Owned and bred by Ed Allred, Champion of Champions finalist Well And Good outdueled Adequan California Derby Challenge winner First Down Tiny Man to win the $15,000 Irvine Handicap on Sunday at Los Alamitos. The 5-year-old sustained an injury after crossing the wire and was euthanized due to a fracture on his left front sesamoid.
"He was a great horse and gave me everything he had every time he went on the track," trainer Scott Willoughby said. "He never had any major (physical) problems. It was just a freak deal that happened."
Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves from post number two, Well And Good was second behind First Down Tiny Man during the early going of the Irvine at 350 yards. The two battled the entire way with Well And Good eventually catching his rival and pulling away at the end to score a half-length victory in a time of :17.556. It was Well And Good’s first win since the Scott Lewis Handicap at 550 yards on February 13, 2015. In the 10 races that followed the Scott Lewis, Well And Good faced the top older horses on the grounds. He took on the likes of World Champion Heza Dasha Fire, champion Moonist, multiple Grade 1 winner Far Niente, Grade 1 winner Rock You and more.
After Well And Good crossed the wire in the Irvine, Aceves was unseated during the gallop out, but was not injured. Well And Good was vanned off.
"Rodrigo is fine so I'm relieved about that," Willoughby added.
During the aforementioned 10-race span, Well And Good ran second in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity and Restricted Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap and also the Katella and Barbra B handicaps. The gelding by Separatist also competed in the Grade 1 Go Man Go Handicap, Grade 1 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship, and Grade 1 Champion of Champions. Well And Good won four of 25 starts. He’s finished second in nine other races and third in four other starts. Overall, the Allred-bred sprinter hit the board in 17 of 25 career outing, most of those coming in top stakes events. Well And Good earned $8,250 for a career total of $178,769.
Colten O’Dell, Wendy O’Dell and Pirate Stables’ First Down Tiny Man earned $3,375 for finishing second for jockey Eduardo Nicasio and trainer Chris O’Dell. The gelding by Tiny First Corona has hit the board in eight of 14 career starts. Front And Center, Dr Jess, Margaritas N Coronas and Stel Heights completed the field.