the season when winning the Matron Stakes.

Allred won the Governor’s Cup Futurity as an owner for the third time in his career and his first since champion 2-year-old gelding Way Maker in 1989, after the Scott Willoughby-trained Kiddy Up filly Up For It posted a half-length victory over Ron Hartley’s Moonist. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Up For It won the Governor’s Cup in wire-to-wire fashion while covering the 350 yards in a time of :17.471. Up For It’s win gave freshman stallion Kiddy Up his first stakes victory.

“That’s what makes it so much fun for a breeder,” Allred said. “It takes patience and you sometimes sacrifice yourself when you are proving a young stallion if it does not work out. I didn’t breed a lot of mares to him at the start, but now I’m very confident in him now. I’ll breed all of our good mares to Kiddy Up. I have eight Kiddy Ups this year, but we have 45 coming next year. His foals simply look the part. We are very fortunate to have some very good young stallions right now like Foose, Stel Corona, TR Dasher, Masters Call and of course, Walk Thru Fire.”

An impressive 1 ¾-length winner in the Governor’s Cup trials, Up For It has now won three of her four career starts. Her mother is the 6-year-old Walk Thru Fire mare Fire For Toby, who is the daughter of the multiple stakes winner Flare For Toby. Up For It earned $157,000 and she’s now made $163,330.

“This filly has a huge heart and she’s a big finisher,” Willoughby said. “She loves to train and she knows what she’s doing. We’ll point her to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials and we’ll decide about running her in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity trials. This is great for Kiddy Up. He’s going to be a top sire. There are very few of them right now, but I’ve been impressed by all of his babies. Sadie Sis is another of his babies and she barely missed qualifying to this race. She had the 11th-fastest time and it was Up For It that kicked her out of the top 10 in the trials.”

“Up For It ran perfectly,” added Aceves, who piloted her from post number four. “It was a beautiful race with no trouble at all.”

Trained by John Cooper, Hartley’s Moonist finished a strong second after leaving the gate sharply from the outside post number 10. A son of Governor’s Cup Futurity winners Separatist and Your First Moon, Moonist earned $63,750 for his runner-up effort under jockey Alex Bautista.

“I’m pleased when I see a horse do what he can do,” Cooper said. “He broke cleanly and ran pretty nicely. I look at the first two jumps and he did well in that regard. He tried hard and that’s what I want to see from a horse.”

Allred also owned the third-, fourth- and sixth-place finishers in this race. The Separatist gelding Well And Good, who was also saddled by Willoughby and ridden by Gregorio Arriaga, earned $45,000 for finishing third, while the Connie Hall-trained Stel Corona gelding More Than Wild earned $26,250 for running fourth. Sixth-place finisher Trust Me, who was saddled by Jose Flores, earned $18,750 in this race. The complete order of finish is as follows: Up For It, Moonist, Well And Good, More Than Wild, Flying To Fueler, Trust Me, Chalalita, Shestheonethatiwant, Nefertity and Foose Cash Sr.

Ed Allred enjoyed a 1-2 finish in the $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap after Check My Thoughts scored the third major stakes victory of his career following a half-length victory of Once Over in the 400-yard race.

Covering the distance in :19.606 for trainer James Glenn Jr. and jockey Eulices Gomez, Check My Thought earned $53,500 for winning his first race since the Grade 1 Southern California Derby on December 23. The Southern California was his second Grade 1 derby of last year. The son of Check Him Out also won the Golden State Derby. As a 2-year-old, Check My Thoughts won a division of the Freshman Stakes in the 2011 renewal of Champions Night.

“He’s one of the toughest horses on the planet,” Glenn said. “This horse doesn’t like to be turned out. We gave him some time off and it’s hard to get them back ready at this level. This horse likes to run and once he turns the corner in his training he starts getting better and better. Two weeks ago I didn’t think he would be ready for this race, but he started putting on weight and just got better with each day.”

