Clayton and Kaye Russell’s A Corona Habit won his second victory in a row and first in as many starts at Los Alamitos Race Course following the running of the $15,000 The Plan Handicap for 2-year-olds at Los Alamitos. The Plan is one of several races hosted by Los Alamitos in 2013 for horses based in Canada and in the Intermountain and Northwest regions.
Ridden by Francisco Rubio for trainer Mark Skeen, A Corona Habit posted a half length victory while covering the 350 yards in :17.744. Purchased at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale last year, A Corona Habit will make his next start in the trials to the Wild West Futurity on Sunday, October 6.
“The Wild West is a great race for horsemen in our part of the country,” said Clayton Russell of Emmett, Idaho. “It helps our area a great deal because it’s a chance for our horses to run for some good money while avoiding some of the tough 2-year-olds out there. It’s also another reason to own a Quarter Horses. For us, we’re always hoping to have a horse that’s good enough to run at Los Alamitos. The Wild West is a great opportunity to do that for a good purse.”
The Russells have campaigned horses at Los Alamitos for many years.
“We had an 870 horse named BCR Quiz The Blurr that won a couple of stakes races here,” he said. “He’s the biggest horse that we’ve owned. We’ve always had two or three horses each year. This year we have three babies that Mark Skeen is breaking for us that we plan to race next year. That’s pretty much the size of our operation. We used to send horses to Blane Schvaneveldt here at Los Alamitos. Lin Melton and Mark Skeen would train them for us back home and then they would go to Blane’s barn. We bought horses at Blane’s sale and we still come out to buy horses at the Los Alamitos (Equine Sale). Those horses have been good to us over the years.”
Bred by Mark and Peggy Brown, A Corona Habit improved his record to three wins from six starts. Skeen is hoping that this is the start of good things for the Corona Czech gelding at Los Alamitos.
“He is getting better and better,” Skeen said. “He got sick in the spring and that set us back a little bit. He’s doing well right now. He’s a nice horse and we’re looking forward to seeing him run the rest of the year.”
A winner of $4,974 going into his Los Alamitos debut, A Corona Habit earned $8,250 for his victory in The Plan. He’s now earned $13,224 in his career.
Denny and Sandy Weigt’s Well Worth It, who ran in both the Bitterroot Futurity and John Deere Northwest Juvenile Challenge, earned $3,375 for finishing second. Monty Arrossa saddled the Carters Cartel filly, who was ridden by Jay Conklin. She’s now finished first or second in five of her six career starts. Gary and Jeralyn Messenger’s Fames Version earned $1,875 for running third. Jays Powerstroke, Boy Wonder and Smoothe Movin Chic completed the field.