Owner and breeder Ed Allred enjoyed a banner evening during the 15th edition of California Breeders Champions Night for state-bred Quarter Horses on Saturday at Los Alamitos .
The AQHA Hall of Fame horseman had five wins as an owner during the all-stakes 14-race card, headed by Discontent’s impressive victory (photo on left) in the night’s richest race, the $352,500 Governor’s Cup Futurity, and by Once Over’s win in the card’s highest graded stakes race – the Restricted Grade 1 $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap. Allred also won the $25,000 Debutante Stakes with Quirky; the $25,000 Freshman Fillies Stakes with Take A Look; and the $20,000 550-Yard Sophomore Stakes with Sadie Sis. All five stakes win came with horses that Allred bred. Separatist sired Discontent and Take A Look, while Walk Thru Fire sired Once Over, Stel Corona sired Quirky, and Kiddy Up sired Sadie Sis. Allred bred half of the winners on the 14-race card. Allred bred $25,000 Jens List Jr. Memorial Stakes winner Conquer All and Allred and Tom Seibly bred $25,000 Freshman Stakes winner Bouncer.
“It’s a very gratifying night,” Allred said. “But there’s also a little caveat to it. We’ve lost in California some notable breeders in recent years. Our game has been saddened by the loss of Spencer Childers, Frank ‘Scoop’ Vessels, and some years back we also lost Jens List. We haven’t been able to replace them and we need to. Dr. Steve Burns has become a major force in breeding, but we’d like to have more breeders. It would mean that I wouldn’t win as many races on this night, but that would be okay.”
Trained by Scott Willoughby and ridden by Rodrigo Aceves, Discontent’s performance in the Governor’s Cup Futurity would have been an impressive effort on any night. The gray gelding broke right alongside Steve Burn’s No Arizona and the dueled for the first part of the race. Discontent began to pull away 130 yards into the race, and from there he went on to post a ½ length victory as the 2-1 favorite. No Arizona, the longest shot on the board at 45-1 odds, held on to finish second for trainer Mike Casselman and jockey Cesar De Alba.
“We were running together right from the start,” Aceves said. “Then my horse started going and going and he dominated at the end.”
Discontent earned $148,050 while posting his third victory in five career starts.
“He is out of Reeds Val, a mare from very good bloodlines owned by Paul Reed,” Allred said. “I bought her for $90,000, but she had not been a good producer and had been a little disappointing. I always believed in her because she came from the same family as Ed Burke Memorial Futurity winner Mega Storm, but her babies always seemed to have bad luck. They would get hurt and were born with some type of an issue. This makes up for a lot of it.”
Bred by Foose out of the multiple stakes finalist Miss Kittys Bar Bet, No Arizona earned $59,925 for finishing in second place. Allred’s He Looks Hot, a full brother to Spencer Childers winner Once Over, broke out from post number 10 at the start, but was flying late while maintaining third place.
“I liked He Looks Hot a little better coming into this race,” Allred said. “Discontent ran a great race, but I still think that later on I’ll like He Looks Hot a little bit more.”
Allred’s Chicanery finished fourth with Fiery Kimbo, Mystery Man, Kickin Your Can, Hot Shot, Dash Of Red, and Hrh Walkonfire completing the field. Allred bred seven of the 10 horses in this race.
Once Over ran second in the Spencer Childers Handicap last year to Allred’s Check My Thoughts, but this year’s 400-yard dash was all his thanks to a flying start and a solid finish to hold off Dean Frey’s Snowboundbeast. Like He Looks Hot, Once Over is the son of Walk Thru Fire and out of Look Her Over, who won the 550-yard Sophomore Stakes in the 2007 edition of Champions Night.
“It’s a great night for Look Her Over,” said trainer Scott Willoughby, who saddled Look Her Over to victory in that race. “She’s the mother of Once Over and He Looks Hot, plus Take A Look won the Freshman Fillies Stakes and Dashing Over was third in that race as well. Look Of A Dasher also finished second in the 550-Yard Sophomore Stakes. ”
Once Over has now won three stakes races this season with all them coming with Aceves aboard. None of them, however, were as nerve wracking for his connections as this one. Waiting for the race to begin, Once Over broke through the gate and had to be walked back into the gate.
“I thought we were done,” Willoughby said. “He had to be loaded back in the gate and I didn’t know if he would have anything left. I thought that maybe he had run his race right there.”
Once Over had plenty left, as he flew from post number six on the way to a ½ length victory. He earned $51,440 for his fifth win in 19 starts to take his lifetime earnings to $144,254.
“We’re hoping to qualify him to the Champion of Champions,” Willoughby said. “The Go Man Go Handicap (on September 20) and Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship are possibilities (on October 18).”
Bred by Anita Bramlette, Snowboundbeast earned $17,615 for running third. He has finished second or better in eight of 10 career starts. Martha Wells’ New Look finished third. Mister Michael, Stel Heights, Henoshersecret, Last To Check Him, and High School Secrets completed the field.