LONDON TOBY AMAZES, COMANECI ALSO SCORES ON FRIDAY NIGHT
Ed Allred’s homebred London Toby scored one of the most impressive victories of the current meet, as the lightly raced sophomore posted a four-length victory in Friday’s $12,900 seventh race at Los Alamitos.
It’s extremely rare to see a four-length win at any typical Quarter Horse distance, so for London Toby to do it at 330 yards while never being asked, goes a long way to show the potential of the Favorite Cartel gelding. Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala, the sorrel speedster covered the distance in :16.548, which is by far the meet’s fastest at 330 yards. The previous best for this season was :16.728 posted by Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Constituent on January 17.
London Toby is now two for two this season with his other victory being a 1 ½ length decision at 300 yards on May 1. He ran just twice during his freshman campaign last year, finishing second both times.
“This horse is just getting better every time we lead him up here,” trainer Scott Willoughby said. “We wanted to give him one more prep race before California Breeders Champions Night and he’s set up perfect. Everything is going just right. We had to back off him last year. We thought we knew how fast he was, so we backed off and waited on him. It seems to have paid off.”
Willoughby noted that being patient early has paid off with some of his other top runners like 2019 AQHA World Champion He Looks Hot after his freshman campaign as well as multiple Grade 1 winner Chocolatito, who only started three times during his 2-year-old season.
Even before his 2021 debut, London Toby’s 350-yard gate work on April 10 showed that he was a special runner according to Chris Wade, who is track analyst and simulcast broadcast host at Los Alamitos Race Course.
“I gave that work an A+++++,” Wade said. “I would have given him a few more pluses, but my computer program didn’t let me type any more characters. He’s the only horse that I’ve given an A+ work this season. He was beyond tremendous tonight. He wasn’t even asked at all.”
Speaking of perfect 10 performances, the sophomore filly Comaneci, owned by Alipio Burgos and Jorge Quintero, posted a strong performance as well in the evening’s other allowance event. Also sired by Favorite Cartel, the Burgos-bred runner displayed a strong late kick once again to take the $13,000 test for non-winners of three races. With Rios Ayala up, Comaneci won the race by a half-length while covering the distance in :16.877. Trained by Lindolfo Diaz, the California-bred Comaneci ran in the Los Alamitos Oaks earlier this year and figures to also see action on California Breeders Champions Night next month.