12/14/2011 1:57PM

Los Alamitos: Good Reason Sa ends career on high; future bright for I Like the Odds

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As one career reached a climactic conclusion, another essentially began in major stakes at Los Alamitos last weekend.

Good Reason Sa won the $750,000 Champion of Champions on Saturday, the 4-year-old colt’s final start before going to stud in Oklahoma in 2012. In 2009, Good Reason Sa won his first major stakes in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

On Sunday evening, I Like the Odds won his first futurity in the Los Alamitos Two Million, becoming the one to follow in the major derbys at Ruidoso Downs and Los Alamitos in 2012.

Good Reason Sa was a major stakes winner in his three years on the track. At 3, he won the 2010 Golden State Derby. Earlier this year, he won the Los Alamitos Winter Championship.

“It will be hard to watch him get on the van,” trainer Paul Jones said Sunday.

Jones had 3 of the 10 entrants in the Champion of Champions and thought Jess You and I, the winner of the Los Alamitos Championship in October, was his best chance. Jess You and I could only manage fourth.

Good Reason Sa may have earned a championship as the leading older horse with the Champion of Champions win. The division lacked a standout through the year, and a victory in the Champion of Champions carries significant prestige.

Sired by the 1998 Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, Good Reason Sa won 7 of 15 starts and $1,446,620.

I Like the Odds failed to qualify to four major futurities at Ruidoso Downs and Los Alamitos before his breakthrough performance in the $2,236,300 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, the richest race in track history.

In the summer, I Like the Odds ran in trials for the Ruidoso, Rainbow, and All American futurities, but failed to qualify for the finals. He began to thrive after being gelded in late summer, although he missed qualifying for the Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos in October.

John Bassett trained I Like the Odds during the summer, and his 28-year-old son Joe trained the gelding during the fall at Los Alamitos. Between them, John and Joe Bassett have won six runnings of the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, with John Bassett leading the way with four wins.

In the moments after Sunday’s race, Joe Bassett was on the phone to his father in Arizona, celebrating the win.

“They hadn’t pulled up yet, and I had him on the phone,” Joe Bassett said.

The 2012 campaign for I Like the Odds will be split between John’s stable at Ruidoso Downs and Joe’s stable at Los Alamitos in the fall.