LARC NEWS Posted: 12/10/2018 12:08:04 AM

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       William Branch’s 7-year-old gelding Rule He Will posted his fourth win and second stakes victory of the year after prevailing over Dan Wilson’s Run Raging Rhino Run in the $20,000 Snowbound Superstar Handicap for distance horses at 870 yards on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

The victory was as special for apprentice jockey Kellie McDaid, as it was an opportunity to celebrate her outstanding campaign. The Irish-born jockey has won a total of 81 races for the meet and has already clinched the title of leading Thoroughbred rider at Los Alamitos with 69 victories in 2018.   

“At the start of the year I never imagined that I would finish as the leading Thoroughbred rider,” McDaid said. “It’s been an amazing year filled with great memories. This horse, Rule He Will, has been special. We’ve won two stakes races together.”

McDaid guided had Rule He Will to victory in the Truly A Pleasure Handicap on August 31, her first ever stakes victory.  On Sunday night, leaving from the outside post number seven, McDaid made sure that Rule He Will got involved in the early going of the Snowbound Superstar. The Jerry Wallace-trained runner responded by dueling with Run Raging Rhino Run for the opening quarter before pulling away around the turn and staying strong down the stretch on the way to his 11th victory in 19 career starts. Bred by Kjell Qvale, the Tribal Rule gelding earned $11,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $163,060. The Thoroughbred covered the 870 yards in :44.764.

“It’s just so nerve-wracking,” said owner William Branch. “You go from being so nervous to 45 seconds later being so happy. It changes quickly. I am very happy for the horse. He’s been through a lot. He’s a great horse. I’m very thankful to Los Alamitos for having this series of 870 stakes race. It gives horses like him a chance to shine. Maybe they have some distance issues, but boy, they have speed. Those Quarter Horses can be really tough. Run Raging Rhino Run was awesome. Mad props to him. Miss Loujean is a great filly. We’ve faced her several times and I know how great she is.”

Branch is looking forward to continuing to race Rule He Will in the 870-yard stakes series at Los Alamitos in 2019.

Ridden by Minor Arana for trainer Felix Gonzalez, Run Raging Rhino Run earned $4,500 for running second. Ed Allred’s Miss Loujean earned $2,500 for finishing third. Tavasco Road, Rough Passage, El Koreano, and Rare Ed completed the field.

***

McDaid took time in the winner’s circle to send best wishes to jockey Juan Sanchez, who was injured last month while leading the Thoroughbred jockey standings. Sanchez is sidelined for the rest of the year.

“I send all my best for jockey Juan Sanchez,” she said. “He’s a great jockey and a great competitor. He was the leader before his injury. I wish him a fast recovery and I’m looking forward to riding with him again.”

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