LARC NEWS Posted: 11/21/2020 11:42:57 PM




        Michael Pohl and Stacy Martin’s Grade 1 winner Curls Happy Wagon overcame a troubled journey to power her way to a gutsy nose victory over Lupe Ayon’s Galloping Goddess in the Grade 2, $50,000 Las Damas Handicap on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

          Curls Happy Wagon, a homebred 5-year-old mare by PYC Paint Your Wagon, bumped several times shortly after the start before clearing that rival to begin chasing Galloping Goddess. Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Juan Aleman, Curls Happy Wagon caught the leader with about 150 yards left in the 400-yard dash and the two continued their fight to the wire. In the end, it was Curls Happy Wagon who benefit in the final jump, winning in photo finish fashion to earn her ninth career win in 18 starts.

          The Oklahoma-bred has now won three graded stakes races in 2020 and five during her brilliant career.  In addition to the Las Damas, Curls Happy Wagon won the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap on September 20 and the Grade 2 Decketta Stakes at Remington Park on March 21. She’s a perfect two-for-two at Los Alamitos. Curls Happy Wagon will now be eyeing her fourth stakes win of the year in the Grade 1, $600,000 Champion of Champions on December 12. Aleman was thrilled to come away with the victory but wished she would have avoided such a rough journey.

          “She got turned around pretty good,” Aleman said. “It’s not good when they turn you around like that, but she was able to overcome it. She got the win. We’ll make sure that she’s doing well and if she pulls up nicely, we’ll start getting ready for the Champion of Champions. This was perfect in terms of timing for the Champions of Champions. It gives us 20 days before the race. We’ll take it easy with her in terms of training. She ran this race so our next focus will be to let her recuperate and then we’ll start getting her ready.”

          Aleman was impressed with Curls Happy Wagon’s determination.

          “She broke nicely – like always – but she got knocked around. She got her hind end taken out of her and she could not get going right away. She finally pulled away. This mare has a lot of heart. She knows how to win.”

          Curls Happy Wagon earned $27,500 for the win to take her career earnings to $335,674.

          Ridden by Jose Nicasio for trainer Felix Gonzalez,  Galloping Goddess earned $11,250 for her strong runner-up effort. Third in the Whataway To Go Handicap in her previous outing, the One Sweet Jess mare has now posted 11 top two finishes in her 22-race career. The California-bred mare was bred by her owner, Lupe Ayon.

          Jorge Carmona’s Ladys A Cartel earned $6,250 for running third. The 4-year-old mare by Five Bar Cartel came into this race after running a solid fourth in the Mildred Vessels despite bumping at the start. She’s finished in the money in 11 of 17 career outings. The top three finishers were followed by Chocolate Divinity, Fayvorite Chick, Lynnder 16, JR Prissys Blood, Victorioso Dinastia and Symbol Of Faith. Hot Little Kiddy was scratched prior to the start of Saturday’s racing program.



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