Erasmo Hernandez, Concepcion Gutierrez and Manuel Torrez’s Sugardaddy B came into the running of Friday’s $16,000 Lake Forest Handicap having finished in the money in four of five races this year, but he was still looking for a win.
The elusive victory came in the 300-yard Lake Forest, as the Texas-bred gelding by Bigtime Favorite was solid every step of the way while holding off EG High Desert Farms’ Dr Jess to win by a half-length. Ridden by Rodolfo Arvizu for trainer Guillermo Morales, Sugardaddy B covered the distance in :15.471 while improving his career record to four wins in 22 starts. The hard-knocking 5-year-old bred by Bielau Oaks has finished in the top three 12 times over the course of his racing career.
Arvizu and Morales had a good feeling that this would be Sugardaddy B’s night at Los Alamitos prior to the running of the Lake Forest.
“I thought he had a good chance because he ran second to (multiple stakes winner) Seperate Interest in his last start,” Morales said. “Seperate Interest is one of the best older horses around and Sugardaddy B ran a pretty good race against him.”
Arvizu knew that he had a chance with the sorrel gelding right away.
“He stumbled a little bit in his last race, but he responded strongly and did great at the end,” he said. “This time the outside horse (Koolist) was ahead of us early on, but we had a much better start so I knew that we were going to strong at the end. He’s a nice horse and the good break gave us the chance to win this race.”
Sugardaddy B earned $8,800 for the win to take his career earnings to $135,653. A good amount of his earnings, $82,275 to be exact, came from his third place finish to Wicked Courage in the Grade 1 Ruidoso Derby in 2013. He also won the $25,000 Manuel Lujan Stakes in Albuquerque and ran in the $100,000 West Texas Futurity.
Trained by Yanet Rodriguez and ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala, Dr Jess had won three of his last four starts. He almost made it four from his last five thanks to a strong finish to the race. The gelding by Mr Jess Perry earned $3,600 for finishing second. Jiffy James, A Corona Habit, Joe Legacy, Koolist and Scuba Doo completed the field.