Racing for the partnership of Rebekah Baze, Melvin Hudson, Earl Maijala and Horseplayers Racing Club, Best By Far won her third race in a row while holding off a strong later run by C.J. Gonsalves’ Changing Karma in the running of the $15,000 Calix Handicap at 870 yards on Sunday at Los Alamitos.
Trained by Tom Bazley, Best By Far took the lead shortly after the start and took off to post a three length advantage over her seven rivals as the field entered the turn for home. Jockey Vinnie Bednar piloted the daughter of Tribal Rule confidently from there, as she posted her fourth career victory in 15 starts. She earned $8,250 for the win to take her lifetime earnings to $31,850. Bazley not only trains the winner, but he also saddled the runner-up Changing Karma.
“Earl Maijala sent Best By Far to my barn after we enjoyed a win together with a horse named Malfeasance that we had just claimed,” Bazley said. “We’re three for three with Best By Far and we’re four for four overall when you add Malfeasance’s win.”
In the winner’s circle, the owners of Best By Far were all smiles following the 5-year-old mare’s half-length victory in a hand time of :45.60. For Maijala, the victory wrapped up an exciting day in sports.
“I’m from Seattle and I’m a big Seahawks fan,” said the owner, while sporting a Seahawks jersey. “I went to Super Bowl last year and I’ll be at the Super Bowl this year. It’s been a good day.”
Maijala added that he was impressed with Bazley’s work with the aforementioned claimer Malfeasance.
“We claimed (Malfeasance) last summer with Tom and the horse came off the claim to win (on August 1). The horse got claimed from us in that race, but I was very happy with the way that Tom brought the horse along. He took his time with the horse. We sent him Best By Far because she was coming off a layoff and would need some patience. We hope she can continue to race the way she’s been doing. Not sure what we’ll do with her next, but I believe there’s more we can do with her. We might jump her up and run her across town at Santa Anita.”
Ridden by Cheryl Charlton, Changing Karma earned $3,375 for running second. Raul Moreno’s Mi Agave was third and he was followed home by Lucky Cotton, The Sunol Grade, Sprouts, Mason B, and Red Hot Niko.