HARD TO FIGURE’S CAPOTE WIN CAPS RECORD FIVE VICTORY DAY FOR VAZQUEZ;

VETERAN JOCKEY EARNS HIS SECOND LOCAL RIDING TITLE AS SEPT. MEET WRAPS

CYPRESS, Calif. – Jockey Ramon Vazquez won his second riding title in as many meets at Los Alamitos and the 38-year-old native of Puerto Rico did so with a flourish.

Vazquez became the first rider to win five races in a single afternoon since daytime thoroughbred racing returned to Los Alamitos in July, 2014. The previous best was four wins, accomplished by six riders – including Abel Cedillo twice.

The Sunday quintuple for Vazquez was completed when he directed 5-2 second choice Hard to Figure to an easy victory in the $75,000 Capote Stakes.

A 2-year-old son of Hard Spun owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, Hard to Figure collected his first win in the restricted event, prevailing by three lengths over stablemate and 1-2 favorite Massimo.

Out of the Mr. Greeley mare Ani La, Hard to Figure tracked 11-1 shot Flame Rider early, then took over while in the clear entering the stretch. He completed the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15:91 and returned $7 and $2.80. Massimo, who finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of 5-1 third choice Man Child, paid $2.10 to place. There was no show wagering.

Racing without blinkers for the first time, Hard to Figure, who was purchased for $200,000 at the OBS sale in March, increased his earnings after three starts to $61,200.

“Taking the blinkers off might have made a difference,’’ said Baffert assistant trainer Mike Marlow. “He’s kind of a strong headed horse, so we just wanted to try and stay away from everything and just leave him plan and let him be. I thought he had a good trip and ran a pretty strong race.’’

Vazquez, who topped the Los Angeles County Fair meet standings earlier in the year with a dozen wins, finished the September season with 13, more than double closest pursuer Edwin Maldonado, who had six.

“It’s great,’’ said Vazquez. “I didn’t know nobody had ever won five in a day here before. It feels good and gives me some (momentum) heading into Santa Anita (which begins its Autumn meet Sept. 30).

Baffert and Peter Miller shared the top spot in the trainer standings. Both finished with five wins.

It was the sixth time Miller and the 13th time Baffert have either led or shared the training title since daytime thoroughbred racing returned to Los Alamitos.

Two races before the Capote, apprentice jockey Armando Aguilar, scored with his first career mount, guiding Sippin N Kissin to a three-quarters of a length win over pacesetter Mourvedre.

Aguilar, 22, who has been exercising horses for Walther Solis, the trainer of Sippin N Kissin, was greeted by a large contingent of friends and family in the winner’s circle, then was doused by several buckers of water by some of his fellow riders on his way back to the jockey’s room.

The final daytime thoroughbred meet of the year at Los Alamitos will begin Friday, Dec. 9. The Winter season will be highlighted by a pair of graded events for 2-year-olds. The Grade I, $300,000-guaranteed Starlet for 2-year-old fillies will be run Saturday, Dec 10 while the Grade II, $200,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Futurity will be offered Saturday, Dec. 17.  Both races are at 1 1/16 miles.

 

NHC SEPTEMBER HANDICAPPING CONTEST RESULTS – 72 ENTRIES – 55 INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS

Winner:

Carson Matties

2nd Place

Duke Matties

TOP 20

  1. Carson Matties
  2. Duke Matties
  3. Tom Buechler
  4. Walt Will
  5. Craig Kaufman
  6. Jerry Fiackowski 
  7. Bruce McCaig
  8. Michael McKee
  9. Karl Zappa
  10. Phil Ioriatti
  11. Joe Davidson
  12. Michael Hicks 2
  13. William Wolf
  14. D.T. Yorimoto
  15. Joshua Mount
  16. James Leal
  17. Louis Constan
  18. Jason Avila
  19. Armando Barreiro
  20. Todd Faro

 

Rest of the field (individual players)

Stephen Hartshorn

Len Hanson

George Duarte

Lisa Ramirez

James Petersen

Linda Rodriguez

David McCarty

Michael Hicks

Joe Vida

Mark Hackworth

Paul Belanger

Leo Vukmanovich

Tom Noone

Tom Quigley

Hesham Ragab

Mark Streiff

Dylan Donnelly

James Henry

Kirk Morrison

Daniel Monreal

Beverly Kruskol 

Francisco Martin

John Herider 

Nate Newby

Keith Smith

Jack Wannebo

Dino Bates

Dave Decauwer

Dennis Decauwer

Evan Littman

Pete Sluis

Bryan Carney

Joseph Destito

Daniel Kaplan

Ron Tackett

 

 

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