Dec. 12-14 Weekend Stakes Recap

A review of the non-graded stakes from this weekend.

Q-Racing Journal

Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the weekend of December 12-14, listed by track. For recaps of graded stakes and Bank of America Racing Challenge events, see the individual race recap stories posted in the Previews and Recaps section. This recap page will be updated throughout the weekend.

Los Alamitos
Unraced as a 2-year-old, Ed Allred’s Sweet TR has made up for lost time during her sophomore campaign. The TR Dasher filly scored her fifth win of the year and first stakes victory of her career on Friday night after beating six rivals in the $20,000 Paul Ford Memorial Handicap at Los Alamitos. Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Scott Willoughby, Sweet TR covered the 550 yards in :27.10. She had previously won twice at 300 yards, twice at 330 yards and once at 350 yards.

“This is a super filly,” Willoughby said. “She missed her entire freshman campaign because she got hurt, but we’ve always liked her a lot. Dr. Allred bought her at the 2012 Los Alamitos Equine Sale because he had bred this filly’s mother, Fervent. At the time Fervent had had a runner that was doing well (the multiple winner Emblaze) so that also attracted Dr. Allred to buy Sweet TR.”

Bred by CM Quarter Horses LLC, Sweet TR broke her maiden in her third attempt on March 23. The victory was the start of a three-race win streak that saw her post a pair of allowance wins. After running sixth in the California Breeders’ Debutante Stakes (R), Sweet TR enjoyed another allowance win on November 2 before facing an outstanding group of older mares in the Las Damas Handicap (G3). Sweet TR was fourth in the field of 10 that included multiple graded stakes winner Significant Heart, Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) winner Secretly Hot, recent Hawkish Handicap winner The Streakin Clean and 2013 champion aged mare Check N Fetch.

Primed and ready for the Paul Ford, Sweet TR had no trouble in this race while posting a 1 ¼ length victory even though she broke through the gate prior to the start.

“She was ready to go,” Willoughby said. “A horse started acting up and when she heard the noise she went. She’s a well balanced filly. She’s well put together and reminds me a lot physically of Look Her Over.”

Look Her Over is the mother of three-time stakes winner Once Over and 2014 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) finalist He Looks Hot. Look Her Over is also a half-sister to champions Hawkish and Hawkinson.

Willoughby also praised jockey Carlos Huerta for a job well done.

“Carlos is on fire right now,” said Willoughby of the meet’s third-leading Quarter Horse rider. “He works his butt off and he’s riding great right now.”

Sweet TR earned $11,000 for the win to take her career earnings to $38,380.

Double Bar S Ranch’s Jess Bring It earned $4,500 for running in second-place. Chris O’Dell saddled the gelding by Feature Mr Jess. Phone Tag, Front And Center, Inpursuit, Saide Sis, and Flash 76 completed the field. Eddies Jazzin was a late scratch.

Portland Meadows
At Portland Meadows on Sunday, Jaime and Martiniano Leon’s Lil Touch Of Dixie captured the $33,900 Baxter Andruss Oregon Bred Futurity (R) by three-quarters of a length with Kassie Guglielmino riding for trainer Juan Leon. The filly by the Thoroughbred stallion Sixthirteen dashed 400 yards in :20.244 for her fourth career win in six starts. Bred by David McBride, Lil Touch Of Dixie has banked $24,289.

Pablo Madrigal’s Diva B Gone, a filly by Mighty Invictus, took second with betting favorite Lebron 6 in third.

Sunland Park
In Saturday’s $85,000 Challenger Six Handicap (R) for New Mexico-breds at Sunland Park, jockey Joe Badilla Jr. and An Absolut Diamond broke sharply from the inside post and maintained a short lead throughout the 870-yard contest before hitting the wire three-quarters of a length in front. The 4-year-old gelding by Ketel Won, who is trained by Justin Joiner for owners Sandy Farris, Marc Jungers and Lisa McMinn, stopped the timer at :45.161 as the 2-1 favorite.

An Absolut Diamond improved his record to six wins from 16 starts with earnings of $163,685. This marked the gelding’s first stakes victory, but he previously had two stakes placings on the straightaway.

Victor Diaz’s homebred Coronas Boy, a three-time stakes winner and the second favorite in the wagering, finished a clear second with third choice Super Quintons in third.

Turf Paradise
Gilberto Jasso’s Specials Gold put on a winning performance Sunday at Turf Paradise as he drew clear to a 1 ¼-length victory in the $20,000 Mike Hastings Memorial Stakes with a 400-yard clocking of :19.814. In his last appearance at the Phoenix track the 5-year-old Voghts Gold gelding captured the Bank of America Turf Paradise Championship Challenge. This marked his first start back in Arizona after traveling to Prairie Meadows, where he finished eighth in the $357,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1). Ridden by Luis Gutierrez Jr. and trained by Heraclio Botello, Specials Gold is now a winner of seven of 29 starts with earnings of $160,015. He was bred in Oklahoma by A.C. Taylor.

Ralph and Carolyn Fales’ Block N Tackle took second-place money and Fal Vegas was third.

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