February 18, 2012
Owned by Guadalupe Gonzalez and Jose Beltran, Personal Mission became the 1,500th different American Quarter Horse to win a stakes race in the history of Los Alamitos Race Course following a hard-fought head victory over Larana 09 in Friday’s $16,000 Huntington Beach Handicap.
Los Alamitos has conducted Quarter Horse racing since 1947. Its first official pari-mutuel meet opened in December 1951, and since then many of the sport’s great stars have raced at the Orange County oval. Personal Mission will now be added to the track’s record books as a milestone stakes winner. There have been 301 different trainers and 195 different jockeys to have either saddled or ridden a Quarter Horse to a stakes win in the history of Los Alamitos.
Mario Loza, whose first major stakes win came with Short Czech in the 2008 Southern California Derby (G1), saddled Personal Mission. Guillermo Suarez piloted the Joe Kirk Fulton-bred colt by Special Leader to victory. Personal Mission covered the 350 yards in :17.787 to improve his career record to five wins in eight starts. The bay colt was making only his second start at Los Alamitos. In his local debut, he ran fifth to Kobe in the Holiday Handicap on January 1. His previous victories all came last year in the Intermountain region, including a $14,301 stakes win in Emmett, Idaho. He was fifth in the Dutch Masters III Futurity held in Jerome, Idaho, last summer. Personal Mission earned $8,800 for the Huntington Beach victory to take his career earnings to $18,653.
Daniel Paniagua’s Larana 09 earned $3,600 for running second. Chickitita, Red Dirt Bono, This Boogie Fires, Zoom To The Max, Illegal Smile and FDD Moon completed the field. Red Dirt Bono was the only horse that came into this race having already won a stakes race. The gelding captured the Autumn Handicap on October 8.
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