LARC NEWS Posted: 12/14/2020 5:07:43 AM



           A dominant trial winner three weeks ago when leading from gate to wire in route to a two-length victory and the fastest qualifying time, Walker Family Trust’s Apollitical Patty returned with an even more impressive effort to win California’s richest horse race of the year, the Grade 1, $1,977,250 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, once again leading from start to finish to beat one the strongest fields of juveniles of the year here on Sunday night.

          With Armando Cervantes up for trainer Monty Arrossa in the 400-yard final, Apollitical Patty left like a rocket from post number six to lead Dutch Masters III’s All American Futurity finalist Flash Bak and Ed Allred’s PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Monopolist by daylight during the initial stage of the race. The filly by Apollitical Blood led by a length at that point and then she defended that lead with Idaho built grit and determination, eventually crossing the finish line a half-length ahead of the strong finishing Moonin The Eagle gelding Flash Bak as well as the fast-closing Golden State Million Futurity winner Apollitical Gold, who in the final yards nudged ahead of Monopolist for third place.

          Undoubtedly, the late Jim Walker would have been gushing with pride of his Idaho-bred filly. Walker, who bred and raised AQHA Supreme Racehorse and champion Zoomin For Spudsdied on Tuesday, January 21 of this year at the age of 87. The accomplishments of Apollitical Patty throughout her often-brilliant freshman campaign were constant reminders of the outstanding work Walker did breeding and raising his Quarter Horses. Most of his success came thanks to two broodmares: Time For Noble and most notably A Perfect Cocktail, who like her name says always delivered an enjoyable result regardless of what stallion line she was mixed or combined with year after year after year. A Perfect Cocktail’s sons and daughters included both  Apollitical Patty and the Zoomin For Bux 7-year-old gelding, Zoomin For Spuds, who won the 2016 Champion of Champions and is a 13-time stakes winner at Los Alamitos. A Perfect Cocktail now joins Runaway Dash (Ocean Runaway and Wave Carver) and Dasha Freda (Heza Dasha Fire and Ima Fearless Hero) as broodmares to have produced a Champion of Champions winner and another horse that won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

          Apollitical Patty cruised in her Two Million trial, winning the race by two lengths and in a time of :19.64. While her win in the Two Million final was decided a half-length margin, she posted a faster time of :19.566 while defeating a strong and talented field of evenly matched runners. The Bellevue, Idaho filly earned $815,745 for her night’s work to take her career earnings to $894,192. Apollitical Patty has won six of her eight career starts. 

          Walking towards the winner’s circle after the race, Arrossa got emotional thinking about Jim Walker, the Walker Family, his 2020 season and more. It was his own cocktail of emotions.  

          “I was thinking just how special it is to win it with a homebred, and Idaho-bred,” Arrossa said. “This was a 40-year dream for Jim Walker. He worked hard. He had just two mares and it all came to fruition. I just wish Jim could have been here to enjoy it. I know he’s watching over us. He’s a special guy. They are a special family. When I came to Los Alamitos he was my biggest supporter. He always said that there was no mountain too high. You reach for it; you go for the top all the time. He was an inspiration throughout my life. I can’t believe she got it done.

          “I’ve trained every baby out of that mare and every baby except two have been stakes horses,” Arrossa added. “They all have about the same personality.  They all are nice looking horses with big hearts.  She’s been just awesome. That mare made about $2,400 running on the track and I would often ask Jim ‘What did you see in her?’ because she wasn’t a great racehorse. There was something about her that he just liked.  He was a pedigree researcher and a studier. It did not seem to matter what he crossed her with she would do well. He would buy breedings and supported out local Bitterroot (stallion) auction in Idaho. This is a Bitterroot auction filly right here. He was really proud of being able to compete with the best breeders in the world with just two mares.

          “(Jim) used to joke, ‘It only took me 40 years to get here.’ Persistence paid off for Jim. Zoomin For Spuds didn’t break his maiden until the Wild West Futurity trials here. There would be horses that I thought we should quit on and Jim would say ‘Nah, let’s run them another time or two.’ They would mature as they got a little older and then boom, they would become a stakes winner.”

          Zoomin For Spuds and Apollitical Patty are surely names that everyone in the Quarter Horse racing industry will know and remember. But there also many other Walker-bred stakes winners like Time For Jess Lee, Hoodalum, Jesses Perfect One and Doing Trix.

          The sons and daughters of A Perfect Cocktail – Jesses Perfect One and Hoodalum being two others - always had a little quirk about them Arrossa said.

          “They’re not mean at all,” he said. “They are hot. They are very active. They are busy horses. They like to be doing things. They all have little quirks about them. Spuds had some quirks about him when he was younger in the paddock. He was a handful in the paddock. It took a lot of schooling and we finally got him over that. All of them have had some type of a little quirk about them. They’re very smart horses actually. They are brilliant horses. Sometimes I think they are smarter than us and we just have to figure out a way to stay ahead of them. (Apollitical Patty) has got this little quirk in the starting gate and we’ll continue to work on that with her.”

          Arrossa took his time between the Two Million trials and final to work on that quirk of hers. And he loved how she returned after the trials in comparison to how she was doing after her trial win to the Golden State Million.

