LARC NEWS Posted: 7/3/2017 2:39:37 AM

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         The dream season continues for owner Bill Hoburg and his homebred BH Lisas Boy after the Idaho-bred gelding edged Reliance Ranches LLC’s The Charm Of Corona by a nose to win the Grade 1, $162,600 Vessels Maturity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Cesar De Alba and saddled by Hoburg, BH Lisas Boy recorded his second Grade 1 victory of the year, while improving his record to a perfect five for five in 2017. BH Lisas Boy’s first Grade 1 win came in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship, which earned him a starting berth in the prestigious Champion of Champions to be held here on December 16. He’s now won two races carrying Champion of Champions berths thanks to his victory in the Vessels Maturity. For Hoburg, it has all been a lifelong dream come true.

“I was leaning on the rail by the paddock about six or seven years ago watching the horses get saddled for the Champion of Champions,” Hoburg said. “What I would have given to have a horse like that someday. I just never thought I would have a horse as nice as those being saddled on that evening.”

He has a bonafide Champion of Champions horse now in the outstanding BH Lisas Boy.

“It’s absolutely crazy,” he added. “There are no words to explain it. I’m just tickled to watch him run against that quality of a field in the Vessels Maturity. I was at the paddock and I thought we ran third. It was a nice horse race. The rider said he was running on his left lead and he switched leads. When he switched to the right, he went to the finish. He loves distance.”

With De Alba aboard, BH Lisas Boy covered the 400 yards in the Vessels Maturity in :19.537.

“He’s all heart right now,” De Alba said. “He’s running on heart. He needs more distance. He was heads up with everybody. At the 350 mark I felt him starting to kick in a little more and we got there.”

Sent off as the 1-5 favorite in this race, BH Lisas Boy trailed the 29-1 longshot The Charm Of Corona by about a half-length during the first half of the race. He made up the difference in those final yards. The 5-year-old BH Lisas Boy earned $68,292 for this win to take his career earnings to $406,698. He’s earned $305,202 of that amount since arriving at Los Alamitos and racing here exclusively since last August.  

“I have been poor my whole life and I’ve turned down more money (this year) for this horse than I ever thought I would ever turned down,” Hoburg added. “This is a dream I’ve had for 40 years to have a horse like this. I’m just not going to sell my dreams. I can throw hay over the fence at him for the rest of his life.

“I bought his mother, Apollo Snowbound, for $3,500 as a yearling and I paid $500 for the stud fee at a stallion (services) auction. I liked the filly because she was out of a mare sired by Shawne Bug. He was a very good broodmare sire. Apollo Snowbound’s grandmother is Stars Apollo. She was Bob Pulse’s great matriarch mare. I saw Stars Apollo win a futurity in (1969) for fun. I was still in high school when I saw her win. You never forget when you see a good horse run.”

A multiple stakes winner, Stars Apollo won 10 of 28 races while earning just $19,096. She won the Charlie Russell Futurity, Northern QHRA Futurity, and Tumbleweed Futurity in a 330-yard-track record time at Sunset Downs. She was also runner-up in the 1969 Montana Futurity and in the 1970 Montana Derby in what would be her final career start.  

Having found a home at Los Alamitos, BH Lisas Boy is now the top aged Quarter Horse on the West Coast.   

“This horse is very easy going, but he can have a mind of his own,” Hoburg added. “When we’re done in the mornings and I lead him back to his stall, he’ll just stop and stand for five minutes before he walks into his stall. He won’t go inside until he’s ready. I don’t care, I’ll stand right there with him until he’s ready. I’ll wait all day for him if I have to. He’s a little spoiled, but he’s my horse so that’s okay. I want him happy. If he’s happy, I’m happy.”  

Ridden by Cody Jensen for trainer Mike Robbins, The Charm Of Corona ran lights out to earn $27,642 for his runner-up effort. The gelding by Corona Cartel ran two excellent races at Remington Park in the spring before traveling here prior to the Vessels Maturity trials. In the trials, the Oklahoma-bred was fifth at the start before flying late to finish third. After breaking nicely from post number eight in this race, The Charm Of Corona took the lead and just missed what would have been his first stakes win since capturing the Laico Bird Stakes for 2-year-olds at Remington Park in April of 2015. Reliance Ranchez bred The Charm Of Corona.

EG High Desert Farms’ Jess Ravin was solid throughout to finish in third place. Piloted by Ramon Sanchez for Valentin Zamudio, the 4-year-old Corona Cartel mare was a neck behind The Charm Of Corona for second place. The Oklahoma-bred earned $19,512.

Michael Amburn’s Freakin Runaway, which is also trained by Robbins, earned $11,382 for finishing fourth. Time For Jess, Rip Tide, Stel Easy, Flash N Bling, Zoomin For Spuds, and Dr Jess completed the field.

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