Ed Allred’s homebred He Looks Hot (photo) became only the second 7-year-old ever to win the Grade 1 Champion of Champions, a victory that propelled him to the title of 2019 AQHA World Champion. Other local Quarter Horses to earn national titles included Ron Hartley’s Cartel Jess Rockin, who posted a surprising but deserved win in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, and Scott Bryant’s Los Alamitos Super Derby winner Flash And Roll. Cartel Jess Rockin was named champion 2-year-old filly and Flash And Roll was named champion 3-year-old filly. Leonardo Alcala’s as And Js posted several top efforts at Los Al, including a second place finish in the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap. She would be named champion aged mare. Other local stars with great seasons included Powerful Favorite, who won seven of eight starts and shined in the derby division, BH Lisas Boy, who scored a pair of Grade 1 victories against older foes, and 2-year-olds Flokie and Runforyourlife, a pair of winners in million dollar Grade 1 futurities.
The fourth time proved to be the charm for He Looks Hot, as the son of Walk Thru Fire won the $600,000 Champion of Champions in his fourth attempt, holding off New Mexico shipper Mi Amor Secreto and 2018 champion 3-year-old Hotstepper. He Looks Hot tied Rylees Boy as the oldest horses to ever win the Champion of Champions. Trained by Scott Willoughby and ridden by Vinnie Bednar, He Looks Hot also became the fourth horse to win both the Champion of Champions and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. He won both races on December 14th – the wins coming five years apart. His great season was rewarded with the world champion title.
For Allred, 2019 was a year of special accomplishments. On February 8, Oatie Three gave him his 1,500th career Quarter Horse win as an owner – a record in the industry. Allred also became the first owner to reach 100 Quarter Horse stakes wins when Well Good won the Kaweah Bar Handicap on April 24. He also became the first Quarter Horse owner to reach $20 million in career earnings and the first Quarter Horse breeder to $60 million in career earnings. Allred first won the 1973 Champion of Champions with Charger Bar in partnership with Dr. Kenneth Wright. This was his first Champion of Champions since then.
On his retirement night, Ed Burgart’s final race call as track announcer at Los Alamitos went to Cartel Jess Rockin in the Grade 1, $1,903,275 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Ridden by Juan Pablo Leon for trainer John Cooper, Cartel Jess Rockin was the third longest shot on the board at 20-1 odds. Hartley purchased the filly by Favorite Cartel and out of the Feature Jess Rockin for $18,000 as an embryo inside of a recipient mare.
Scott Bryant’s Flash And Roll became the first horse in track history to win the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby after also winning the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity. She was named the AQHA champion 3-year-old filly after being named champion 2-year-old filly last year. Rosenthal Ranch’s Powerful Favorite won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby, Grade 3 El Primero Del Ano Derby and the Governor’s Cup Derby and was among the track’s best all year long.
The Pick Fours continued to be the most popular wager at Los Alamitos, with six out of the 10 highest pools ever in the Early Pick Fours posted in 2019. That included the all-time record for a Friday night of $238,006 posted on November 1. This was also the second highest ever at Los Alamitos Race Course. The Late Pick Four also had its third highest pool ever of $192,277 set on Sunday, May 19.
Ed Allred won the Quarter Horse owner title after picking up78 wins from 393 starters, while Martha Wells was second with 26 wins and EG High Desert Farms third with 22. Allred led in earnings with $1,678,581. Christopher O’Dell scored his first Quarter Horse training title when he saddled 76 winners from 259 starters. He was also the earnings leader with $2,104,070. He is only the fourth trainer to lead the standings here since 1990. Paul Jones finished second with 63 and Scott Willoughby was third with 60 wins. Jesus Rios Ayala won the Quarter Horse riding title for the third straight year after piloting 75 winners. Vinnie Bednar was second with 71 and Eduardo Nicasio, who led the meet in earnings with $1,853,816, was third with 63 wins. In the Thoroughbred standings, Edgar Payeras won his first riding title with 66 wins to finish ahead of Ramon Guce (46) and Francisco Orduña Rojas (33). Angela Aquino won her second Thoroughbred training title with 32 wins, just ahead of Jesus Nunez and Kelly Castaneda, who tied with 29 wins. Ashley Garcia led the Thoroughbred owner standings for a second time with13 wins. Jesus Uranga finished second with 11 wins. PCQHRA will recognize California’s champions on Thursday, January 23.