February 24-25 Stakes Recap

A recap of non-graded stakes.

Q-Racing Journal

Gone Cartel (red cap, white silks) got up at the wire to win Saturday's Mr Jess Perry Stakes at Louisiana Downs. PHOTO: Hodges Photography

Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the week of February 24-25. For recaps of graded stakes, Bank of America Racing Challenge events, and stakes with purses of $100,000 or more, see the individual recaps in the Racing News section. This page will be updated throughout the week.

Los Alamitos
Apollitical Stone, a son of Apollitical Jess racing for Steve Mickaelian and trainer Jose Flores, sprinted to a clear 1 3/4-length victory in Sunday's 400-yard, $15,000 Oatman Handicap for 3-year-olds.

Apollitical Stone was all alone at
the wire in Sunday's $15,000
Oatman Handicap. PHOTO: Los
Alamitos Racecourse

Under jockey Cruz Mendez, Apollitical Stone stopped the timer in :19.864 while scoring his fourth win in nine outs and first stakes victory. The Oklahoma-bred gelding banked the $8,250 winner's share of the purse to push his earnings to $108,118.

“I’m very happy,” Mickaelian said. “It’s my first stakes win here. The horse had been training very well since his last race. We wondered a little bit about the rail, but the horse handled it beautifully.

"He got out of there and didn’t make any mistakes this time," he added. "It’s pretty exciting and maybe there will be more (stakes wins) to come. He’s definitely the best horse I’ve owned.”

Apollitical Stone was bred by JEH Stallion Station Oklahoma, and his resume includes a fourth-place finish in last year's Grade 1, 350-yard Ed Burke Million Futurity.

Favorite Fire Boy finished second and Corona Thru Fire, Seems Even Better, and Time To Leave completed the field.

Louisiana Downs
Tommy E. Rhodes' Gone Cartel stepped up in class to win Saturdays's 350-yard, $25,000 Mr Jess Perry Stakes (R) for state-breds.

Ridden by Damian Martinez for trainer Vann Haywood, Gone Cartel defeated Im All Out by a nose in :17.517 on a muddy and sealed track. In addition to earning a 101 speed index, the 5-year-old Coronas Leaving You gelding banked the $15,000 winner's share of the purse from his first career stakes victory.

Gone Cartel was bred by Chad Hart. The gelding brought in a three-race winning streak that included two wiins against state-bred claiming company. 

“He had been training so well, I really felt he could step up today,” said Haywood. “He didn’t break as sharp as he could have, but left good enough and came home strong.”

Haywood has been a fan of Gone Cartel since he first saw him in training as a 2-year-old.

“I tried to buy him from Doug Weeks three years ago and was finally able to get it done last October,” said Haywood.  “Doug calls me after each win and is really happy that the horse is doing so well.”

All told, Gone Cartel has won eight of 21 outs and has earned $143,082. He was a fiinalst in the 2016 Louisiana QHBA Derby (R) at Evangeline Downs.

TF Racee Runaway, MPS Shake Em N Style, Icanonlyemagine, WW Showtime, LDN Jessasaltydog, Scoopies Leaving You, One Hot Flame, and Coronaoro completed the order of finish.

On Sunday, Rayne Knight's The Cazador recorded the fastest qualifying time to the March 17, $87,506 Mardi Gras Derby (R) for Louisiana-bred 3-year-olds.

Ridden by John Hamilton for trainer Michael Zingelmann, The Cazador won the second of four 400-yard trials by a head in :19.922. The Sir Runaway Dash colt was winning for the second time in five outs, all in Louisiana.

The Cazador was bred by Zingelmann and Curtis Crenwelge. He has earned $18,628.

Click here for a complete list of finalists.

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