by Joe Naiman
Chiloquin, a 3-year-old gelding who was foaled at Ballena Vista Farms in Ramona, won the Real Good Deal Stakes at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club meet on Aug. 10.
Chiloquin, ridden by Martin Pedroza, led throughout the seven-furlong race for 3-year-old California-bred horses and defeated second-place Luckarack by half a length.
“He’s had a lot of tough trips in his life,” said trainer Scott Hansen. “Finally we got one to go his way.”
Chiloquin had three previous victories in his 11 career races prior to the Real Good Deal Stakes. He won three of his first six career races with the most recent win occurring Jan. 16 at Santa Anita, and he finished third in his next two races, fourth in the Snow Chief stakes race April 23 at Hollywood Park, and second in June 9 and July 14 races at Hollywood Park. The Snow Chief race was his only stakes competition prior to the Real Good Deal Stakes.
Six horses competed in the Real Good Deal Stakes including Bench Points, who had won five of his other eight races and went off with 1:2 odds. Chiloquin had the third post position and paid his bettors 4.4:1 odds .
Pedroza had ridden Chiloquin in the horse’s previous eight races and for all three of Chiloquin’s victories, so Hansen trusted him to make decisions during the race.
“I don’t usually give Martin instructions,” Hansen said.
Chiloquin and Pedroza broke first and had a one-length lead over Luckarack, who was second for the entire race, a quarter-mile past the starting gate. Those two furlongs took Chiloquin 23.97 seconds.
“It didn’t look like any speed (horses who go to the front early and win only if the more distance-oriented horses don’t catch up),” Hansen said. “Fortunately we were right.”
In a sense Chiloquin acted as the speed, as Hansen and Pedroza had Bench Points in mind.
“I thought we could steal the race, and we got a 24 (second) first quarter and for once it worked out,” Hansen said. “I thought we’d get everything our way. It was just a question of whether Bench Points would come running at us.”
Bench Points, who was third for the entire race and finished a length behind Chiloquin, trailed Luckarack by half a length and Chiloquin by 1-1/2 lengths after two furlongs.
Chiloquin reached the half-mile point at 46.76 seconds and had a two-length lead over Luckarack. Luckarack had a 1-1/2 length lead over Bench Points after half a mile.
Chiloquin entered the stretch 1:10.63 into the race while leading Luckarack by a head. Luckarack was two lengths ahead of Bench Points as they entered the stretch.
“This is a game horse. He’s very competitive; he wants to wait on horses, then take them on. That’s what he did today,” Pedroza said of Chiloquin. “When the other horse (Luckarack) came up alongside him, he dug back in.”
Chiloquin had a winning time of 1:22.45.
“He ran hard today, and he got it done,” Pedroza said.
“He came out of the race in good shape,” Hansen said. “We’re just very happy that we finally got to win a stakes and get some attention for him.”
The win was the first at Del Mar for Hansen. His only previous stakes win was at the Suffolk Downs track in Greater Boston.
Chiloquin’s sire was Tribal Rule and his dam was Zzyzzx Road, which has one more “z” than the actual San Bernardino County road. He was bred by Sam and Carl Asadurian and foaled at Ballena Vista on March 26, 2008. He is owned by Hansen and Carl Asadurian, who lives in Moorpark and has a ranch in Oregon. Chiloquin spent part of his early life at the Oregon ranch and was broken in Northern California.
Hansen lives in Murrieta and has a training center there, and Chiloquin has trained both in Murrieta and at the San Luis Rey Downs Thoroughbred Training Center in Bonsall where he is stabled.
The win gave Chiloquin $60,000 of the total $100,000 purse and increased his lifetime earnings to $186,784.