Dan J. Wilson’s Run Raging Rhino Run was more gazelle than rhino at the start of the $20,000 Wheatland Handicap, a move that helped him establish a two length early advantage on the way to a neck victory in the 870-yard test on Saturday at Los Alamitos Race Course.
With jockey Minor Arana hustling the Quarter Horse Run Raging Rhino Run around the turn, the son of FDD Dynasty remained tough and focused down the stretch, as he held off the late charge of the Thoroughbred Candy Zip. In the process, Run Raging Rhino Run avenged a four length defeat to Candy Zip in the Rossmoor Handicap on March 16. This time around, the Felix Gonzalez-trained Run Raging Rhino Run was determined to be the one setting the pace in the Wheatland.
“The horse left the gate great,” Arana said. “He broke slow in the Rossmoor, but this time he started just like we were hoping that he would. I told Felix that we would be gone with a good start. Candy Zip was coming after me, but we didn’t soften. It was a great race.”
“He’s a great horse right now and the older he gets the better,” Gonzalez said. “He was a very tough minded horse during his younger years, but he’s really improved his demeanor and is now a great professional. He’s doing things great, he was a great heart and has become a warrior. I thought Candy Zip was going to beat us. I thought he was going to get us in the stretch, but fortunately our horse stayed strong to the wire.”
Run Raging Rhino Run covered the 870 yards in :44.856. Bred by WG Racing, he earned $11,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $75,624. This was his ninth win in 25 career starts. He’s won two races and finished second in two other races in his four outings this year. He won the Barbra B Handicap at 550-yards earlier this year. Gonzalez is now seven wins away from 700 Quarter Horse victories in his career at Los Alamitos.
Robert Bean’s Candy Zip, a convincing winner in the Rossmoor, was seventh at the start before mounting his challenge in the final 300 yards. He came up just short of victory, but he earned $4,500 for his solid second place finish. Candy Zip has now earned $80,873. Turn Your Eyes, Papa G, Foxy Fresh, Bound To Bet, Newport Coaster and El Koreano completed the field.