LARC NEWS Posted: 7/27/2014 7:04:53 AM

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     Abigail Kawananakoa’s Native Tea Rose (left) won the $37,000 Matron Stakes by a neck over the gutsy Beautiful Fire to post the fourth stakes victory of her racing career at Los Alamitos. In addition to the Matron Stakes, Native Tea Rose had previously won the Grade 2 $100,000 Charger Bar Handicap on January 5, the $35,000 Las Damas Handicap on December 8, and the Stel Corona Overnight Handicap on August 16.

“What a great race from this filly,” said Paul Jones, who saddled Native Tea Rose. “I had two horses earlier on the card that got beat at the end so when I saw Beautiful Fire coming on strong I was starting to get worried that she was going to get by Native Tea Rose. Native Tea Rose stayed strong and didn’t let her go by.”

Ridden by Ramon Sanchez, the Bob and Jerry Gaston-bred mare earned $20,000 for the win to take her lifetime earnings to $258,655. She covered the distance in :19.705.

“We’ll now look at the racing schedule and figure out what’s next for her. Our ultimate goal would be the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (on September 28), “ Jones added.

The winner of the Mildred Vessels earns an automatic starting berth to the Champion of Champions.

Jones also saddled Mimi Wells’ 7-year-old gelding Forrest Fire to win the $20,000 Sprint Stakes. In one of the most exciting races of the night, Forrest Fire rallied from fifth place to catch Separate Card and Thrifty in the final strides to win by a nose. The son of Walk Thru Fire was picking up his ninth win in 46 career starts. He earned $11,000 for his effort to lift her career bankroll to $326,958. This is the third stakes win of his career. He previously won the Katella Handicap and Whosleavingwho Handicap. He also has a slew of Grade 1 stakes racing experience, particularly during his freshman and sophomore campaigns.

“He’s a classy old guy,” Jones said. “He looked beat early on, but was flying at the end.”

“That was such an exciting race,” Wells said. “He’s my boy and I’m so excited to see him win.”

Asuncion Madrid’s Separate Card earned $4,500 for running second, while Fabian Griego’s Thrifty earned $2,500 for running third.

***

Trainer Jimmy Glenn Jr. saddled a pair of winners for Ed Allred. Quirky became a stakes winner thanks to superb finish at even money in the Debutante. With Cruz Mendez aboard, she covered the distance in a time of :17.519 at 350 yards. Quirky had previously finished second in the La Primera Del Ano Derby. She was also fifth in the Ed Burke Million Futurity last year.

“This is the first time I’ve ridden for Jimmy Glenn and he gave me a great one to ride,” Mendez said. “She broke a little slow, but she closed great.”

Quirky has won two of seven starts and her earnings of $13,750 pushed her lifetime total to $114,036.

Jaime Gomez’s Diamonds N Dynasty was second, while Susan Lucas’ Hannahs Double Love finished third.

Ridden by Carlos Huerta, Take A Look gave Glenn his other winner of the night in the Freshman Fillies Stakes. Sent off at 4-1 odds, Take A Look crossed the wire a half-length ahead of Helen Beamer’s Tavarua while covering the distance in :17.716. This was her second win from three career starts. She came into this race after a third place finish in a tough allowance race that included Kindergarten Futurity fastest qualifier Zoomilicious and Governor’s Cup Futurity sixth place finisher Mystery Man. 

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Champions Night has been good to Alberto Duenas. The owner won his first trophy ever with Flying Kyle in the Senior Claiming Stakes for $10,000 claimers last year, and now he’s got two trophy after Conquer All outdueled Front And Center to win the Jens L. List Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds.

Duenas owns Conquer All in partnership with Raul Moreno. Santiago Mendez piloted the Foose gelding for trainer Jose Antonio Moreno. Conquer All has won three of five starts since being claimed for $16.000 back on September 27.

“I started owning horses about four years ago,” Duenas said. “I’ve only had about six horses, but we’ve had some good luck with them. This was a good race. We had our eye on this horse for a long time before we claimed him. We liked him a lot.”

Conquer All covered the 400 yards in :19.792. He earned $13,750 for first place to take his career earnings to $32,132. Ronald Skeen and Fawna Knight’s Front And Center earned $5,625 for finishing second. Martha Wells’ Inpursuit ran third.

*** 

Ed Allred’s most dominant performance on the Champions Night card came in the $20,000 550-Yard Sophomore Stakes, as the owner was represented by the top four finishers in the race. Allred was also the breeder of the top five finishers in this event. The win went to the Kiddy Up filly Sadie Sis. She was the only female sprinter in this event.

“She’s always wanted more distance,” Willoughby said. “We had (8-5 favorite) Look Of A Dasher in this race, but I thought Sadie Sis would do well. She’s always looked for more ground. She’s by Kiddy Up and we just think he’s going to be an outstanding sire.”

Ridden by Antonio Alberto, Sadie Sis earned $11,000 for the win. This was her fourth win in 13 career starts. Sadie Sis was also one of only three wire-to-wire winners on Champions Night. Once Over and Tac In My Shoe were the other two.

Sadie Sis was followed by Allred’s Look Of A Dasher, China Wall, and Mesa Marvel. Allred also bred fifth place finisher Miner Sam, who races for Anna MacPherson.

 ***

Champions Night kicked off with a pair of longshot winners in the form of Martha Wells’ Hez Stellar and Madison Rae Baber’s Almost Always True. The two homebreds were both were sent off at 18-1 odds in their respective races, and they both came through for their supporters. Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Paul Jones, Hez Stellar posted a neck victory in the $15,000 Senior Claiming Stakes for $5,000 claimers, while the Jose Flores-trained Almost Always True won the $17,500 Sophomore Claiming Stakes for $10,000 claimers. Cruz Mendez rode the Tac It Like A Man gelding out of True Mistral.

Meanwhile, Hez Stellar is out of Chicks Tell, a proud mother of three stakes winners during this Champions Night.  Chicks Tell is also the mother of the 7-year-old multiple stakes winner Forrest Fire and of Dash To Tell, who won the Sophomore Claiming Stakes for $5,000 claimers. Owned by Francisco Diaz and trained by his son, Lindolfo, Dash to Tell rallied to win as the even money favorite. Bred by Marthat Wells, the son of TR Dasher was also ridden by leading pilot Cruz Mendez.     

“I have 10 horses running (on Champions Night) and that’s a pretty good number for a small breeder like me,” Wells said. “It’s a good night for Chicks Tell.”

Owned by Jose Camacho and trained by Herbert Ho, Tac In My Shoe posted her fourth win from her last five starts to win the $17,500 Senior Claiming Stakes for $10,000 claimers. With Cruz Mendez aboard, the daughter of Tac It Like A Man earned $9,625 for the win.

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