ALWAYS A CHANCE CONTINUES FINE FORM WITH SGT PEPPER FEATURE WIN
Junior’s Quarter Horses’ Always A Chance just keeps getting better and better with each start during his current sophomore campaign at Los Alamitos. His latest effort resulted in the first stakes victory of his career, as the gray gelding by Favorite Cartel led from start to finish to win the $40,000 Sgt Pepper Feature Handicap for 3-year-olds on Saturday at the Orange County track.
Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, Always A Chance flew to the lead from post number 10 in the Sgt Pepper Feature at 350 yards. His lead diminished at the midway point, but then he found a higher gear and pulled away in the final 50 yards to win by a comfortable ½ length margin. The victory was his third in seven career starts and his second in four outings this year. Always A Chance has been at his best in his last two outings, as he finished second to the multiple stakes winner London Toby in the Restricted Grade 1 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship Handicap on July 29.
“(Always A Chance) did very well,” said owner Andres Flores. “After facing older horses (in the Spencer Childers) I thought he had a chance to win (tonight). We ran him in the Spencer Childers because we had faith in him and felt he could win. He finished second against a great horse in London Toby. Overall, I thought our horse had a good showing. He is a strong closer, and we hope he comes out of this race nicely and we can next go to the trials of the (Los Alamitos) Super Derby.”
The Super Derby trials will be contested on October 15 and should attract AQHA champions Hes Judgeandjury, Cyber Attack and multiple Grade 1 winner Party Politics. Always A Change, who earned $22,000 for his victory in the Sgt Pepper Feature, will be a key player in the trials if he continues to be as sharp as he’s been all season long.
“We didn’t have as much luck with him last year, but now he’s doing things well,” Flores added. “Next is the race we’ve all been waiting for, the Super Derby trials, the best race for 3-year-olds here at Los Alamitos. We feel he’s doing well and let’s see how our luck goes in the trials.”
Flores, who lives in Colorado, was joined in the winner’s circle by his sons, Johnny and Andres Jr.
“We’ve been racing horses at Los Alamitos for a long time and I’m always here with my family,” the owner said. “Family is first.”
Always A Chance, a graduate of the 2021 Los Alamitos Equine Sale, has now earned $63,065 in his career. Out of the top producer Elans Last, whose mother is the All American Futurity winner Elans Special, Always A Chance is full-brother of 2020 Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Chance To Excel.
EG High Desert Farms’ Marcelo earned $9,000 for running second. The homebred gelding by Fast Prize Cartel also finished second in the Jens List Memorial Stakes on July29. Boardshorts Stables’ Ima Sixy Man ran third for trainer Juan Aleman. Counter Attack, Up The Interest, Five Bar Knockout, Space Flight, Price Fixer, Interesting Eagle, and Proximity complete the field.