LARC NEWS Posted: 6/23/2019 12:19:42 AM


           Ed Allred’s homebred Tough To Figure, the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, flew out of the gate and continued strong to the wire in route to posting a half-length victory over 29-1 longshot Newport Coaster in the $35,000 Ivan Ashment Handicap for 3-year-olds and up fillies and mares on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Vinnie Bednar for trainer Scott Willoughby, Tough To Figure was posting her second stakes victory and her ninth top three effort in a stakes during her 26-race career. She covered the 400-yard race in :19.819. The 5-year-old Walk Thru Fire mare entered the Ivan Ashment after running third to stablemate Time To Leave in the Denim N Diamonds Handicap on February 16. Tough To Figure finished third in last year’s Ashment and was second in the 2017 running of the La Primera Del Año Derby.  Tough To Figure’s effort in the Ashment was among her finest ever.

“She broke as good as she’s ever broke before tonight,” Willoughby said. “She got away great and Vinnie just let her roll. She ran a great race. We sent her out to be bred (following the Denim N Diamonds) and she came back really fresh. She’s doing really well.”

Tough To Figure earned $19,250 for the win to take lifetime earnings to $137,008. Now a six-time winner, she has hit the board in 17 of her 26 starts. Her first stakes win came last year when she won the Stablewood Stakes on Bank of America Racing Challenge Night on November 17.

Ridden by Erasmo Gasca for owner Herminia Gutierrez and trainer Justin Clark, Newport Coaster ran a tremendous race as a big longshot for finish second. Newport Coaster was last at the start from post number one, but she quickly got going and began to make up ground. From fifth to third to eventually second, the 5-year-old mare by TR Dasher earned $7,875 for her second place finish to take her career earnings to $65,588. Newport Coaster was bred by Allred, Quarter Horse racing’s all-time leading breeder. He also bred third place finisher Time to Leave, making him the breeder of the top three finishers in the Ivan Ashment.

The Allred-owned Time To Leave, a 4-year-old mare by Walk Thru Fire, stumbled at the start before rallying from sixth to run third. The winner of the Denim N Diamonds by a neck, Time To Leave earned $4,375 for her third place finish in this race. La Rusa, the 23-1 upset winner in the Miss Princess Handicap, ran a solid fourth and was followed by Strawfinders Jessee, Madam of Fire MV, Just Walk By and Jacque On Fire.


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