LARC NEWS Posted: 7/30/2023 4:14:38 AM



     Ed Allred, Quarter Horse racing's all-time leading breeder and owner, enjoyed a big night on the opening program of California Breeders Champions Weekend on Saturday at Los Alamitos. Allred won three of the five stakes races contested on the night, including the Restricted Grade 1, $100,000 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap with his often impressive homebred London Toby, who dazzled in the 400-yard race while posting a 1 1/4 length victory. Allred won stakes with two other homebreds, as Up The Ladder scored a half-length victory in the $25,000 Sprint Stakes while Space Flight became a two-time stakes winner on the California Breeders Champions program after winning the $25,000 Jens List Memorial Stakes.

     Allred's top star of the night was London Toby, as the gelding by Favorite Cartel out of London Laura, left the gate beautifully to take the lead, continued strongly for the first half of the race and then found an even higher gear to pull away from his seven rivals in route to the richest victory of his career. Now a winner in five of 12 career starts, London Toby earned $55,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $115,093. London Toby covered the distance in :19.478, the fastest time in this race since Chivalry SR set the stakes record of :19.06 in 2011. Prior to his Spencer Childers win, the stunning sorrel ran a strong fourth to AQHA World Champion Empressum in the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity on July 2.

    "He ran a great race in the Vessels," Willoughby said. "He had some trouble away from the gates. He got bounced around a little bit, but he ran a big race and finished well. We've always known that he's a great horse. He got sick and had to have about a year off. It's been a hard road back but he's sure doing well now."

    Allred and Willoughby have been the winningest combination in the history of the Spencer Childers. Allred is a nine-time winner in this race while Willoughby is a six-time winner. The owner and trainer have joined forces to win three straight runnings and five of the last seven.

    "Spencer was a great man and it's fantastic to win the Spencer Childers race with these great horses," Willoughby said. "Doc Allred's horses are great."

     Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala from post number seven, London Toby defeated a field that included multiple stakes winner Cattail Cove, stakes winner Jess Being A Friend and the Grade 1 stakes finalists Eye On The Sky and Stuck In Probate.

    "London Toby breaks extremely strong and he has a heck of a gear down on this end. It was great to watch," the trainer added.

    Juniors Quarter Horses, Inc's Always A Chance finished second in this race, breaking sharply from the outside post eight and chasing the eventual winner the entire way. Armando Cervantes rode Always A Chance. Link Newcomb's Cattail Cove, who was making his 27th stakes appearance in 39 career starts finished third for trainer Juan Aleman. Always A Chance earned $22,500, while Cattail Cove added $12,500 to his lifetime earnings which are now $649,182. Eye On The Sky, Jess Being A Friend, Stuck In Probate, Strawfinders Corona, and All Ways completed the field.

    Allred and Willoughby connected with two more stakes with both winner's being ridden by Jonathan Roman. Fresh off his third-place finisher to Cattail Cove in the Independence Day Handicap, Up The Ladder ran a near perfect race to win the Sprint Stakes ahead of stablemate Nevada Charles. Up The Ladder picked up his sevent career victory and first since allowance event on October 15. Since then, the Kiddy Up gelding in four other stakes event, including a second-place finish in last year's Town Policy Handicap.

   "He breaks really sharp and just gives you everything he's got every time he runs down through there," Willoughby said. "We had some good horses in this race, but he was the one that got away the best. It paid up for him. He tries hard every single time. Nevada Charles was trying to catch him but just didn't get there."

    Up The Ladder covered the 350 yards in :17.597. Nevada Charles, New And Better, Cactus Jack, Zackery Bono, and Party Lines completed the field.

    Space Flight won the Freshman Stakes last year and has now added the Jens List. He's only the 17th horse to win at least two stakes races on this showcase program for California-breds.

   "He's shown to be a very nice horse," Willoughby said. "He's had a few problems getting away from the gate and got run over two times. I think this (gelding) will go on to become a really nice older horse. We're looking forward to running him for the next few years. We have him in a couple of late derbies. Hopefully we can do some good there."

    Now a winner in three of 10 starts, Space Flight earned $13,750 and covered the 400-yard distance in :20.011. EG High Desert Farms' Marcelo ran second and was followed by The Poseidon, Up The Interest, Chickititas Cartel, Price Fixer, and Bravery.




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