LARC NEWS Posted: 4/30/2023 2:49:24 AM


       Bobby Cox’s Shott Gun was impressive once again, as the gelding by Valiant Hero dominated the running of the $40,000 Kaweah Bar Handicap thanks to a gate to wire ¾ length victory on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

      Ridden by Jose Nicasio for trainer Heath Taylor, Shott Gun covered the distance in :17.39, which is the fastest time of season at this distance. His time bettered the :17.44 clocking posted by Cox’s Koalition when she won the Dashingly Stakes earlier this year.

      Shott Gun has now won both of his starts at Los Alamitos this season. He also scored a ½ length victory in the Moonist Stakes on March 19, a win that made him a stakes winner in his fourth different state. In addition to California, Shott Gun has also won stakes in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. Sent off at 1-2 odds, his win in the the Kaweah Bar earned him $22,000 to take him his career earnings to $624,619.

       “The horse has really settled in here,” Taylor said. “He’s gained a lot of weight and seems to like the surface. It’s pretty hard for this horse to haul around in the heat and go all the different places. It seems like he does better if he stays at one facility. He’s run two really nice races and is training good. He’s paid up next for the Vessels Maturity trials in about six weeks. That’ll be another step up with horses like Apollitical Pence, Scoops Dynasty, and Empressum and some of those show back up, he’ll have to improve to keep it going. All you can ask is to win the ones that you’re in and so far, he’s been able to do that.”

       Empressum, the reigning AQHA World Champions, is the defending Vessels Maturity winner and while he did ship out of state after racing in the Grade 1 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship, he could be back to defend his Vessels title.

      “He was probably going to run in the (Debbie Schauf) Remington Park Championship; however, some things have changed, and I would say that there’s probably a 50 to 60 percent chance that you might see him (in the Vessels.”

      For Cox, the past AQHA champion owner and breeder has enjoyed a great success at Los Alamitos in the past year. In addition to Koalition and Shott Gun, he also raced the Grade 1 futurity placed Jeriko here last year.

     “He sent me another really nice horses out here who had been off by the name of Jettz,” Taylor added. “He’s going to be coming next week and he’s also paid into the Vessels trials. He ran in the fourth in the 2020 All American Futurity and third in the 2021 Ruidoso Derby. Bobby has always supported the races here as a breeder.  He would sell his yearlings, but they would all be eligible for the races here. I was discussing with him, his secretary, and his ranch manager that if you’re going to pay these horses in all of the races here that instead of running all of the against each other at Ruidoso and Texas, maybe diversify your risk and maybe take some out (here) keep some there to run at Ruidoso and Texas. They were for it. He’s always been a big supporter so I’m glad to see him having some success. He’s a phenomenal owner and phenomenal breeder and has done so much for the industry, similarly to Dr. Allred. He’s spent a lot of money and has a lot of mares, so he needs to have some success too.”

      Allred’s Up And Atem earned $9,000 for running a strong second at 18-1 odds. Jonathan Roman piloted him for trainer Scott Willoughby. Ridden by Ruben Lozano, Vic3tory LLC’s Stuck In Probate earned $5,000 for running third. Rocket Seventeen, Cattail Cove, Apollitical J Streak, Dasha Good Reason, and Slews Fortune completed the field.



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