John Kanis, a leading rider in the 1960s at Los Alamitos and also a long serving jockey's valet, has passed away. Kanis won 232 Quarter Horse races at Los Alamitos, 10 of those wins coming in stakes races.
Kanis enjoyed his biggest moments as the pilot of two-time AQHA champion aged stallion Duplicate Copy and 1968 champion 3-year-old filly Top Rockette. He guided the great Duplicate Copy to a slew of wins in the late 1960s headed by the 1967 Los Alamitos Championship. He also rode Duplicate Copy to back-to-back Go Man Go Handicap wins during his championship seasons of 1966 and 1967.With Kanis aboard, Duplicate Copy won the 1966 Shue Fly Handicap and 1967 Miss Princess Handicap.
Kanis won his second consecutive Los Alamitos Championship when he guided the great filly Top Rockette to victory in 1968. In that year, Kanis also enjoyed a winning ride aboard Top Rockette in the Vandy’s Flash Handicap. At one point, Top Rockette ranked 12th in all-time earnings for a Quarter Horse with $217,923.