Posted 9/8/2017 - Matt Fales did not have to wait long to celebrate his second career stakes win at Los Alamitos. Just a few races after saddling Larry Stark’s Jess A Cowboy to victory in the He Flys Handicap for older horses, Fales was back in the winner’s circle after $15,000 The Plan Handicap with Martha Wells’ major stakes finalist Yanque on Friday at Los Alamitos. The Plan is for horses that have competed in the Intermountain, Northwest, Arizona and Nevada regions this year.
Ridden by Cruz Mendez, who also piloted Jess A Cowboy in the He Flys, Yanque veered out and then lugged in during the 350-yard race, but finished strongly to come out on top and win The Plan by a neck over stablemate Higher Icon. Yanque covered the distance in :17.974, while posting his second win in seven career starts. With his earnings of $8,250 in this race, the Favorite Cartel gelding raised his career bankroll to $26,574.
Bred in California and out of the Hawkinson mare Red Hawk Chick, Yanque began his career with a pair of starts at Turf Paradise. His connections moved him to Los Alamitos in the spring where he quickly posted a pair of runner-up efforts in maiden races before winning his Governor’s Cup Futurity trial by ¾ lengths, but more importantly qualified to the $390,000 futurity final. It was a rough go for Yanque in the Governor’s Cup final, as he bumped early after a slow start when finishing eighth in the final.
“We had our expectations high for that night, but he had a rough trip,” Fales said. “We took our lumps and knew we had a good schedule of races with this horse coming up. He still didn’t get the run a perfect race for us, but he’s talented enough that he was able to get there first to the wire. He has some bigger races coming up and he’ll have to run better in order to step his game up. He’s in the Wild West Futurity coming up in about a month and that’s a good race for him.”
Fales’ had the good fortune of having his father, long-time horseman Ralph Fales, on hand to watch him score his first two stakes victories at the Orange County oval.
“When he comes there’s no pressure,” Fales added. “He makes everybody happy. It would have been complete in my mom and son were here tonight, but they are holding down the fort in Arizona.”
As for owner Martha Wells, The Plan worked out perfectly for her racing operation, as her two horses finished 1-2 in the race. Bred in Arizona and sired by Texas Icon, Higher Icon earned $3,375 for running second. Jairo Rangel piloted Higher Icon, who finished second in the Desert Classic Futurity at Turf Paradise on April 30.
Krash Your Party, R Sturdy Boy, Cowgirl N Up, The Bossgirl, Dynasty Darlin, Recking Ball, and Mr Soul completed the field.
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