After coming close to a stakes victory many times before, Spackman Racing and Lin Melton’s Dynasty Red finally enjoyed the spoils after going wire to wire in the $20,000 Barbra B Handicap at 440 yards on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Jay Conklin, Dynasty Red crossed the wire a half-length ahead of Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap runner-up Once Over in the quarter mile dash. Bred by Anselmo Aguilar, Dynasty Red covered the distance in :21.622 on the way to earning $11,000 for the effort. The gelded son of FDD Dynasty has a long list of second and third places finishes at Los Alamitos, but it was finally his turn to shine according to his trainer.
“He has been close so many times before and never runs a bad race,” Melton said. “Jay rode a perfect race. The horse was running so smoothly.”
Dynasty Red finished second in both the 2012 Holiday Handicap and 2013 John Ward Handicap held at Los Alamitos. He also ran third in last year’s Vandy’s Flash Handicap and most recently in the December 20 A Ransom Handicap. He was disqualified from second and placed fifth in last year’s Bitterroot Derby at Les Bois Park and also ran fifth in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby here on October 4. Conklin was the jockey in five of those six stakes races.
“K.C. Spackman and I saw this horse at the (2011) Los Alamitos Equine Sale,” Melton added. “We got lucky with him and we like him a lot. We’ll keep running him in handicaps (like the Barbra B). We feel that he runs best every six weeks. You can’t find a bad race in his form.”
“He gives you his best every race,” Conklin added. “I am very proud of him. I broke on top and halfway through the race I got after him a little bit. I figured he would do well at 440 yards and he showed what he is capable of doing when he leaves like he did tonight. It was finally his turn in a stakes race. The owners have stuck with me for a long time riding this horse and it’s nice to be able to win a stakes race for them.”
Dynasty Red has won five of 18 starts while earning $81,491. He’s finished in the top three a total of 15 times.
Jockey Rodrigo Aceves returned to riding earlier this week after being sidelined for about three months with a broken ankle. Aceves won his first mount back and his third mount back he piloted Ed Allred’s Once Over to a solid runner-up effort in the Barbra B.
“He broke out a little bit, but he ran pretty well from there. He trying to catch (Dynasty Red) and we just ran out of room,” Aceves said. “He had not raced since early November at Zia Park and his first race back at Los Al is this 440-yard race. I think he ran a strong race. He was a little antsy in the gate and I think he’ll do great in his next start.”
Aceves started galloping last week before jumping back into the thick of the action on January 10.
“I just wanted to ride a few horses this week just to get back into the swing of things,” said Aceves, who is this track’s 6th all-time leading Quarter Horse rider in wins. “My ankle feels a little sore, but I think I’ll feeling great when the races return on (January 24).
Los Alamitos will be dark from January 17, 18 and 19 due to the track expansion project. The expansion section of the track is expected to be completed in approximately 10 days.
Trained by Scott Willoughby, Once Over earned $4,500 for running second. Lyle Lovett’s Stray Cat earned $2,500 for finishing third. Thrifty, Gold Flames On Fire, Ric Oh Shay, Follow The Dream, Bingo and Pathological Liar completed the field.