Now a three-time major stakes winner, Check My Thoughts improved his record to seven wins in 17 starts and earnings of $422,434. Trained by Scott Willoughby, the Walk Thru Fire gelding Once Over earned $18,500 for finishing second. Stern Ranches’ Chivalry SR, a multiple major stakes winner, finished third while making his 2013 racing debut. Rodrigo Aceves rode Once Over.

“Check My Thoughts had never had a good trip until tonight,” Allred said. “When I saw him break on top I knew we were in great shape. He’s had foot problems, but Jimmy has done a great job with this horse. Once Over had a good trip. They were squirreling around when they got together. They both ran well.”

The Spencer L. Childers is named in honor of one of the great owners and breeders in the history of Quarter Horse racing. Allred considered Childers a mentor, a teacher and a father figure in the industry.

“He picked me up out of nowhere when I was a young man in this game and took me under his wing,” Allred said. “He knew so much about the breed and knew the breeding game as well as anyone in Quarter Horse racing. He was a man of huge integrity. He did not take any shortcuts in life and it was a privilege to have learned from people like Spencer, Robert L. Boniface and Z. Wayne Griffin. Those lessons have served me well over the years. We named this race after Spencer while he was still alive and he was able to win it several times with his great champion horse Be A Bono. It was fun to see him win his own race and I feel honored to win it tonight.”

New Look, the winner of the 2012 El Primero Del Ano Derby (G2), finished fourth. Ambush Alley and Creston Goer completed the field.

Owned and bred by Double Bar S Ranch, Scoop Of Sunshine posted his second impressive win in a row en route to winning the $180,000 Governor’s Cup Derby by 1 ¼ lengths on Champions Night. Ridden by Cesar De Alba for trainer Paul Jones, Scoop Of Sunshine had a comfortable lead right from the start, much in the same way as in her winning performance on the night of the derby trials. Sired by First Down Dash and out of the Strawflyin Buds mare Budderfly Effect, Scoop Of Sunshine earned $74,130 for the win.

“The day that she was born we knew that she was special,” said Dawn List of Double Bar S. “She just had the look.”

“She came out of the womb just like you see her right now, muscular and beautiful,” added Rhonda List.

“We wanted to name her something special,” Dawn said. “Scoop (Vessels) had recently passed away and we just knew that he had to part of her name. I get goose bumps just talking about it right now.”

When at her best, Scoop Of Sunshine has certainly been special. She was great when winning her trial to the Golden State Million Futurity last year and was the fastest qualifier in the trials to this derby two weeks ago. Scoop Of Sunshine’s family is special as well, as her brother, Igotyourtac, won the Golden State Million Futurity in 2011.

“I hope that there are two guys, Scoop and my dad (Jens L. List Jr.), high fiving each other in the Turf Club in the sky,” Dawn said.

“She’ll go home for a little while,” Rhonda said. “We’ll get her in the pool and let her swim. She loves to swim. We’ll bring her back for the Los Alamitos Super Derby trials.”

Scoop Of Sunshine is also eligible to run in the Southern California Derby trials. Racing from the outside post 10, Scoop Of Sunshine earned $74,130 for winning her fourth race in 10 starts. Her lifetime earnings now stand at $119,260. The win was the second for Jones in the Governor’s Cup Derby. His other victory came in 2006 with that year’s eventual world champion Wave Carver.

Jo Rae Burns and Mike Casselman’s Dawn Of A New Day earned $35,005 for her second place finish. Breaking to the inside of Scoop Of Sunshine, the Separatist filly was ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Mike Casselman.

John and Cina Sperry’s La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) winner Revv Me Up earned $21,180 for finishing third. Jewel First Cat Sa, Tac It Like A Champ, I Go Out Walkin, Secretly Hot, Fire Boom, Bullet In The Gun and Don Loncho completed the field. Secretly Hot won the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year and was trying to become the eighth horse to sweep the Governor’s Cup Futurity and Derby.

Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez’s Check N Fetch is a now stakes winner at three different distances at Los Alamitos after scoring a wire-to-wire neck victory in the $50,000 Matron Stakes for distaffers at 400 yards. The 4-year-old mare by Check Him Out had previously won the 350-yard Miss Princess Handicap (G3) and the 300-yard Independence Day Handicap against the opposite sex. Her three stakes wins have come in back-to-back-to-back starts.

“She’s not a big mare, but she’s ornery,” said trainer Paul Jones. “She’s a funny horse. If you just tried to pet her in her stall she’ll try to bite you. But on the track, she’s one fast and talented good mare.”

Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, Check N Fetch covered the 400 yards in :19.685. She earned $25,500 for winning this race and she’s now won 10 of 18 career starts. She’s eligible to the Bank of America Racing Challenge and Jones will also likely point her to the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1) on September 29.

Anita Perez Ramirez’s Shesnowsall earned $8,000 for finishing second for trainer Jose Moreno and jockey Raul Valenzuela. Tac Out, Touch Of Paso, Annas Babe, Study Hall Pierce, Classic Sassy Check, Tac It To Heart and Lost In Memphis completed the field.

Balgo Racing Team Inc.’s Carne Vino won the $25,000 Sprint Stakes (R) after defending Sprint Stakes winner Ronsepi crossed the wire first but was disqualified and placed fifth because of interference in the 350-yard race. The stewards ruled that Ronsepi lugged in at the 1/16th pole and forced El Baia to steady off his heels, costing him a chance to finish fourth.

“You win some, you lose some,” said Ronsepi’s owner Ron Hartley, who is a former steward at Los Alamitos Race Course.

“The favorites (El Baia and Ronsepi) bumped each other and Carne Vino took advantage of that,” said Guillermo Morales, who trains Carne Vino. “Carne Vino ran a pretty good race. Even though he lost the Independence Day Handicap in his previous start, I was satisfied with his effort. He posted a good 300-yard time of :15.54 and he was coming off a long layoff. It was tough for him to win that race after a long break, but it helped him remember that he is a fast horse. He did things right in this race and it worked out.”

Carne Vino crossed the wire only a neck behind Ronsepi, but the effort was good enough to earn him first-place money of $13,750 following the disqualification. Ridden by Raul Valenzuela, Carne Vino improved to four wins in 13 starts. The official order of finish in the Sprint Stakes follows: Carne Vino, Hard Act, De Moss, El Baia, Ronsepi, Twelve Stepper, Chicks Boudro, Fdd Moon, Forrest Fire and Pony Drive.

Owned and bred by Trujillo Racing Stable, A Regal Time won his third race from his last four starts following a neck victory over Our Secret Queen in the $25,000 Jens L. List Jr. Memorial Stakes. Racing at the 400-yard distance, A Regal Time finished strongly to earn the first place prize of $13,750.

“In his last time out, A Regal Time was the favorite over the favorite tonight (Easyist),” said trainer Juan Aleman. “He had a lot of trouble in that race so I thought that we could give it another try and hopefully he could show us what he can do. That’s what happened tonight.”

A Regal Time, who covered the 350 yards in :17.770, had previously won at the $12,500 and $16,000 claiming levels this year. His only other victory came in a trial to the Kindergarten Futurity (G2) last year. A Regal Time now has four victories in nine career starts.

“We’ll look for an allowance for him or perhaps an overnight handicap,” Aleman added.

Racing for Vessels Stallion Farm LLC and Bustardos Horse Racing LLC, Our Secret Queen earned $5,625 for finishing second. Easyist, Fast Moving Fire, Chicks Gone, Line Slinger, Whittier High, Votemout, How Much Better and Greater Still completed the field.

