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Cold Cash 123 Makes Bid in Champion of Champions

World champion hopes for repeat with Champion of Champions win.

December 13, 2012

T-Bill Stables’ homebred Cold Cash 123, the top-ranked older horse in the AQHA Racing-Horseplayer.com National Poll, makes his case for a second-straight world championship in the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) on Saturday night at Los Alamitos.

The 440-yard Champion of Champions is the race that has determined more world champions than any other race and this year’s running has an abundance of storylines. It could determine the world champion, however it is being run during a year when the 2-year-old One Dashing Eagle is making a potent bid for the world title with three wins in $1 million races at two different tracks.

Adding to the intrigue is that Cold Cash 123 (Oak Tree Special-Hot Cash 123 by Takin On The Cash) is coming off his sole defeat of the year, a close third-place finish in $145,500 Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (G1). He was just a neck behind fourth-ranked Chivalry SR while third-ranked El Aguila Real was second.

Also, there is incredible depth to the Champion of Champions field, with Cold Cash 123 leading seven of top-10 ranked older horses in the Champion of Champions.

Cold Cash 123 adores the Champion of Champions distance of 440 yards, with nine wins and that third in the Los Alamitos Championship from 11 starts at the distance.

The long-striding gelding’s stakes resume at a quarter mile is impressive. After taking the All American Juvenile (R) and Southwest Juvenile Championship (G1) at 2, he came back as a sophomore to win the Rainbow Derby (G1), Texas Classic Derby (G1) and The Championship at Sunland Park (G1) and was named world champion. This spring, he won the Grade 1 Leo Stakes and Remington Park Invitational Championship at Remington Park.

All of those 440-yard wins came for trainer C. Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath outside of California before Cold Cash 123 joined the Denny Ekins barn at Los Alamitos this fall. In his Los Alamitos debut, he impressed with a half length win in the $100,000 Go Man Go (G1) at 400 yards before his third-place finish in the 440-yard Los Alamitos Championship as the 2-5 favorite.

Cold Cash 123 is the only horse in the field to have won three Grade 1 races so far this year. Cold Cash 123 has earned $985,982 of his career earnings of $1,255,281 at 440 yards.

Stern Ranches’ homebred Chivalry SR (Walk Thru Fire-Artesias Bediuno by Beduino (TB)) added a turn in the road to Cold Cash 123’s march toward another world title when he upset the defending champion in the Los Alamitos Championship. He finished third in last year’s Champion of Champions and did not return to racing until a troubled sixth-place finish in the Go Man Go for trainer Jose Flores.

Chivalry SR built upon that race to take the Los Alamitos Championship for his first win from three starts at 440 yards. He has shown an affection for 400 yards and owns the Los Alamitos’ 400-yard track record of :19.067 while taking the 2011 Spencer Childers California Breeders Championship (RG1).

Double Bar S Ranch’s venerable 8-year-old Jess You And I (Feature Mr Jess-Gold Daze by Tolltac) may not be ranked, but the classy gelding is making his record-equaling fifth consecutive appearance in the Champion of Champions. He started his run when he won the 2008 running and was named champion aged horse. He barely made the field to this year’s race, running to a third-place finish in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors’ Trial. The top-three Directors’ Trial finishers earned a berth in the Champion of Champions.

The Paul Jones-trained Jess You And I, fourth in last year’s Champion of Champions, has earned $1,824,739 with $1,604,518 coming at Los Alamitos.

Javier Molina’s El Aquila Real (Corona Czech-I Am All That by Lanes Leinster) won three-straight races before finishing the very close second in the Los Alamitos Championship. His wins during his streak included the $225,000 Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) and the $200,000 Vessels Maturity (G1), each at 400 yards.

Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez’s Rylees Boy (Heza Motor Scooter-Pipistrelle by Rocky Jones) is winless from three starts at Los Alamitos, however he has won 20 of his 42 starts and earned $946,166. This year, as a 7-year-old, he has won three of six outs and is the fifth-ranked older horse. He earned his Champion of Champions berth with his win in the $350,000 Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) at Prairie Meadows and races out of the Paul Jones barn in the Champion of Champions.

Then there are the 3-year-olds, an impressive trio all holding spots in the top 10.

Shane O’Leary’s Deniro (Desirio-Priscilla Ione by Mr Eye Opener) was beaten by just a nose and finished second in the $225,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) and then ran the race of his career when he won the $948,000 Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1) in his latest start. The Jose De La Torre-trained gelding has three wins and that close second-place finish from four Los Alamitos starts, all in Grade 1 derbies or their trials. That Super Derby win moved him up to sixth in the national poll.

Robert Williams’ Flame N Flash (Walk Thru Fire-Oh La Proud by Shirley’s Champion) won four-straight races before having a horrific start in the Super Derby and finishing sixth as the 6-5 favorite. The Elena Andrade-trained filly defeated sophomore fillies in the $214,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) and then beat older mares in the $150,000 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap (G1). She is ranked eighth in the national poll.

Johnny Trotter’s Hez Our Secret (First Down Dash-Secret Separation by Separatist) was second by a neck in the Los Alamitos Super Derby and then returned to win the Z. Wayne Griffin Trial and gain his Champion of Champions invitation. The Trey Wood-trained colt was also second in the $2,235,000 All American Derby (G1) behind Ochoa. He holds down the 10th position in the national poll.

Also in the Champion of Champions is Refrigerator Handicap (G1) winner Charal Kid, winner of five of eight starts this year, and Senor Toby, the runner-up in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship and Vessels Maturity and third in the Go Man Go Handicap.