Age is nothing but a number when it comes to dynamic veteran Youonlyliveonce. The 10-year-old Thoroughbred shows no signs of slowing down after 67 career starts. In fact, his 10-year-old campaign has been his best and most productive yet.
From 19 starts in 2014, the Washington-bred runner won six times and finished in the money 13 of those outings. A winner of 11 races in his career, Youonlyliveonce has enjoyed nine of those victories during the past two years. His most recent victory was similar to many of his recent conquests. the gelding stalked his younger rivals patiently before pouncing as the field turned for home. He shifted out as he often does, but he was still too strong for his foes, while posting a 1 1/4 length victory with jockey Gary Boag in the irons. Trained by Lorenzo Ruiz for owner Jesus Uranga, Youonlyliveonce was picking up his third victory from his last four starts.
“My instructions were to not be afraid to send him and to get him into the race,” said Boag, who was piloting Youonlyliveonce for the first time. “At the middle of the turn, he wanted to drift out. I didn’t want to stop his momentum so I just let him swing around. These veteran horses know what they are there for when they go to the paddock. This horse reminds me of (9-year-old) Cajun Gent, who I rode for Ryan Hanson. He would come in the paddock and put his head down to make it easy to get him saddled. You could drop the reins on him. Cajun Gent knew his way around, and that’s what this horse just did. I was along for the ride.”
The ride ended with a snapshot in the winner’s circle for Youonlyliveonce, Uranga, and Ruiz. Unraced until he was 5-years-old, Youonlyliveonce began his career with a 10th place finish in a maiden claiming race at Stockton in June of 2009. After finishing fifth or lower in each of his first five starts, he ran second at Ferndale on August of 2009. His first victory came in his 18th start, a win against $5,000 claimers at Pleasanton for trainer Humberto Loma on July of 2012. After racing in Northern California, he traveled to Pomona to race at Fairplex Park in the fall of 2012. He ran at Los Alamitos and then twice started at Santa Anita less than a year ago. He has since settled at Los Alamitos, where he has been a horse for the course of sorts. He has hit the board in 13 of his last 15 outings here, and has won six of his last 12 races. And he shows no signs of slowing down.
As for the aforementioned Cajun Gent, his career included 18 wins from 47 starts and over $230,000 in lifetime earnings.