Bill Hoburg’s BH Lisas Boy earned a provisional berth to the $600,000 Champion of Champions while completing a career grand slam of prestigious Grade 1 stakes races after his victory in Sunday’s $125,000 Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship at 440 yards.
By winning this race, BH Lisas Boy’s is the first Quarter Horse with career victories in the Robert Boniface, Go Man Go Handicap, Vessels Maturity, and Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship. The 11-time Los Alamitos stakes winner also won the Grade 1 Bank of America Championship Challenge here in 2018, leaving the Grade 1 Champion of Champions as the only major race for older horses at Los Alamitos to be added to his great list of accomplishments.
“That’s our goal,” Hoburg said after watching BH Lisas Boy score his 23rd win in 42 career starts. “It appears to me that being 7-years-old he’s at the top of his game. I thought he’d probably (be retired) by now being that old. His older brother that I pony off of, he was a graded winner as well. When he got to be 6-years-old he said ‘I’m done.’ Another of his brothers did the same thing. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with this horse, but this horse just keeps putting it out there. He’ll have a couple of weeks off. He’ll be in light training and then we’ll gear him back up for the Champion of Champions. This was his last race until then. We thought about running him in the Bank of America Championship (on October 26), but we decided to keep him here. This is home for him. He loves his house and he loves this track. I love Los Alamitos. This is where he’s going to hang out until the Champion of Champions.”
Ridden by 18-year-old jockey Oscar Andrade Jr., BH Lisas Boy was fourth at the start, but he turned on his jets at the halfway point of the race on the way covering the quarter of a mile distance in :21.409. With his late rush to the wire, BH Lisas Boy finished a neck ahead of 2018 AQHA champion aged stallion Tarzanito. Katies Easy Moves, who had the lead for the first half of the race, finished third with He Looks Hot, last year’s Robert Boniface winner, finishing fourth. BH Lisas Boy earned $62,500 for the win to take his career earnings to $921,053. BH Lisas Boy will now make his third start in the Champion of Champions. He was third to eventual World Champion Bodacious Eagle last year and fifth to Mr PYC To You in 2017.
“(In 2016) we were unfortunate to have to run against a horse named Heza Dasha Fire,” said Hoburg of the horse that beat BH Lisas Boy in that’s year Go Man Go and Robert Boniface. “That year I had enough races in him. If I ran in the Z. Wayne he would have qualified (to the Champion of Champions), but I didn’t want to have one race over the line with him. I like my horse better than money. I’ve tried to manage him a little bit better.”
As for Andrade Jr., he has ridden the veteran gelding a total of five times resulting in three graded stakes wins and a pair of second place finishes against Grade 1 competitors. The young pilot was pleased with the way BH Lisas Boy left the starting gate in this race.
“He exploded out of there,” he said. “I think he broke sensational. It’s the best he’s done for me. I’m speechless. This has been such a great opportunity.”
A1A Racing’s Tarzanito was outstanding in the Robert Boniface in what may have been the final start of his career, as the 2018 AQHA champion aged stallion will enter stud in 2020 at Robicheaux Ranch in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. And if this was his final start, what a way to go out.
“I’m so proud of him,” said owner Dr. George Fallieras. “He bumped a little at the start, but ran a great race after that. I think this may have been his last start. It’s been such a blast to watch him race over the course of his career.”
Tarzanito, the winner of the Go Man Go last year, earned $21,250 for running second to take his career earnings to $429,657. He’s hit the board in 18 of 26 career starts. Eddie Garcia piloted the son of Favorite Cartel for trainer Yanet Rodriguez.
Caballo Rapido LLC and Five Livestock Company LLC’s Katies Easy Moves earned $12,500 for running third. The Monty Arrossa-trained sprinter led for a lot of the race before BH Lisas Boy and Tarzanito caught him in the final 110 yards. Katies Easy Moves also has berth to the Champion of Champions after winning the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity on July 7. He was second to BH Lisas Boy in the Go Man Go and for his career has hit the board in 30 of 37 lifetime starts. Ed Allred’s He Looks Hot earned $8,750 for running fourth to take his career earnings to $1,314,680. The top four finishers were followed by Yanque, Hotstepper, Fenian Faith, Bos Time Machine, Jesstacartel, and Eagles Fly Higher.