BH Lisas Boy Wins Winter Championship

The homebred gelding overcomes obstacles to win Sunday's $157,250 final at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

Bill Hoburg's BH Lisas Boy successfully defended his Los Alamitos Winter Championship title on Sunday. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

BH Lisas Boy, a homebred 6-year-old son of Mighty Invictus owned and trained by Bill Hoburg, sprinted to a neck victory in Sunday's $157,250 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse.

Ridden by Cesar DeAlba, BH Lisas Boy covered 400 yards in :19.636. In addition to posting a 96 speed index, the gelding became the first back-to-back winner of the Winter Championship, which had its first running in 2001.

 
Mark McKinzie (second from left) and
Jean McKinzie (center) present the
Winter Championship trophy to Bill
Hoburg (second from right). PHOTO:
Los Alamitos Racecourse
 

Zoomin For Spuds, the 5-2 favorite in the field of nine, finished second.

“(Zoomin For Spuds) was about a half-length in front of us,” De Alba said. “My horse broke on his left lead, but 50 to 75 yards he switched to his right and I knew that by switching to that gear that I was going to get him. I was pretty confident from there.”

BH Lisas Boy was coming off of a third-place finish, a neck behind LD Is Back, in his Winter Championship trial on January 21. However, the gelding bled in that race and needed to post a satisfactory workout before he could race in Sunday's final. Because the Los Alamitos racing surface was closed for renovation from February 3-4, the gelding had to be shipped to Santa Anita to complete the work.

On February 5, BH Lisas Boy worked 220 yards in :12.60 with no issues, giving him the clearance to enter the Winter Championship final.

“I knew that we could get back," Hoburg said. "We’ve been through this before with horses in the past, and like I was telling some friends of mine, it takes a village to win a horse race. I’ve had so much support behind me with this horse. Scott Craigmyle (the Los Alamitos assistant director of racing and stable superintendent) setting up the workout at Santa Anita and friends of mine came together and got behind me to give me suggestions on what we needed to do. It all came together.”

Hoburg also schooled BH Lisas Boy in the starting gate on Friday.

“(Schooling him) was the deciding factor,” Hoburg said. “This horse is a very mental horse, and how he walked into the gate and stood was very important to me because I wanted him to have confidence. He walked in the gate with all the confidence in the world and I knew right there that we would be alright.

"He was ready," he added. "In the race, he stood like a statue in the starting gate. This horse is my best friend in the world. I love this horse and when you talk to him he looks you right in the eyes. He’s a very special horse."

In addition to banking the $66,045 winner's share of the Winter Championship, BH Lisas Boy earned a berth in this year's Champion of Champions (G1), which will be run in December. BH Lisas Boy finished fifth, 1 1/4 lengths behind upset winner Mr PYC To You, in last year's Champion of Champions.

All told, BH Lisas Boy has won 17 of 29 starts and has earned $519,243.

Jess Hawk, Kissed By An Eagle, Da One Two Special, LD Is Back, Air Force Won, Seared, and Worth Doing completed the official order of finish.

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