Jan. 10-11 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 January 10-11, 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.

Hialeah Park
A pair of double-digit outsiders posted stakes wins over a sloppy racing surface Sunday afternoon at Hialeah Park, with 14-1 longshot The Ocean King proving best in the $27,500 Signature Stakes at 350 yards and 10-1 upsetter Oh My Gol Sis prevailing in the $22,625 Speedball Stakes at 110 yards.

The win for Oh My Gol Sis, a 7-year-old Sis B Gol gelding who tallied a win for the fourth time at Hialeah Park and seventh time overall, was accomplished in track record time of :6.893 seconds for 110 yards. That clocking shaved .197 of a second off the mark set by Speedball Stakes eighth-place finisher Maxanita Silver Chip just eight days ago.

The $23.80 winner outran eventual runner-up Scream N Eagle in the late stages of the race to score by one-half length. Another two heads separated third and fourth-place finishers Jess A Corona and Sweet N Salty.

Oh My Gol’s victory gave trainer Elio Vazquez not only his initial career stakes win but his first-ever training triumph. The young conditioner saddled Oh My Gol Sis, ridden by Oscar Delgado, for owner Elio Ruiz Vazquez. The gelding earned $13,575 for his connections and increased his lifetime earnings to $69,722. Oh My Gol Sis was bred in Texas by Guerras Racing Stable.

In the Signature Stakes, The Ocean King wore down 3-5 post time favorite Paint Candy Flying in the final yards to win by a neck in a time of :17.679 for 350 yards. Dreamnwideopen finished one-half length behind the runner-up in third place, a neck ahead of fourth-place finisher Jump Street Blues.

The Ocean King, a 4-year-old colt by Corona Cartel, rewarded his backers at the mutuel windows with a $30.80 return, scoring under the veteran Shanley Jackson for trainer Matt Frazier, who saddled the winner for the Ocean King Syndicate. The Ocean King, registering his third lifetime victory, earned $16,500 and upped his lifetime earnings to $41,000. Bred by Lucas Racing Inc., The Ocean King is a half brother to world champion Wave Carver and champion Ocean Runaway out of the Runaway Winner mare Runaway Wave.

Los Alamitos
Owner and breeder Martha Wells had several reasons to look forward to the running of the $20,000 Barbra B Handicap Sunday at Los Alamitos. For starters, Wells had two horses running in the Barbra B with one of them being her longtime favorite sprinter, the 8-year-old Forrest Fire, who was making his 50th career start. She was also excited to watch her Separatist gelding Phone Tag, who was making his second outing at 550 yards after finishing third at that distance in the Paul Ford Handicap on December 12.

In the end, Wells found herself in the winner’s circle thanks to the 15-1 longshot Phone Tag. The California-bred ran a perfect race from the outside post number nine to earn his first ever victory at Los Alamitos and his second in 18 career starts. Forrest Fire made her owner proud as well, as he gave it his all while being bumped in the first ever outing at 550 yards. The three-time stakes winner by Walk Thru Fire finished in sixth place.

Ridden by Rodolfo Arvizu for trainer Paul Jones, Phone Tag battled with Double Bar S Ranch’s Jess Bring It for the early lead before sailing past him in the final yards to post a half-length victory. Ed Allred’s China Wall was flying late to dead-heat with Jess Bring It for second place. Phone Tag covered the distance in :27.60 over a sloppy track.

“I galloped this horse on Tuesday and he felt great,” Arvizu said. “I’ve ridden him before so I know him. He just felt like he wanted to run. He was so easy to ride tonight. He just kept on going.”

Phone Tag earned $11,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $51,761.

“He won a futurity in Arizona,” Wells added. “He had not done as well here so Paul suggested that we try him at 870 yards. We gave him a workout (660 yards in :37.10 on November 25) and then we ran him in the Paul Ford at 550. He got a little short in that race, but it helped him a lot. He looked good tonight and Rodolfo gave him a great ride. It was a sweet surprise. We’ll keep running at 550 and at 870 yards. Maybe he’ll be another No Pet Peeves for me.”

Wells was referring to her multiple 870-yard stakes winning runner. No Pet Peeves won six stakes races during his career in the late 1990s and early 2000s, while also starting 69 times and earning $208,197.

“I think he can go the distance,” Jones added. “He posted a pretty good time considering the (sloppy) track.”  

Trained by Chris O’Dell and ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, Jess Bring It earned $3,500, as did the Scott Willoughby-trained China Wall, who was ridden by Carlos Huerta.

Hugos Private Jet ran fourth and Siete Tres was fifth. Forrest Fire, Forgotten Dynasty, Balata Joe Now and Im Corralitos Baby completed the field.

“It looked like Forrest Fire came back alright and he looks great,” Wells said. “In the past he has not done well after it has rained on the track. I still love him and I’m looking forward to his 51st start.”

Louisiana Downs
Louisiana Downs on Saturday opened its American Quarter Horse meet with a pair of stakes, one going long and the other going short. In the $15,000 Harrah’s Dash Stakes at 250 yards, Weetona Stanley’s First Prize Shaunda scored a half-length victory in a time of :13.215 with John Hamilton in the saddle. Bred in Oklahoma by Stanley and W.E. Smith, First Prize Shaunda won last year’s Grade 3 Decketta Stakes at Remington Park, and this latest victory improved her bankroll to $144,982 with a record of 13-7-0-2. She is a 5-year-old daughter of PYC Paint Your Wagon.

In the $15,000 Marathon Stakes at 870 yards, Renato Contreras’ TF Corona N Passion drew away to a 2 ¾-length victory at odds of 13-1. Also ridden by John Hamilton and conditioned by Steven Salazar, the Louisiana-bred gelding by Too Tough To Catch stopped the timer at :46.914 to earn his first career stakes win. The 5-year-old gelding, who was bred by Steve Tate, has spent most of his career in the claiming ranks and last time out started for a $5,000 tag. His record now stands at 15-5-1-2 with earnings of $46,346. Even-money favorite Eyesa Shoofly Dandy stumbled at the start and lost rider Dennis Means.

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