LARC NEWS Posted: 8/14/2023 3:16:34 AM


      JGA Racing Stables, Inc's Party Politics became Quarter Horse racing's newest millionaire after rocketing out of the gate from post number one and then holding off a big-time rally by J. Francisco Diaz's Good Wagon Sa to win the Grade 2, $206,200 Golden State Derby by a nose on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

      Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Juan Aleman, Party Politics earned $86,604 for his Golden State win to take his career earnings to $1,002,368. The winner of the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity and Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity as a juvenile last year, Party Politics gave his connections plenty of reasons to celebrate during his freshman season. After winning four of his six starts last years, the gelding by Apollitical Jess entered his sophomore campaign with earnings of nearly $860,000 following his stellar campaign in 2022. Banking the rest of the money needed to become a member of the million-dollar club was more of a grind for the talented runner. Bumps, stumbles, and rough starts while winning just one of his initial five starts this season kept him from reaching the heights of his previous season. 

      Then the Golden State Derby happened. Starting from post number one, Party Politics stood quietly waiting for the start before other horses in the race became fractious. Party Politics reacted by becoming a little antsy himself, but he eventually settled and was alert enough to fly out of the gate to take what appeared to be an insurmountable lead on the inside.

      "The horse has the talent," Aleman said. "This year we haven't drawn well. He just doesn't like the one. Even Ayala said that he finds the gap, he's just that kind of horse. He loves the outside. It was a tough race tonight. I was worried about the one, but he was able to hold on. Ayala said the horse was standing perfectly for all that time and was ready to go. Then the other horse reared up and that got him a little anxious. When the gates opened, he left. Ayala said, 'When we left, I thought I had it.' Then he started changing leads, looking at the rail, he just doesn't like the rail. He just wasn't comfortable on the rail. He wasn't last year either in the trials (to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity). You draw where you draw. We got it done today. I'm just grateful."

      A good horse can win from any spot on the track and that's exactly what Party Politics did. Bred by J. Garvan Kelly, the new millionaire held off Good Wagon Sa’s strong finish, winning the race in a photo finish. Party Politics also improved his record to six wins from 12 career starts. In addition to his two Grade 1 futurities and the Golden State Derby, Party Politics also won the Dillingham Handicap earlier this year. Party Politics also finished second in the El Primero Del Ano Derby on March 26 and was third in the Vandy's Flash Handicap on June 24. He's never finished worse than third in his 12 starts.

      "He's talented enough to win these kinds of races any time of the year," Aleman added. "He's done it before. I felt that if he could just get out clean and not make the mistakes that he did that he would have a shot. He still got it done."

     Aleman said that the Los Alamitos Super Derby trials in mid-October are likely the next stop on Party Politics' derby tour.

     "We'll evaluate him after the race and we'll shoot for the Super Derby," the trainer added.

     Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Lindolfo Diaz, Good Wagon Sa chased Party Politics the entire way and nearly caught him at the wire. Second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby in February, Good Wagon SA earned $35,054 for this runner-up finish. Five Livestock Company LLC and Steve Wright's Chicks First Flash finished third and earned $24,744 in the process. Armando Cervantes rode Chicks First Flash for trainer Monty Arrossa. P & J Racing Ltd's AJ Born Runnin earned $14,434 for running fourth. Hes Chickless crossed the wire fifth but was disqualified and placed eighth for interference at the start. El Aventurero, Tena Rena, and Budder Off Friends were the official fifth, sixth and seventh place finishers. Mahomes Magic was scratched earlier on Sunday.




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