Fresh off a winning effort in a trial to the Governor’s Cup Futurity, Linda Cannon’s Stel Hawk improved to three wins in four career starts following a wire-to-wire neck victory in the $25,000 Freshman Stakes ® at 350 yards. Ridden by Cesar De Alba for trainer Charles Treece, the Stel Corona gelding earned $13,750 while covering the distance in ;17.641. Stel Hawk was unlucky not to qualify to the Governor’s Cup Futurity final, as his winning trial time of :17.65 missed the cut off by 3/100ths of a second.

Nevertheless, the gelding’s connections were all smiles following his Freshman Stakes win.

“This is joyous night,” Cannon said. “We got to visit the winner’s circle in the company of the people that were in the ownership group of (Governor’s Cup Futurity and Derby winner) Hard Hitting and (Governor’s Cup finalist) Bikers Bono. Champions Night has always been a memorable night for us.”

Dutch Masters III’s Diamonds N Dynasty finished second and was followed by Our Man John, Belvedere Up, Secret Lips, Undercover Kid, Mecano, Hot To Go and Boy Wonder.

Susan Lucas’ Hannahs Double Love improved to a perfect two-for-two after winning the $25,000 Freshman Stakes (R) for fillies at 350 yards. The daughter of Tac It Like A Man won this race by three-quarter lengths after breaking her maiden by an impressive 2 ¼ lengths at 300 yards on May 10. Francisco Rubio piloted Hannahs Double Love to victory in a time of :17.619 for trainer Juan Aleman. The filly earned $13,750 for the win.

“The mother of Hannahs Double Love is (the Thoroughbred) Kickstand Kelly and she’s by Kelly Kip, which we stand at stud,” said Lucas’ husband, George Lucas. “Kickstand Kelli is double bred to (1959 American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly) My Dear Girl. Kelly Kip still holds track records at Belmont and Aqueduct. Kickstand Kelli had never produced a Quarter Horse so we didn’t pay her to a lot of futurities. She is eligible to run in the Dash For Cash Futurity and she’ll probably head to Texas for those trials.”

Joys Secret, Twittie Bird, Sadie Sis, Buy It All, Khaleesi, Seperate Flight, Jabulani Secrets and Last Chancer completed the field.

Martha Wells’ Chics On Fire paid her second visit to the winner’s circle in as many stars after scoring a three-quarter length victory in the $25,000 Debutante Stakes (R) for 3-year-old fillies at 350 yards. Ridden by Gregorio Arriaga for trainer Dan Francisco, the filly by Walk Thru Fire covered the distance in :17.656 while earning $13,750. She’s now won three of 11 starts. In five starts this year, the homebred filly has won twice and finished in the money four times.

“She was hitting herself while running last year,” Wells explained. “We gave her time off and while doing that we found that the calmer the rider sat the better she performed. She didn’t like it if the rider moved too much or tried to push. She wanted to do things by herself. It’s worked for her this year. She liked the distance tonight.”

“She’s won three races now so we’ll look to run her in a handicap or allowance,” Francisco added.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez’s A Walking Secret, who was making her 2013 debut, finished second and was followed by Stella La Rosa, Barrel Babe, Cant Buy Class and Bolt Lightly.


Champions Night also featured a pair of Claiming Stakes races, which are not official AQHA stakes. The $15,000 Sophomore Claiming Stakes was the first race on the card and it featured Ed Allred’s About To Fire scoring a neck victory over J. Francisco Diaz’s Bonos Jeans. Saddled by Jose Flores and ridden by Cruz Mendez, About To Fire picked up her third win in 13 starts. The gelding by Walk Thru Fire was claimed out of this race by trainer Dan Francisco for owner Link Newcomb. Bonos Jeans was also claimed. He went to trainer Humberto Loma and owner Maria Rodriguez.

Alberto Duenas’ Flyin Kyle was the evening’s final race – the $17,500 Senior Claiming Stakes at 400 yards. Ridden by Raul Valenzuela for trainer Jose Moreno, the Corona Czech gelding has now won his last three starts. He earned $9,625 for covering the 400 yards in :19.842.