LEDGERWOOD RUNNERS SWEET FRESHMAN STAKES
Owner Kolleen Ledgerwood had a night to remember on California Breeders Champions Night, as her juvenile runners Scholarly (left) and Favorite Aquaholic won their respective divisions of the $25,000 California Breeders Freshman Stakes.
Trained by Roberto Dominguez, Scholarly had been knocking on the door of qualifying to major futurities at Los Alamitos. She was second by a nose in her trial to the Kindergarten Futurity to Ur My Princess, a rival that did qualify to the Kindergarten final. Scholarly also finished second in her trial to the Ed Burke Million Futurity, just missing winning that race by a head. She won the Freshman Stakes for Fillies at 350 yards in a time of :17.904 for her second victory in four career starts. She’s been first or second in every one of her outings with this victory earning her $13,750.
“Roberto has been working with her so that she would stay straight and finish the race because the last couple of times she’s missed the big races by just a few head bobs,” Ledgerwood said. “That filly did everything right. (Jockey Rodolfo Arvizu) got her out (of the gate) and kept after her and this time she finished the race. It was a good win. It was a good field and a good contest. That was pretty neat.”
Sired by TR Dasher, Scholarly is a Los Alamitos Equine Sale graduate and is eligible to compete in all of the major futurities at the Orange County track.
Ledgerwood then enjoyed a victory in the Freshman Stakes for colts and gelding after the Dominguez-trained Favorite Aquaholic won from along the rail with Jonathan Roman up. It was Roman’s first ever stakes victory.
“I feel very proud of (the win),” Roman said. “Hard work is paying off. It’s a great feeling. It’s like winning the first race all over again.”
“I’m so happy for Jonathan and for the entire team,” Ledgerwood added. “Roberto works hard and is doing a great job. It’s been an amazing weekend of racing for our horses. We got everybody entered in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. We’re just hopeful.”
Favorite Aquaholic earned $13,750 after covering the 350 yards in :17.779.
A PAIR OF VICTORIES FOR THE ALLRED/WILLOUGHBY TEAM ON CHAMPIONS NIGHT
While Kolleen Ledgerwood and Roberto Dominguez teamed up to win two stakes races with their 2-year-olds, owner Ed Allred and trainer Scott Willoughby joined forces to win a pair of events on Champions Night with Allred’s homebred 3-year-olds.
Ridden by Carlos Huerta, Nymph won the $25,000 Debutante Stakes for fillies. He was back in the winner’s circle with Allred and Tom Seibly’s Stel Easy after winning the $25,000 Jens List Memorial Stakes for colts and geldings. In the Debutante, Nymph was picking her second stakes victory in a row after also collection first place money in the Emma Bug Handicap on June 17. The Foose filly also won the Corona Chick Handicap as a 2-year-old last year.
“This little filly breaks like a rocket,” Willoughby said. “She’s got a big heart. She runs as fast as she can all the way. She’s a great little filly. I think she’s going to be one of my best 3-year-olds yet. We’ve always liked her. She’s just a little small so we didn’t run her much as a 2-year-old to let her grow up. We waited to bring her back as a 3-year-old and it seems to have worked out.”
A winner of four of seven starts, Nymph covered the 350 yards in :17.476. She earned $13,750 for the win.
Racing from the outside post number 10, the 3-5 favorite Stel Easy finished strongly to edge 10-1 longshot Romantic Fire, which started from along the rail, by a neck. Stel Easy also earned $13,750 while scoring his fourth win in six starts. All four of those wins have come his five outings in 2016. Sired by Stel Corona and out of the mare Fames Easy, Stel Easy is also a half-brother to talented stakes placed runners like Dont Dink With Me and Ynot Bar.