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© Scott Martinez
LOS ALAMITOS, CA—AUGUST 9, 2019—Bill Hoburg's BH Lisas Boy successfully defended his Bank of America California Championship title after scoring a wire-to-wire ¾ length win in the 440-yard regional final on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
BH Lisas Boy's victory in the $40,579 California regional earned him a spot in the Grade 1, $250,000 Bank of America Championship Challenge final to be held on Saturday, October 26 at The Downs of Albuquerque. The 7-year-old gelding by Mighty Invictus has now qualified to the Championship final in four out of the past five years.
In fact, BH Lisas Boy is also the defending winner of this Grade 1 final after winning the Championship when the event was held at Los Alamitos in 2018. Whether or not he defends this title will depend on how he performs in two major Grade 1 races at Los Alamitos with Champion of Champions implications.
"We're looking at getting him qualified to the Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos," Hoburg said. "We're looking at the Go Man Go Handicap (on September 1) and the Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship (on October 13). If we are fortunate enough to capture one of those races we'll probably not travel to Albuquerque. The main concern is to get a berth to the Champions of Champions. The Bank of America Championship Challenge is an alternative. For $250,000, a guy can drive 10 hours for that nice of a purse."
BH Lisas Boy went over the $800,000 mark in career earnings after adding the first place check of $22,724 for his victory on Saturday night. A winner in 21 of 40 starts, BH Lisas Boy has earned $808,553 in his lifetime. BH Lisas Boy has earned $711,000 of that amount since the start of his 4-year-old campaign. A nine-time stakes winner at Los Alamitos, BH Lisas Boy covered the 440 yards in :21.657. Six of his wins have been at this distance.
"He's got enough Thoroughbred in him that the last 40 yards have been his strength," Hoburg added. "He's able to hold off or get by some really nice horses. He's a wonderful horse - 21 wins out of 40 starts - he's amazing.
Jockey Oscar Andrade, Jr. piloted BH Lisas Boy to victory from post number three. The young rider was enjoying his first win aboard the veteran racehorse after piloting to back-to-back second place finishes in a trial and final to the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity.
"He broke really good," said Andrade, Jr. "I kind of felt a little more pressure about 100 yards out of the gate, but he kept moving and closed hard like I really wanted him to. I didn't want to be too confident. At 440-yards these good horses can close on you any second. I'm just grateful to be getting these opportunities."
Andrade, Jr. was enjoying his second career stakes win at Los Alamitos. He also guided La Rusa to victory in the Miss Princess Handicap earlier this year. J. Garvan Kelly and Nancy Yearsley's Fenian Faith earned $9,739 for running second in this race. The Apollitical Jess mare entered this race after an allowance victory. Carlos Huerta piloted Fenian Faith for trainer Juan Aleman.
Mark and Peggy Brown's One Sweet Jess gelding Jess My Kiss, the winner of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby last year, finished third.
EOS A Political Win completed the field.
Courtesy of www.losalamitos.com.