Owner Raul Mariscal figured his charge, Justamitch, would do one of two things in the $20,000 Truly A Pleasure Handicap on Friday at Los Alamitos.
“I was watching him in the paddock and he was acting so calm, which is unusual for him,” Mariscal said. “I figured that he would either not run a lick or that he would run a great race.”
Mariscal was thrilled to see Justamitch run one of his best races yet, as the 6-year-old gelding cruised in the final half of the 870-yard race to win the Truly A Pleasure by 5 ¾ lengths with Christian Aragon aboard.
“Everything went right for this horse,” said Mariscal, who was enjoying his second ever stakes victory. “He got a great start from post number one and once he ran past the number two horse he had all the racing room he wanted. He was in command during the second half of the race.”
Justamitch went on to win for the eleventh time from 29 career starts. He earned $11,000 for the victory to take his lifetime earnings to $82,030. The Thoroughbred gelding by Onebadshark won an allowance race here two months ago and a year ago he provided Cuadra Mariscal with a victory in the Catalina Handicap also at 870 yards. It was also a great moment for Christian Aragon, as he returned to riding after being out of action here since July 15.
“I broke my nose so this was my return to action,” Aragon said. “The horse ran a great race.”
Ed Allred’s Well Maybe flew down the stretch to go from seventh place to second in the Truly A Pleasure. From the barn of Kentucky Derby winning trainer Art Sherman, Well Maybe was hoping to win for the third consecutive time at Los Alamitos. He won twice at Santa Anita last year. Ridden by Eulices Gomez, Well Maybe earned $4,500 for the win and has now made $86,945 in his career.
Elena Andrade’s Look Of A Dasher, a finalist in the PCQHRA Breeders Derby last year, ran third. The Quarter Horse by TR Dasher and out of the Grade 1 stakes winning producing mare Look Her Over, Look Of A Dasher earned $2,500 for running third.
May B, Sir Kip, defending Truly A Pleasure winner Oh Daddy Oh, Lil Dip A Nitro and Templar completed the field.