07/11/2012 2:26PM

Los Alamitos: El Aguila Real won't prep for Champion of Champions


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – El Aguila Real will have a highly unconventional preparation for the $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December.

A two-time major stakes winner this year, the 4-year-old El Aguila Real is not expected to start again until the Dec. 15 Champion of Champions. He will go into the race as one of the top California-based contenders on the basis of his wins in the Los Alamitos Winter Championship in February and the $200,000 Vessels Maturity last Sunday.

Both races featured automatic berths to the Champion of Champions, which is run over 440 yards and plays a pivotal role in the voting for year-end championship honors. El Aguila Real is a candidate for World Champion, but is likely to have a showdown in the Champion of Champions with Cold Cash 123, the 2011 World Champion.

Currently based at Ruidoso Downs, Cold Cash 123 received a berth to the Champion of Champions by winning the Remington Park Championship in May.

El Aguila Real could start in races such as the Go Man Go Handicap in September or the Los Alamitos Championship in October as a prep for the Champion of Champions. But trainer Francisco Vallejo indicated Sunday that he would prefer to wait for December.

“That’s the idea for now,” said Adriana Aceves, Vallejo’s daughter. “We don’t have to pressure him.”

El Aguila Real is owned by Javier Molina of Guadalaraja, Mexico, who bought the gelding privately after the Los Alamitos Winter Championship.

Vallejo, 55, has trained at Los Alamitos for six years. A native of Guadalaraja, he previously worked on a racing farm in Southern California. Vallejo has 22 horses at Los Alamitos.

◗ Friday’s program at Los Alamitos features six divisions of time trials for the $500,000-estimated Governor’s Cup Futurity. The Governor’s Cup Futurity is part of a night of major stakes for California-breds on July 28 that includes the Governor’s Cup Derby and the Spencer Childers Championship for older horses.

Trainers Paul Jones and Jose Flores have runners in each of the six divisions of Friday’s trials, run over 350 yards.

Jones’s starters include Jewel First Cat Sa in the fourth race. A filly, Jewel First Cat Sa was eighth in the Ed Burke Juvenile, the consolation race to the $1 million futurity on June 24. The winner of that consolation race, Remembering Spence, starts for trainer Juan Aleman in Friday’s seventh race.