          “Apollitical Patty didn’t bounce back as good and didn’t eat as well between the trials and the final of the Golden State Million Futurity,” the trainer said. “In the Golden State Million she broke well and got pretty close to the lead, but they ran past her at the end. She came back after the Golden State finals fantastic. She matured a lot. The last time we took her to the racetrack (on Wednesday) she was just bucking and playing the whole way. I kept her with the pony horse. That was a pretty good sign because Spuds does that when he’s really on fire. It’s kind of a family trait. That made us feel pretty good going into the final. I had the jockey on her. She was very fresh. We’ll x-ray after this and see where she’s at. I don’t expect to have any problems. I don’t expect her to have any surgeries. We’ll give her some time now. We’ll give her a break. We’ll point her to the Los Alamitos Oaks. She’s in that and the Los Alamitos Super Derby. We’ll focus on those two races. “

          Arrossa will also focus on Zoomin For Spuds, as the trainer also said he expects the 8-year-old to be back racing at Los Alamitos in 2021. A Perfect Cocktail, however, will have new connections for the next breeding season after the Walker Family sold her to Dunn Ranch.    

          “It was bittersweet,” Arrossa admitted. “But she was getting up in age and Jim Walker was never an embryo guy. She is at an age now where she needs to be (doing) embryos.  We’ve been working on it throughout the summer.  When I was talking to Brad Walker about the deal, I told him ‘You do realize that you are like on top of the Quarter Horse racing world. This is as good as it gets.’ They understand. This was a passion for Jim. JoAn Walker, Jim’s wife, still makes all the decisions, but her grandson Brad Walker is the executor of the estate. He’s been my go-to person and he’s been phenomenal to work with, but the buck stops with JoAn. She makes the decision and is excited to continue Jim’s legacy.”

          His legacy is rock solid with runners like Zoomin For Spuds and Apollitical Patty.

          Arrossa will now focus on what’s next in 2021.

          “My mom is a great supporter and she reminds me of a high and lows of this business,” he said. “We’re trying to really enjoy this year. We’ve had some fantastic owners. We had the opportunity to handle some phenomenal horses. She would have been here today if not for the COVID-19 restrictions. We talked on the phone already. Our help here is second to none. Jessie Castillo, my assistant trainer, Patty’s groom, Alvaro Gomez, and our other grooms Juan and Jairo Gomez. Diego Cervantes, they are a fantastic team on how they work together. I was real down this morning after Zoomin For Spuds’ race in the Champion of Champions. Alvaro told me today, ‘Monty, don’t cry, it’s okay. Think of hoy, today.

          “I have to give credit to my Idaho team led by Ramiro Fregoso. They broke this filly, they break all of our babies in Idaho. They do a fantastic job with them. I couldn’t do it without them. If I stay out of their way, they can do great things. I am very appreciative of them and all of our owners, who have been so great this year.”

          Great is a good way to describe Armando Cervantes’ season at Los Alamitos. In addition to riding Apollitical Patty in everyone of her starts, he won is first Grade 1 stakes race with Curls Happy Wagon in the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap on September 20. Cervantes is currently the meet’s leading rider in earnings with $1,511,620. Arrossa praised Cervantes with the way he handled her throughout the night.

          “She’s a little rowdy in the gate, but she stood perfectly,” Cervantes said. “She reared up a little bit but sat back and stood there. That’s the only thing that she has. She does that and she stays there. She’s just a good leaver. Just by breaking out of the gate I knew I had them. I was really happy, just trying to get to the wire. I was just ‘come on, come one, come on.’ I knew this filly, she always had talent. She showed it. This is a big race and I’m just so glad that I got to win it.

          “As soon as they start putting them in, she does that little bob up and just sets back and is ready to go. She focused and just goes. Monty Arrossa has always been there for me. I started helping him out in 2016 when I first rode here. I always helped him gallop. I did not come for that much longer until I (returned) in 2019. He gave me the opportunity to ride this filly and I’m really thankful. To my girlfriend and family that are watching me at home, all I can say is thank you for their support.”

          Ridden by Jose Nicasio for trainer Jaime Gomez, Flash Bak earned $330,182 for his runner-up finish. Seventh in the All American Futurity in the summer, the Moonin The Eagle gelding returned here with a half-length win in the trials before running like a flash in the final. Bred by Jim Streelman and Bill Dale, the Missouri product has now earned $$447,167 in his seven-race career.

          Grant Cox Rovacable Trust’s Apollitical Gold earned $233,070 for his third-place finish. Previously undefeated at Los Alamitos, Apollitical Gold had a tremendous campaign at the Orange County oval for trainer Eddie Willis. Jimmy Dean Brooks piloted him in the final with the gelding by  Apollitical Jess completing his freshman campaign with $972,659 in earnings.


          Allred’s homebred Monopolist broke thru the gate before the start, but was quickly brought back and settled down and ran steadily throughout to finish in fourth place for trainer James Glenn, Jr. and jockey Oscar Andrade, Jr. The Favorite Cartel gelding earned $135,958 for his efforts. He completes his 2-year-old year with six top two efforts from eight starts and earnings of $303,098.

          Howard Nichols’ Doc Lamb, who came into the Two Million final having made only two other starts, made a big late run to finish fifth with Raul Valenzuela up for Gomez. The Tres Seis gelding earned $116,535. Here’s the complete order of finish: Apollitical Gold, Monopolist, Doc Lamb, SC Divas Cartel Man, Aint She Tempting, Famous Cartel Jess, Terrific Temper, and Counting The Ways. 


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