Champion trainer Paul Jones added another win to his already amazing statisticalcareer after saddling Flay to victory in the $25,000 Dillingham Handicap onSaturday at Los Alamitos.
Jones recently reached the $80 million mark in trainer earnings and wonhis 4,000th career Quarter Horse win here on April 16. The 13-timeAQHA champion trainer has now won 3,445 Quarter Horse races and well over 300stakes races at Los Alamitos in his career. He is 538 wins away from becomingthe all-time leading trainer at the Orange County. The late-great BlaneSchvaneveldt is the all-time leader here with 3,982 Quarter Horse wins.
Flay, which Jones owns in partnership with Thompson Racing, Inc.,delivered a terrific performance in the Dillingham, as he finished ¾ lengthsahead of Grade 1 stakes finalist Mi Viejo and Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes winnerMy Favorite Check. Ridden by Oscar Peinado from post number three, Flay wasquickly out of the gate and took the lead just a few strides after the start.He had a length advantage on Mi Viejo with 110 yards left in the 400-yard raceand just cruised to the wire from there. Flay, the son of Favorite Cartel andout of the talented mare Summertime Quickie, covered the distance in :19.786.
Bred by Paul Jones, Flay is half–brother to millionaire champion Fooseand the Grade 1 stakes finalist Separate Encounter. This was Flay’s third win insix career starts and his earnings of $13,750 took his lifetime bankroll to$47,627. This was also his third straight top two finish in a stakes races. Hewas runner-up in both the James Smith Memorial Handicap and Los Alamitos MaidenStakes in his two previous outings.
Trained by Adriana Aceves for Rancho El Alacran, Mi Viejo earned $5,625for his second place finish. He came into this race after running in the ElPrimero Del Ano Derby, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, and Golden State MillionFuturity.
Even money favorite My Favorite Check, the winner of the Los Alamitos MaidenStakes, ran third while James Smith Memorial Handicap winner Freakish finishedfourth. Los Plan B and Otta Be A Prize completed the field.