02/20/2013 2:10PM

Los Alamitos: Rylees Boy will have sparse campaign leading to Champion of Champions


With a clear year-end goal of defending his title in the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos in December, Rylees Boy will be raced sparingly in coming months.

Trainer Paul Jones made those plans earlier this week after Rylees Boy won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship on Sunday, a race that offered an automatic berth for the winner to the Champion of Champions.

Jones, who has won five of the 13 runnings of the Winter Championship, said the only chance that the 8-year-old Rylees Boy has of winning the Champion of Champions on Dec. 14 is with an abbreviated campaign. He needs a fresh horse at the end of the year.

Jones should know. He said that after he won the 2003 Winter Championship with Whosleavingwho the decision to campaign him extensively that spring and summer was a mistake. Whosleavingwho finished fourth in an attempt to defend his title in the Champion of Champions in December 2003.

After the Jones-trained Good Reason SA won the 2011 Winter Championship, he did not run again until late May, did not start from mid-June to September, and won the Champion of Champions at the end of that year.

Rylees Boy races for Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez and has won 22 of 45 starts and $1,393,862. Rylees Boy may not start again until September, though Jones did not have anything planned earlier this week.

“He needs to go to my ranch in Temecula and get a vacation,” Jones said. “I’ve got to sit down and think about when I can bring him back.”

Rylees Boy won the 400-yard Winter Championship by a half-length over Bills Last, giving Jones a 1-2 finish in the first major race of the year for older Quarter Horses. Last week, Jones said he was concerned that Rylees Boy needed 440 yards to be most effective.

“I didn’t know if Rylees could get up at 400 yards,” Jones said. “I thought he’d need the extra yards. He was able to stay closer to those other horses.”

Bills Last, fifth in the All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs last September, will stay in training this spring.

Spring stakes await Remembering Spence, who won his first stakes in the $231,650 Los Alamitos Winter Derby last Saturday.

Owner Francisco Guzman and trainer Arnoldo Pulido plan to run Remembering Spence in the $200,000-projected El Primero Del Ano Derby on April 7. Trials for that 400-yard race are March 17.