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Press ReleaseJanuary 25, 2014
The ageless Rylees Boy will begin his quest for another trip to the $750,000 Champion of Champions (G1) when he heads the second of three trials to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship on Sunday night. Twenty-one older stars will be in action in the trials with the horses with the 10 fastest times moving on to the final on February 16. The winner of the Winter Championship final will earn the first of 10 berths to the 2014 Champion of Champions.
Trained by Paul Jones for Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez, Rylees Boy has been a huge player in the Champion of Champions the past two years. He won the 2012 running as a 7-year-old and was second in last year’s Champion of Champions at the age of eight. He won the Winter Championship last season to earn his spot in the Champion of Champions.
Now a grizzled veteran at 9-years-old, Rylees Boy will be making his 50th career start in the evening’s seventh race at Los Alamitos. He’s won 22 races in his career and his lifetime earnings stand at $1,542,839. Saul Ramirez Jr., who piloted the gelding in the Champion of Champions, returns aboard the son of Heza Motor Scooter.
The field that Rylees Boy will be facing includes rising star Nellie Delaney, a 4-year-old mare that skipped the January 5 Charger Bar Handicap (G2) for distaffers in order to compete in the Winter Championship trials. Having finished in a dead-heat for the win in the Southern California Derby (G1) on December 22, owners Nancy Yearsley and J. Garvan Kelly felt that coming back in two weeks to run in the Charger Bar was too short of a span between starts for Nellie Delaney. Sired by FDD Dynasty, Nellie Delaney has won three of her last five starts at Los Alamitos. She'll be ridden by Raul Valenzuela and saddled by Juan Aleman.
The talented Tres Coronas Mas will also compete in this trial and will be making his first outing for the connections of Hector A. Hernandez and trainer Roberto Dominguez. Previously owned by Vessels Stallion Farm, Tres Coronas Mas ran third in the Southern California Derby in his last start and prior to that he was third in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G3). Abel Ramirez will ride Tres Coronas Mas from post number six.
Champion of Champions finalists Vodka With Ice and Chivarly SR will headline the opening trial on Sunday. Chivalry SR is a two-time Champion of Champions finalist and most recently he posted an impressive 1 1/2-length win on December 27. Gerardo Parra’s Vodka With Ice ran sixth in the Champion of Champions in his last start and before that he won the Bank of America Challenge Championship (G1) by neck on November 9. Pablo Rabasa Jr. will saddle the Stoli gelding. This trial will also feature 2013 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) winner Remembering Spence and multiple stakes winner High School Secrets.
Howard Nichols’ Jess Being Valiant is one of the horses to watch in these trials. The stallion by Valiant Hero won last month’s A Ransom Handicap and he ran second to Far Niente in the Golden State Derby (G1) and second to Seperete Interest in the Town Policy Handicap. Jess Being Valiant will look to avenge that defeat in the Town Policy as Seperate Interest will also compete in this trial. Racing for Lila Kessinger, Seperate Interest in a multiple Grade 1 finalist, but he’ll come into this race after a fifth place finish in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial. Stel My Corona, winner of the 2012 PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2) and two-time Grade 1 derby finalist Scatmandu will also be in this trial.
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