He Looks Hot ran a perfect race in the Grade 1, $2,078,775 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, as the gelding by Walk Thru Fire led from start to finish to give owner Ed Allred his second career victory in California’s richest Quarter Horse race, while also ending Heza Dasha Fire’s bid to become the first ever to win the $1,000,000 Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza on Sunday.
With Carlos Huerta in the irons for trainer Scott Willoughby, He Looks Hot broke on top from post number eight and had a ¾ length lead by the halfway point of the 400-yard dash. Meanwhile, Heza Dasha Fire broke nicely from post number one, but he never showed that tremendous acceleration that he had shown in his victories in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity and Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity. At the wire, it was the Allred-bred He Looks Hot that crossed the wire on top with a ½ length victory over the late charging PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner BF Farm Boss. They were followed by the other two Walk Thru Fire juveniles in the race, Jess Walking Thru and Heza Dasha Fire, which finished third and fourth, respectively. He Looks Hot covered the 400 yards in :19.576.
Allred, the owner of Los Alamitos Race Course and American Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading breeder, enjoyed his richest victory ever thanks to He Looks Hot. His first victory in this race came with Kingman Kid in the 1998 and back when the race was named the Los Alamitos Million Futurity and not the Los Alamitos Two Million. The purse for the 1998 running was still a not too shabby $1,173,605.
“I was more excited for that race than I am now,” Allred said. “I was calm today. I wanted to win, but I didn’t really get excited until the horse crossed the wire. I was also watching Heza Dasha Fire during the race and I could see that (He Looks Hot) was starting to pull away from him. I’m so happy for Scott Willoughby. He’s a good person and a good horseman. I’m thrilled for him right now. I’ll also have to go and visit the ranch (Allred’s Rolling A Ranch in Atascadero, California) and see all those folks there and congratulate them on this win and all of their hard work
“David Martin is the ranch foreman and has worked there since he was 15. He’s now been there some 35 years now. John Creager has been there a long time as well, ever since he retired from riding at Los Alamitos. It’s a very stable team of people and this win is a credit to their work. Raising horses is so much fun, but it’s also costly. I’ve had these old female families of Quarter Horses for years. I learned so much when I was younger from Spencer Childers. He taught me a lot about the female lines in the sport and their importance in breeding. I’ve patterned my breeding program after Spencer’s program based on those ideas. He Looks Hot, for example, comes from the incredible family Oh La Proud, who is a mare that produced three AQHA champions”
He Looks Hot’s is out of the stakes winner of $171,000 Look Her Over, who is a half-sister to champions Hawkish, Hawkinson and Flame N Flash. He Looks Hot’s second dam is the previously mentioned Oh La Proud, one of the all-time great broodmares in Quarter Horse racing. Look Her Over is also the dam of Once Over, a three-time stakes winner this year Once Over’s biggest win this year came in the Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap. He Looks Hot, meanwhile, began his freshman campaign as a colt and by losing his first three starts. Allred and Willoughby decided to geld him following a fifth place finish in the trials to the Ed Burke Million on June 8.
“He was not going to be much of a stallion prospect the way he ran in those first three starts,” Willoughby said. “He came back after we cut him and ran a fantastic race in the trials to the Governor’s Cup Futurity. He came back and ran third in the final, but in his next start he took on Heza Dasha Fire in the Golden State Million trials and just didn’t fire. He ran a bad race. I still don’t know what happened to him when he finished fourth in that race. He had a really good race in the Two Million trials. The way the horse was training, I didn’t think anyone would outrun him today. In the paddock, he didn’t get upset, hot or excited. He was just feeling good. I was happy with how he behaved the entire time. He looked great during warm up and he was stood perfect in the starting gate. Carlos Huerta is one fire right now and he did a great job riding He Looks Hot. Carlos is not making any mistakes right now.”
He Looks Hot earned $842,425 for his third win in eight starts. His career earnings are now $890,970.The Los Alamitos Two Million is the richest win ever for both Willoughby and Huerta, who earlier in the week had joined forces to win the Paul Ford Handicap with Sweet TR.
