LARC NEWS Posted: 9/1/2018 1:35:16 AM


           William Branch’s Rule He Will (TB) lacked racing room heading into the turn of the $25,000 Truly A Pleasure Handicap at 870 yards, but the Tribal Rule gelding found enough space around the turn to make a big late move under the guidance of jockey Kellie McDaid on the way to his seventh victory in nine starts at Los Alamitos on Friday night.

            For McDaid, the Truly A Pleasure was her first stakes win ever in what has been a dream season for the Ireland native. The apprentice jockey has won 49 Thoroughbred races this season to rank second in the local standings. She’s also won 11 races at 870 yards and her 60 victories for the meet make her the third leading jockey aboard all-breeds.

            “The horse broke the way he usually breaks, he was gone, gone, gone,” McDaid said. “He was in a little bit of trouble on that turn, but I knew that we could keep going out of the turn and then he would take off. That’s exactly what he did. This is the biggest (race) I’ve won in my whole life. This is unbelievable. Donuts for everybody at Los Alamitos tomorrow morning.”

            Rule He Will is no stranger to the Los Alamitos winner’s circle. He won two of three outings here in 2016 and three out of four in 2017. On July 30, 2017, Rule He Will was claimed for $5,000 after posting a half-length victory, but the claim was voided by the state veterinarian, meaning that he remained a part of William Branch’s stable.

“He had an issue with one of his tendons,” Branch said. “We decided to give him some time off after that race. It’s been a long road. The horse is extremely talented and we decided to just get him right. We thought it would be just six months, but it ended up being a year. He’s come back super strong. All the credit in the world goes to Mark Glatt, who had in at San Luis Rey Downs, before handing him over to Jerry Wallace down here. The horse is immensely talented, but it’s taken a while for us to get him here.”

Under the care of Jerry Wallace, Rule He Will covered the Truly A Pleasure distance in :45.06 while crossing the wire 1 ½ lengths ahead of Towards The Light. Rule He Will, a 7-year-old gelding bred by Kjell Qvale, is also the track record holder at Los Alamitos at four furlongs. He set that mark after a 2 ½ length win in a time of :44.51 on December 17, 2016.

“Like most horse owners, we’ve had our ups and downs,” said Branch, who has owned racehorses for the past 7 ½ years. “It’s a very rewarding sport. The horses are beautiful animals and they are well taken care of. It’s rewarding to take a horse like Rule He Will and give him the time to get him right and have them come back to reward you. I know he’ll continue to do so. He’s pretty tough. I’ve had pretty good luck here at Los Alamitos.”

Rule He Will earned $11,000 for the win to take his lifetime bankroll to $141,665.

Hares Racing, Inc’s Towards The Light earned $4,500 for running second, while the Quarter Horse Bound To Bet, who led for most of the race, picked up $2,500 for finishing third. Newport Coaster, Mason B, Dream On Brother, and Handful Of Pearls will complete the field.


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