LARC NEWS Posted: 2/15/2024 6:45:15 PM


         With the recent retirement of the millionaire Apollitical Pence, there will be a new Winter Champion crowned on Sunday night when an outstanding field of nine older horses compete in the running of the Grade 1, $135,400 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship here on Sunday night.

Apollitical Pence won this race the past two years, but now there’s a new group of standouts ready to add a victory in this tremendous race to their resume. The Brad McKinzie Winter Championship line up will be headed by four Grade 1 stakes winners in Jeriko (photo), Scoops Dynasty, Take A Swig Of This, and London Toby. The field will also include the multiple stakes winner Hes Chickless and the 2023 Governor’s Cup Derby winner Favorite Version. Experienced stakes runners Marcelo and Mr Racy Perry will also join the starting gate, while Mahomes Magic - and we saw a little bit of that in Super Bowl LVIII – will complete the field to the Brad McKinzie Winter Championship at 400 yards.

Bobby Cox’s Jeriko, winner of the Los Alamitos Super Derby last year, got his 4-year-old campaign off to a great start back on January 28 when he posted the fastest qualifying time to the Brad McKinzie Winter Championship. The Heath Taylor trainee won his trial by a neck over Ed and Von Zae McNelis’ Scoops Dynasty while winning for the eighth time in 13 career starts.

Always a strong finisher, Jeriko covered the distance in :19.587 and will now look to become the first male Quarter Horse to win the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby and the Brad McKinzie Winter Championship. while once again displaying a potent finishing kick. The son of One Famous Eagle, who was also named the 2023 PCQHRA champion 3-year-old gelding, has always loved Los Alamitos. He’ll be looking to improve his local record to five wins from eight starts, all of them coming in either a Grade 1 stakes final or a trial to a Grade 1 event.

Ed and Von Zae McNelis’ Scoops Dynasty, Dunn Ranch’s Take A Swig Of This, and Dunn Ranch’s Take A Swig Of This. Scoops Dynasty and Take A Swig Of This are the last two Winter Derby winners. A victory in this race will help them sweep this series, while joining Whosleavingwho, A Stoli Mate, and Powerful Favorite as members of that exclusive club. For Scoops Dynasty, the gelding by FDD Dynasty will be going after his third Grade 1 victory. In addition to the Winter Derby, he also won the Go Man Go Handicap in a thriller over 2022 AQHA World Champion Empressum last year. Take A Swig Of This ran a good fifth in the Champion of Champions to Flash Bak in his last appearance in a Grade 1 stakes race. As for the talented London Toby, the veteran sprinter, who won the 2023 Restricted Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap, he also finished third in the Go Man Go and fourth in the Grade 1 Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship.

          Jeryl Hartley’s Hes Chickless won the El Primero Del Ano Derby and A Ransom Handicap last year in route to being named the PCQHRA champion 3-year-old colt and Moonist Award winner. Jeryl and her late husband, Ron, campaigned the great Moonist, who won the Brad McKinzie Winter Championship in 2016.


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