Don and Peggy Boyle’s BF Farm Boss made his usual late run to move up from sixth place at the start to second at the wire. Bred in Oregon by the owners, the Hawkinson colt earned $340,981 to push his 2014 earnings to $572,886.Paul Jones saddled the homebred colt, who was ridden by Ramon Sanchez.
“That’s been his story this year,” said Don Boyle about his horse’s late running style. “His feet got under him at the start. It was the same story in the trials. He came flying at the end and made it a heck of a race. BF Farm Boss had a terrific year and he still has a lot of maturing to do. If you look at his entire family (champion Strawkins, Grade 1 finalist BF Farm Boy, etc) they tend to come on later on and in their 3-year-old year. This horse won one futurity and made nearly$600,000 as a freshman. That gives us a lot of hope for next season. He’s been knocking on the door in all the big races and maybe he’ll win a Grade 1 race next year. It’s hard to win those Grade 1s, but we can’t complain. He ran his heart out tonight.”
Owned by Linda and Gary Gordon and Ross Roark, Jess Walkin Thru earned $240,693 with her third place finish in this race. Bred in Utah by Lance Robinson and Max Anderson, the sorrel filly came into the race after running third in the Two Million trials, while making her first ever start at Los Alamitos. She had previously run second in the Dash For Cash Futurity at Lone Star Park. Mike Robbins, who trained World Champions Sgt Pepper Feature and Dashs Dream to victory in the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos, saddled Jess Walkin Thru. Jose Amador Alvarez piloted her from post number two.
S-Quarter K LLC’s Washington-bred Heza Dasha Fire suffered his first loss in seven career starts while earning $140,404 for his fourth place finish in this race. Now a winner of $962,956, Heza Dasha Fire was looking to become the first horse to sweep the $1,000,000 Los Alamitos Cash Bonanza. He won the Ed Burke Million Futurity from post number one back on June 22, and the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity from post nine after fighting through a lot of traffic trouble on November 2. He came into the Two Million as the co-fastest qualifier following his ¾ trial victory.
“There’s a reason why no horse has won the Bonanza,” said Kathy Meneely, who along with her husband Don and their son, Shawn, bred and campaigns Heza Dasha Fire. “It’s a pretty hard thing to do, but we are so proud of our horse. We never dreamed that he would make almost a million dollars this year.”
“I haven’t had a chance to ask (jockey Cruz Mendez) about the race, but maybe the horse got a little tired,” Don Meneely added. “In the Golden State Million Cruz never really used the whip even though he had some trouble in the race. Tonight he was using the whip on him right one-third of the way into the race. He sensed something was different with the horse tonight. The time of the race tonight is within the time that Heza Dasha Fire can run. We’re disappointed not to win it, but that’s why there are 10 horses in the race. Anyone can win. He’ll be back next year and all we can hope for is for a bigger, stronger Heza Dasha Fire.
“We lost to a very deserving winner in He Looks Hot,” he added, just a few moments after congratulating the winning owner, Ed Allred. “I’m happy for Dr. Allred. He’s gone through a lot this year. He has a lot of courage with what he’s doing with the medication issues and we support his efforts.”
Jose Flores saddled Heza Dasha Fire.
“They did a wonderful job managing their horse,” Allred added. “They did everything right, but it is so hard to keep a horse at that level for six straight races. They should be commended with how they handled Heza Dasha Fire.”
The complete order of finish in the Two Million is as follows: He Looks Hot, BF Farm Boss, Jess Walking Thru, Heza Dasha Fire, Corona The Cat, Apollitical Blood, Forget It, Bogart, Treasured Dreams, and Bodacious Eagle.
In a post-race interview with TVG’s Caleb Keller, Los Alamitos owner Ed Allred touched briefly on the medication issues involving Clenbuterol and Albuterol and recent post race testing following the Los Alamitos Two Million trials. Three horses tested positive for Clenbuterol in tests conducted by Los Alamitos Race Course.
“There have been so much controversy and bad speculation lately that I wasn’t looking forward to tonight,” Allred said. “This will not be the case next year. I do promise that we will have good, honest racing here at Los Alamitos.”