11/24/2013 5:54PM

Los Alamitos: Significant Heart earns spot in Champion of Champions


Significant Heart became the third filly or mare to qualify for the $750,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 14 following a surprise win in Saturday’s $15,000 Z. Wayne Griffin Directors’ Trial at the California track.

Significant Heart ($20) won the 400-yard trial by a neck over 8-5 favorite Hez Our Secret, finishing in 19.68 seconds. Cold Cash 123, the 2011 World Champion Running Quarter Horse, finished third in the field of seven, beaten a length.

The other fillies and mares with berths are Matabari, a 3-year-old filly who won the Los Alamitos Super Derby earlier this month, and Check N Fetch, a 5-year-old mare who won the Mildred Vessels Handicap for fillies and mares in September.

Significant Heart won the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Breeders’ Association Derby in October. She races for Abigail Kawananakoa and is trained by Paul Jones, who also will start defending champion Rylees Boy and Check N Fetch in the Champion of Champions.

Horses earn berths in the Champion of Champions by winning major stakes throughout the year. Other qualifiers are Feature Hero, Last to Fire, Ochoa, Priceless Feature, and Vodka With Ice. The final berth will be awarded to the winner of Wednesday’s Zia Park Championship in New Mexico. That race was postponed from Saturday because of inclement weather.

If a qualified horse does not run in the Champion of Champions, Hez Our Secret would gain a berth for his second in Saturday’s trial.