Cold Cash, El Aguila Real Meet in Los Al Invitational

Top-ranked horses meet in Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship.

October 25, 2012

T-Bill Stables’ reigning world champion Cold Cash 123 takes on a new challenger in three-time Grade 1 winner El Aguila Real when he tries for his sixth consecutive Grade 1 win in the $150,000 Robert Boniface Los Alamitos Championship (G1) on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.

The winner of the 440-yard Los Alamitos Championship earns an invitation to the $750,000 Champion Of Champions (G1) in December at Los Alamitos. Cold Cash 123 and El Aquila Real already have Champion Of Champions invitations.

Cold Cash 123 is the unanimous No. 1- ranked older Quarter Horse in the weekly AQHA Racing/ national poll while El Aguila Real holds down the third spot.

Cold Cash 123 (Oak Tree Special-Hot Cash 123 by Takin On The Cash) thrives at 440 yards, with nine wins from 10 quarter-mile outs, with four of those Grade 1 wins. Javier Molina’s El Aguila Real (Corona Czech-I Am All That by Lanes Leinster) has never raced over a quarter mile, but has finished very strongly in his shorter races and should handle the added distance.

The 4-year-old Cold Cash 123 has earned $1,240,281 and has been unbeatable over the past year for trainers Dwayne “Sleepy” Gilbreath and Denny Ekins.

Racing for Gilbreath outside of California, Cold Cash 123 started his Grade 1 winning streak a year ago when he won the Texas Classic Derby by three quarters of a length in :21.168 for 440 yards. He then closed out his 2011 world championship season with an impressive length win in the The Championship at Sunland Park (G1) over 400 yards.

Gilbreath took him to Remington Park last spring and the gelding battled to get up and beat longtime rival Llano Teller by a neck in the 400-yard Leo Stakes (G1). He then showed his 440-yard prowess in the Remington Park Championship (G1) when he pulled away to a length win over JLS Mr Bigtime while Llano Teller finished third.

Cold Cash 123 summered in Gilbreath’s barn at Ruidoso Downs and then joined the Ekins stable at Los Alamitos for his fall campaign. He made his Los Alamitos debut against a very deep field in the September 23 Go Man Go Handicap (G1) and showed why he is the top-ranked older horse in Quarter Horse racing, racing confidently past his rivals to win by a half length while under a strong hold.

El Aguila Real began his climb to his top-three ranking a year ago when he won an allowance race at Los Alamitos. He then showed he was ready for the big time when he won his Southern California Derby trial and then battled to a head win in the 400-yard Southern California Derby (G1).

It was then another step up in class for the Francisco Vallejo-trained gelding. He was a troubled second to Dash Back Perry in their Los Alamitos Winter Championship trial and then bounced back to win the Los Alamitos Winter Championship (G1) by three-quarters of a length.

Rested from the Los Alamitos Winter Championship in February until the Vessels Maturity trials in June, he showed no rust upon his return. He won his trial by a half length and then was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the Grade 1 final. That was the first time he was favored since he won the allowance race that started his rise to a Grade 1 winner.

In the Vessels Maturity on July 8, El Aguila Real showed his closing kick to defeat the always tough Senor Toby by a half length. It was the third straight race that El Aguila Real won and Senor Toby was second.

Cold Cash 123 and El Aguila Real won’t have any trouble racing with each other on Sunday night. El Aguila Real drew the 2 post position and Cold Cash 123 is next door in the 3 hole.

Also in the Los Alamitos Championship are Champion Of Champions (G1) third-place finisher Chivalry SR, Bank of America Los Alamitos Challenge  (G3) winner Sparky E Boy and Mildred Vessels Handicap runner-up Thisfeatureisspecial.