Mr PYC To You Scores Upset Victory in Champion of Champions

The 4-year-old stallion posts the biggest upset in the 45-year history of the race.

Q-Racing Journal

A 60-1 longshot, Mr PYC To You on Saturday posted the biggest upset in the history of the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Sent to post at odds of 60-1, Mr PYC To You responded with a half-length victory in Saturday's 440-yard, $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) at Los Alamitos.

Mr PYC To You covered his quarter-mile trip in :21.618 under jockey Carlos Huerta. The 4-year-old stallion by Mr PYC To You races for Denise and Ron Van Amburgh and trainer Jose Flores.

Mr PYC To You returned a $123 win mutuel, the highest in the 45-year history of the Champion of Champions. The previous record for a win payoff was held by Mr Doty Bars, who returned a $46.20 win mutuel in 1979.

Heza Dasha Fire, the 11-10 favorite and winner of the 2015 Champion of Champions, finished second to complete a $242.70 ($1) exacta.


Ron and Denise Van Amburgh, co-owners of
Mr PYC To You, pose with the Champion of
Champions trophy in the Los Alamitos
winner's circle. PHOTO: Los Alamitos

“(Mr Pyc To You) got it done,” said Flores, who also trains Heza Dasha Fire. “I guess I had nice horses in this race. Both of them were equal and they showed it today. I thought Heza Dasha Fire had it won. At the midway point I thought Heza Dasha Fire had him.  At the last jump I see the black horse (Mr Pyc To You) and I said ‘Did he get him?’

"I had mixed emotions," he added. "I was happy for Van Amburghs and myself and I was sad for my other horse (Heza Dasha Fire) too. Heza Dasha Fire was training well, and I thought he was good enough. I just think Mr Pyc To You ran the race of his life and did it at the right time.”

Mr Pyc To You made the field to the Champion of Champions after Firing Tools tested positive for the B2-agonist Clenbuterol after the November 19 Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials. The stallion was coming off of a third-place finish, one length behind winner Jess Good Reason, in the first division of the Directors Trials.

“We were hoping for him to hit the board in order to get him more credentials to become a stallion," Flores said. "He showed he’s that kind of caliber horse. He was a good horse and qualified to a Grade 1 futurity before, but he’s just now getting better and better. We got lucky to get in the race.”

Mr PYC To You was bred in Oklahoma by The Mixer Ranch. The stallion has won six of 20 starts, and the $375,000 winner's share of the Champion of Champions purse pushed his career earnings to $473,686.

The Van Amburghs own two-thirds of Mr Pyc To You, and Flores owns the other third. The Van Amburghs had previously campaigned the Oklahoma-bred in partnership with Jimmy Harrel and Howard Nichols.    

“Mr Pyc To You qualified as a 2-year-old to the Rainbow Futurity, but then he slabbed,” Ron Van Amburgh said. “Then at Ruidoso (as a 3-year-old), he qualified for all three derby consolations. We knew we had a good horse that liked 440. That was our only thing. The Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial was at 400 and we felt that he needed 440. We were hoping (to get in the Champion of Champions), as he was the first alternate. For this horse to do this, what a blessing it is.”

Zoomin For Spuds, the winner of last year's Champion of Champions, finished third, a head behind Heza Dasha Fire. Jess Good Reason, BH Lisas Boy, Da One Two Special, He Looks Hot, Time For Jess, Chazaq, and The Fiscal Cliff completed the order of finish.

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