Updated on 09/15/2011 1:37PM

Tailor Fit takes Champions


LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. - Tailor Fit clinched the World Champion title with an upset win in the $500,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Sunday night.

In winning what is considered the nation's top race for older Quarter Horses, Tailor Fit scored an important victory for trainer Janet VanBebber. She took over a 100-horse string from her late husband, Steve VanBebber, who committed suicide in December 2000. Steve VanBebber trained Tailor Fit in 1999, the year the gelding won the Champion of Champions and was named World Champion, the Quarter Horse equivalent of Horse of the Year.

"It's a fabulous feeling," VanBebber said in the winner's circle. "It's very rewarding."

Ridden by Alvin Brossette, Tailor Fit ($12.60) led throughout the 440 yards, winning by a half-length over 19-1 Hawkinson in 21.475 seconds.

"I thought, for him, he got away well," VanBebber said. "He's not always the sharpest away from the gate. When he got away, I thought we had a shot."

A Ransom, the defending champion and 1-2 favorite, was within a head of Tailor Fit early, but faded to finish third, beaten three-quarters of a length.

Tailor Fit has won 20 of 32 starts and $1,226,065. A 6-year-old, Tailor Fit became the first to win two Champion of Champions in non-consecutive years. A foot injury prevented him from defending his title last year.

The race was delayed several minutes after top contender Corona Kool became upset in the gate and was scratched.

On Saturday, Your First Moon's surprise victory in the $1.26 million Los Alamitos Million Futurity gave owner Vessels Stallion Farm, trainer Danny Cardoza, and jockey Dusty Stimpson their second consecutive win in California's richest Quarter Horse race.

Sent off at 14-1, Your First Moon ran 400 yards in 19.76 seconds, finishing 1 1/4 lengths in front of 48-1 Corona Music, who was followed by Tres Seis, the 3-5 favorite.