Stern Ranches’ Chivalry SR returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since winning the 2012 Grade 1 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship following an impressive 1 ½ length win over a strong field the $13,600 main event of the opening night of the 2013-2014 season at Los Alamitos on Friday.
Ridden by Oscar Peinado for trainer Paul Jones, Chivalry SR led every step of the way in the 400-yard dash en route to scoring his ninth win in 26 career starts. A track record holder at this distance, the 6-year-old gelding by Walk Thru Fire was making his fourth start of 2013. He was third in the Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap in his season debut on July 27 before running fifth in last year’s Grade 1 Go Man Go and Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship. His last victory came in the Los Alamitos Championship on October 28, 2012.
Sparky E Boy, who ran second in the 2011 Champion of Champions, finished second to Chivalry SR in this event. Im Corralitos Baby, a winner of a futurity trial race to the 2012 Golden State Million Futurity, finished third. Matron Stakes runner-up Shesnowsall, stakes placed local newcomer Valiant Valor, A Real Carteltrigger and Mane Event completed the field. The night, however, belonged to Chivalry SR, a homebred sprinter with 17 in the money finishes in his illustrious career. He covered the distance in :19.745.
“This was the Chivalry of old,” Jones said. “He ran pretty well tonight. With these older geldings you just have to take good care of them and class will prevail. He had surgery to repair a slab fracture in one of his knees, but that’s not bothering anymore. We had a little problem with him before, but it a foot issue that healed up. The knee is doing great. You have to give all the credit to Dr. Wayne McIlwraith. He did an amazing job with this horse’s knee a couple of years ago. A lot of vets thought he would never run again, but he ran great tonight.”
“Dr. McIlwraith did a fantastic job,” owner Albert Stern agreed. “We have some good stock coming up with horses related to Chivalry SR. We have his full sister and his 7/8th sister that we are excited about and we also have a ½ sister that we also really like. We have a lot of his relatives that will be racing.”
As for Chivalry SR, his next start will be in the trials to the Los Alamitos Winter Championship on Sunday, January 27. Chivalry SR earned $7,150 for this win to take his career earnings to $364,006. Ridden by Cesar De Alba for owners Reid Pierson and Brad Stevenson, Sparky E Boy earned $2,925 for finishing second. Jones also saddled the veteran stakes winner Sparky E Boy.