02/18/2013 2:33PM

Los Alamitos: Rylees Boy wins Winter Championship, earning berth in Champion of Champions

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Rylees Boy, the winner of the 2012 Champion of Champions, became the first horse to earn a berth in the 2013 running of that race with a late-charging win in Sunday's $171,300 Los Alamitos Winter Championship at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Ramon Sanchez, Rylees Boy closed from fourth in a field of nine to win by a half-length over stablemate Bills Last. Hez Our Secret was third in the field of nine. Last to Fire, the 2-1 favorite, finished fourth.

The Winter Championship winner received an automatic berth to the Champion of Champions.

Rylees Boy ($10.60) ran 400 yards in 19.63 seconds. An 8-year-old gelding, Rylees Boy had been second in a division of the Winter Championship trials on Jan. 27. Owned by Lorena Velazquez Rodriguez and trained by Paul Jones, Rylees Boy has won 22 of 45 starts and $1,393,862.

Jones said that Rylees Boy will be campaigned sparingly in advance of a fall campaign. The 2013 Champion of Champions is on Dec. 14.

Jordan More than 1 year ago
Rylees Boy has made nearly $1.4 million the hard way, without any major stakes wins at 2 and 3. The big money in quarter horse racing is with the 2 year olds, and there are some big purse Derbys for 3 year olds. After the age of 3, there are few opportunities for a quarter horse to earn a single monster payday. Thus, while it took last year's 2 year old sensation One Dashing Eagle just one campaign to earn $2 million, it has taken Rylees Boy 45 starts and racing into his 8th year to make just under $1.4 million. The irony is that after all that racing Rylees Boy is in career form. I can understand why Jones would want to race Rylees Boy infrequently up until the Champion of Champions, but given the horse is already 8 and further time might not play to his advantage and given he is in such good form, why not keep on striking while the iron is hot?