Run Raging Rhino Run gave owner Dan J. Wilson his first ever stakes victory after outdueling Grade 1 stakes winner Mickey Ward by 1 ¼ lengths in the $20,000 Barbra B Handicap at 500 yards on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
“Thirty five years as an owner and this is my first stakes win,” Wilson said. “This is a special horse. We bought him with some partners up in Idaho, the Giltners. We raced his mom, who was a stakes placed filly. This one (Run Raging Rhino Run) was an orphan and my mom, Esther, actually raised him since he was a couple of weeks old. Every four hours she was getting up to give him his milk and to make sure he was taken care of. This is a special night.”
Ridden by Minor Arana for trainer Felix Gonzalez, Run Raging Rhino Run broke sharply from post number four and let his quickness take over. He had a head advantage over multiple stakes winner Joe Legacy and Mickey Ward at the halfway point of the race and then pulled away to record his eighth victory in 22 starts. The 6-year-old gelding by FDD Dynasty and out of Love That Six covered the distance in :26.90. Run Raging Rhino Run entered this race after finishing second in the Snowbound Superstar Handicap at 870 yards – a race in which he set the early pace. Razor sharp, Run Raging Rhino Run has finished in the money in each of his last five starts.
“We are really excited that we have a nice horse and he’s done a good job,” said Wilson, who works in the banking industry. “We like the horses a lot. We’ve been racing them a long, long time. Felix has been our trainer really since we started. Before he was a trainer he was breaking our horses. We had one of his very first winners. We’ve been doing this for a long time. We had a track record holder (at Fairplex Park) and had one that tied a track record. We’ve never had a stakes winner. Rhino is a special horse to us. He started in a claiming race and then just worked his way up. We’ve found that the FDD Dynasty babies mature as they get a little bit older. He likes to run and likes to run a long way. He used to be a hard horse to handle, partly because he thought he thinks he’s a human. He’s been a fun horse.”
Run Raging Rhino Run earned $11,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $58,779. This was his second victory at 550 yards and his seventh down the straightaway at Los Alamitos.
The Wilsons will continue enjoying their horses and racing at Los Alamitos.
“The fun is raising the horses,” Wilson added. “We have about 10 acres - at Gavilan Hills in Riverside County - and about 10-12 horses. We have three babies coming up. We usually run only have one or two horses a year, just for fun.”
For Gonzalez, the Quarter Horse wins was his 687th at Los Alamitos. He’ll soon become only the 14th trainer to reach the 700-win mark with Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos. Run Raging Rhino Run’s score in the Barbra B was also the first stakes win in Arana’s riding career.
Carolyn and Ralph Fales’ Mickey Ward earned $4,500 for his second place finish. Also sired by FDD Dynasty, the 8-year-old gelding was making his first start since winning the Grade 1, $100,000 Cox Ranches Distance Championship on November 17. Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Matt Fales, Mickey Ward has earned $126,591 in his career.
Greg Torgeson’s Joe Legacy finished third and was followed by Newport Coaster, Go Cash Stevie B, A Mere Icon, Dustys Classy Dash and Gt Runaway Date.