LARC NEWS Posted: 10/3/2015 1:47:22 AM

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      Robert Hickman’s Margaritas N Coronas loves racing at Los Alamitos. In 16 starts at the Orange County track, Margaritas N Coronas has now won four stakes races after pulling off a nose victory over Wilmas Alright Now in the $25,000 Blane Schvaneveldt Handicap on Friday at Los Alamitos.

Bred by Gregory and Renee Hickman, Margaritas N Coronas ran second in last year’s Blane Schvaneveldt, but this time he would be denied. Leaving the gate from the far outside post, the 5-year-old Washington-bred broke just a step behind Wilmas Alright Now. The pair battled every step of the 400-yard race from there until Margaritas N Coronas surged in the final yards to win.

“There are faster horses out there, but Margaritas N Coronas gives you his all every single race,” said trainer Bret Vickery, who saddled the top three finishers in the race. “He’s just a solid horse, honest, and he’s been a lot of fun.”

Vickery has trained horses for Hickman for nearly a decade now.

“All of the horses Robert has sent me have been nice horses, but this one might be the best one we’ve had.”

Margaritas N Coronas earned $13,750 for the win to take his career earnings to $132,671. He’s now won nine of 33 starts and his stakes wins at Los Alamitos have also included the John Ward Handicap, The Plan Handicap, and the Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational. He also finished second in the Wild West Futurity here in 2012.

The Blane Schvaneveldt is named in honor of the man considered the best Quarter Horse trainer of all-time. Horses from the Intermountain and Northwest regions and also Nevada and Canada are eligible to compete in Schvaneveldt Handicap.

“It’s an honor for me to compete in this race,” Vickery said. “Blane was a great, great horseman and he’s from our part of the country. This is a great race for horses from our part of the country.”

With Cesar De Alba aboard, the Corona Czech gelding covered the 400 yards in :20.06. Vickery added that Margaritas N Coronas would remain at Los Alamitos and race in the winter.

Owned by John Erickson, Wilmas Alright Now earned $5,625 for finishing in second place. Mike Harrigfeld’s Balata Joe Now finished third. The Midnite Caller, Lil Bitts A Dash, Political Chick, W R Carver, and Ss Galileo completed the field.

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