First Black Wagon Rolls in Anaheim Handicap

Gelding picks up eighth career win in 19 lifetime starts.

March 3, 2013

Owned and bred by Michael Pohl, First Black Wagon continued his outstanding work at Los Alamitos Race Course thanks to a half-length victory in the $15,000 Anaheim Handicap on Saturday night.

Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Paul Jones, First Black Wagon improved his record at the Orange County track to an impressive seven wins in 11 starts while posting his second stakes victory here. The son of PYC Paint Your Wagon left post number three right behind the defending Anaheim Handicap winner Jumpn Shake before taking over the lead at the midway point of the race. First Black Wagon finished nicely from there while covering the 350 yards in :17.479. The Oklahoma-bred runner improved his record to two wins in three starts this year, having already scored an allowance victory at this course on January 12.

“He’s done well at Los Alamitos,” Jones said. “I’m glad to have him back here.”

First Black Wagon’s overall record at Los Alamitos now features stakes wins in the Anaheim Handicap and John Deere Stakes during the 2011 Bank of America Challenge Championships Night plus four allowance victories. He also won a trial to the 2011 Southern California Derby (G1) and finished fourth in the final. His steady local resume could lead First Black Wagon to bigger challenges in 2013.

“I think we might look for a tougher spot for him,” Jones added.

The 5-year-old brown gelding earned $8,250 in the Anaheim Handicap to take his career earnings to $87,283. His career record now reads eight wins in 19 career starts.

Racing for Bobby Cox and Chad Hart, Jumpn Shake saw his bid for an Anaheim repeat spoiled by First Black Wagon. Named the PCQHRA’s top aged stallion at Los Alamitos in 2012, Jumpn Shake was able to record his fifth top three finish in a stakes race here since last January. In addition to his Anaheim victory, Jumpn Shake’s 2012 campaign included a second in the First Down Dash Handicap (G3) and thirds in both the Kaweah Bar (G3) and Cypress handicaps. Trained by Jaime Gomez and ridden by Gregorio Arriaga, the 5-year-old stallion by Jumpn earned $3,375 for his runner-up effort on Saturday. Kas On Fly and Jus Ledoux It, the winners of the last two editions of the First Down Dash handicaps, finished third and fourth, respectively. Bar Closer completed the field.