Moonist, Far Niente Match Up in Los Alamitos Invitational

The winner of Saturday's Grade 1, 440-yard race earns a berth in the Champion of Champions.

Q-Racing Journal

Ron Hartley's Moonist is among the 10 aged runners entered in Saturday's Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1). PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Moonist and Far Niente are among the 10 aged runners entered in Saturday’s 440-yard, $150,000 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse.

Trained by John Cooper for owner Ron Hartley, Moonist has become one of the all-time great runners in Los Alamitos history. The Separatist gelding has won 10 stakes races at the Orange County oval, a feat that has only been matched 12 other times in the track’s 64-year history.

“He’s a dandy,” Cooper said of Moonist, last year’s AQHA champion aged gelding. “He’s smart, and he doesn’t waste a thing.”

Far Niente is trained by Jose Hernandez for owners Tom Atwood and John Wells. The 5-year-old gelded son of FDD Dynasty was scratched out of the September 20, $100,000 Go Man Go Handicap (G1), which was won by Moonist, due to a minor foot ailment.

The Los Alamitos Invitational Championship will mark Far Niente’s first start since July 5, when he scored a wire-to-wire, 1 1/4-length victory in the 400-yard, $145,500 Vessels Maturity (G1).

The winner of this race will earn a berth in the Grade 1, 440-yard Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on December 12.

The complete lineup, in post position order including jockey assignments -- Fiery Kimbo (Carlos Marquez), Remarkableyesapoweer (Cruz Mendez), All Out Arrogant (Cody Jensen), Moonist (Cesar DeAlba), Seperate Interest (Oscar Peinado), Joe Legacy (Jesus Canales), Well And Good (Carlos Huerta), Far Niente (Eduardo Nicasio), French Fury (Rodolfo Arvizu), and Rock You (Jimmy Dean Brooks).

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