Soi Phet, the 7-2 fourth choice in a field of eight, defeated 2-1 favorite B Squared by a nose to win the $101,035 Bertrando Stakes Wednesday at Los Alamitos.
The victory was the second in the Bertrando – he gained his first in the inaugural running in 2014 – for the ageless gelding and his fifth stakes win in nine starts at Los Alamitos.
Claimed for $16,000 more than five years ago at Hollywood Park by trainer Leonard Powell, the 10-year-old Tizbud gelding became a millionaire with his 15th lifetime score. The $60,000 payday pushed his bankroll to $1,015,250 through 59 starts.
Owned by Benowitz Family Trust, Mathilde Powell and Paul Viskovich, who were joined in the winner's circle by a large and jubilant group, Soi Phet, who is out of the Siberian Summer mare Summer Jersey, completed the mile in 1:35.53.
Worse than second only twice locally, the dark bay returned $9.60, $4 and $2.40.
Perfectly placed just behind the early leaders by jockey Alonso Quinonez, who had ridden him to a 47-1 upset victory in the Crystal Water on the turf at Santa Anita May 20, Soi Phet found a seam between horses in deep stretch and was able to win the head bob from B Squared.
This was the second consecutive photo B Squared had dropped to Soi Phet as he fell a head short in the Crystal Water.
Owned and bred by J. Paul Reddam's Reddam Racing LLC and trained by Doug O'Neill, B Squared returned $3.60 and $2.60 while finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Grecian Fire. The show price on Grecian Fire, who was the 7-2 third choice, was $3.
“He has such a big heart,'' said Powell. “I wasn't sure he had won. “Even watching the replay I wasn't sure.
“It was the kind of trip we hoped he would get. Financially it means a lot (Soi Phet surpassing $1 million in earnings), but, honestly, for the horse it doesn't mean anything because to me he has always been worth a million dollars and more.
“I'm very proud of what he's been able to accomplish. There's been a lot of hours spent with him and the fact he has responded the way he has is very satisfying.''
There will be no live racing at Los Alamitos Thursday. Racing resumes Friday, July 6. Post time is 1 p.m.
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