January 19-21 Stakes Recap

A recap of non-graded stakes.

Q-Racing Journal

Ron Hartley's One Proud Eagle earned his third career stakes win in Friday's Cypress Handicap. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

Following is a recap of all American Quarter Horse stakes for the week of January 19-21. 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
One Proud Eagle helped his trainer, John Cooper, celebrate his 80th birthday when the 4-year-old One Famous Eagle gelding sprinted to a wire-to-wire victory in Friday's $25,000 Cypress Handicap.

Racing for Ronald Hartley, One Proud Eagle went 350 yards in :17.573, and his margin of victory was a half of a length from Evil Genius. Cesar DeAlba rode the homebred gelding.

One Proud Eagle was bred in California. The gelding was making his first start since December 1, when he ran fourth in a 400-yard Southern California Derby (G2) trial.

After the race, Cooper was asked if winning a stakes at age 80 feels the same as winning one at 79.

“Absolutely,” Cooper said. “Maybe a little better. They get farther between, you know. (One Proud Eagle) is a nice horse. We had to do a little surgery on him. That’s why he had not been around, but he’s coming around nicely. We are thinking of a few nice races for him down the road.”

One of those races could be the Moonist Handicap on March 25. That’s a race that would mean a lot to Hartley and Cooper, as it honors the two-time champion who they raced.

Raul Ramirez Jr. rode Second Down
Leaving to a half-length win in
Saturday's Billy Montgomery Stakes.
PHOTO: Hodges Photography

“Let’s hope for the Moonist,” Hartley said. “That’s the one I’d like to win. It would be great. It would be really nice, super good. I told Cesar, this horse makes you look like a good rider. I was joking, of course, because Cesar is always excellent.”

One Proud Eagle has won seven of 14 starts, all at this track, and the $13,750 winner's share of the purse from his third career stakes score pushed his bankroll to $318,733.

Tarzanito ran third and was followed by AJS Anna Smoke, GS Wintermeyer, Jess A Cowboy, Viento Negro, and Stelfast.

Louisiana Downs
Making his sophomore debut, Second Down Leaving parlayed a sharp break from post 10 into a half-length victory in Saturday's $25,000 Billy Montgomery Stakes (R) for state-bred 3-year-olds.

Second Down Leaving covered 350 yards in :17.834 and earned a 91 speed index while racing against a reported 10-mph head wind. Raul Ramirez Jr. rode the bay son of Coronas Leaving You for owners Eulalio Argote and Victor Alvarado and trainer Javier Contreras.

Second Down Leaving was bred by Grant Farms LLC, and he was coming off of a second-place finish in the December 9 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes (RG2) at Fair Grounds. Raced exclusively in Louisiana, the gelding has won five of seven starts, and the $15,000 winner's share of the purse from his second career stakes victory bumped his bankroll to $131,788.

"He's more focused now than he was as a 2-year-old," said Contreras of Second Down Leaving. "We have several options for him going forward; maybe the Sam Houston Derby, and Delta (Downs) is a possibility as well."

JRS Taylors Runnaway, Fastdashing Lassie, JRS Natural Runaway, Mr Coco Pilota, Stormy T, Kerrys Corona, Jess Toastem, Dolls Regal Doc, and Games For Girls completed the order of finish.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.