LARC NEWS Posted: 2/18/2024 1:22:54 AM


         Highly respected owner and breeder Bill Price enjoyed his first Grade 1 stakes victory at Los Alamitos after fastest qualifier BP Cartel Policy broke sharply from post number one and continued strongly from there to win the $174,200 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday night.

Price has had a tremendous career breeding and racing his beloved Quarter Horses since the mid-1980s. Over the year, the Oklahoma native has raced AQHA champion and Grade 1 winner A Real Man and Grade 2 winners Southern Cartel, BP Shes Southern, Cartel Success, Ja Fast Lady and many other Grade 3 stakes winners. One of those Grade 3 stakes winners is Cc Policy, winner of the Oklahoma Futurity in 2007 and now the mother of Price’s newest Grade 1 winner, BP Cartel Policy.

Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, BP Cartel Policy (left) was third during the early going of the 400-yard derby before finding his next gear and taking off to surge ahead of early leader Just Watch Her. From there, Juniors Quarter Horses Inc’s Ready For It moved up powerfully to challenge BP Cartel Policy, but in the end the son of Favorite Cartel was unshakeable, crossing the wire ¾ lengths ahead of Ready For It while stopping the clock in :19.688 as the 8-5 favorite. Arrossa also saddled Ready For It, giving the trainer a 1-2 finish in the race. This was Arrossa’s third straight win in the Winter Derby following Scoops Dynasty in 2022 and Take A Swig Of This in 2023.

Prior to BP Cartel Policy, Price had enjoyed California success with the filly Bps Jumpin Frisco, an earner of over $424,000 in her career, who ran fifth in the 2011 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Price won stakes races at Los Alamitos with the Blane Schvaneveldt trained Ima Ladys Alibi in the 1993 Las Damas Handicap and with the Eddie Willis-trainee BP First Class in the 2014 Autumn Handicap. The owner also raced here notable runners like BP Its My Policy, who qualified an finished sixth in the 2013 Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity, BP Southern Jessies, who posted several good efforts at the allowance level, and Innocent, who ran third in a trial to the Two Million Futurity last year.

BP Cartel Policy is now in the top echelon of horses that Price has campaigned at Los Alamitos after posting his third career win from nine starts. A finalist to the Grade 1 Heritage Place Futurity last year, BP Cartel Policy earned $73,164 for his Winter Derby win to take his career earnings to $169,016.

“I’m so thrilled for Bill Price,” Arrossa said. “He’s bred and raised horses for years and has bred good ones. He supports racing in Oklahoma, he supports racing in California, and supports racing in New Mexico. I’m thrilled to work for him and thankful that he had some success tonight. He loves to race good horses and he’s excited about them. On draw day (this past Wednesday), he was at Remington Park watching some horses in schooling races. He was asking me about dates and if they could run in Oklahoma and then get out here for the Ed Burke. He’s a prince of a man.”

BP Cartel Policy won his Winter Derby trial by ¾ lengths from post seven. Seeing him go to the inside post for the final did not concern Arrossa at all.    

“In the trials, BP Cartel Policy lugged in a little bit and drawing the rail didn’t bother me at all. I thought that would help him. Ready For It is starting to leave the gate. He’s getting away from there. Tonight, he broke great. BP Cartel Policy looked to me like he outbroke (Ready For It) just a little bit and that’s probably why he outrun him at the end. I’m proud of both horses.

“Armando Cervantes qualified both (BP Cartel Policy and Ready For It) and had a tough decision coming back for the final. He chose BP Cartel Policy and we were blessed to pick up Eduardo Nicasio to ride Ready For It. Who better to pick up than (Nicasio)?”

With Nicasio up, Ready For It earned $29,614 for running second to more than double his career earnings to $55,024. The winner of the California Breeders Freshman Stakes, Ready For It is also by Favorite Cartel out of the stakes winner and top producer Up For It.

Ridden by Victor Salazar for trainer Scott Willoughby, Just Watch Her flashed great early speed on the way to running third while racing from the outside post nine. Sent off at 12-1 odds, Just Watch Her earned $20,904 for her solid effort. Kickin Famous, Optical Illusion, Boardwalk, Angel Soul, Roar Like A Lion, and Rockin With Energy completed the field.




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