09/21/2012 2:38PM

Los Alamitos: Cold Cash 123 makes California debut in Go Man Go

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Cold Cash 123, the reigning Quarter Horse World Champion, makes his long-awaited California debut in Sunday’s $100,000 Go Man Go Handicap at Los Alamitos, the first in a three-race autumn campaign designed to defend his title.

Unraced since winning the Remington Park Championship in Oklahoma City in May, Cold Cash 123 joined trainer Dennis Ekins’s stable in late July. Previous trainer Sleepy Gilbreath is based in Texas and does not race in California.

Ekins said on Thursday that he has spent the last seven weeks learning the nuances of the 4-year-old gelding, who has won 11 of 16 starts and $1,190,281.

“He likes to train and he likes to eat,” Ekins said. “He’s a great horse to train. He’s a very intelligent horse.”

The 400-yard Go Man Go Handicap has been a goal for Cold Cash 123. Gilbreath had Cold Cash 123 in his stable at Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico during the summer, although the gelding did little in the first half of the summer. Ekins also had a stable at Ruidoso Downs and watched Gilbreath train Cold Cash 123.

“I got to watch the horse gallop, train and work,” Ekins said. “I got to learn some of his likes and dislikes. I tried to get the same feel that Sleepy has.”

Ekins and owners Walter and Carolyn Bay plan to run Cold Cash 123 in the $150,000 Los Alamitos Championship on Oct. 28 and the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Dec. 15. Cold Cash 123 earned a berth to the Champion of Champions with his win in the Remington Park Championship.

Cold Cash 123 has experience of racing under lights at Remington Park, but Ekins said the experience of Sunday’s race will help in future starts.

“The most important thing I want out of this is, number one, I want to win, and I want him to get educated and have a good safe trip,” he said. “We’ve got two other major races in front of us down the road. It’s an important race for all of us.”

The Go Man Go drew a strong field. The field of 10 includes Sparky E Boy and Chivalry Sr, who were second and third in the 2011 Champion of Champions; Terrific Synergy, the winner of the Governor’s Cup Derby in July; and Senor Toby, second in the Vessels Maturity in June.