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CYPRESS, CA – Reddam Racing homebred Play Chicken pulled off a 13/1 shocker at Los Alamitos in Sunday’s $100,000 King Glorious Stakes for California-bred or sired juveniles.
Play Chicken broke alertly from post 10 under Mario Gutierrez while wearing blinkers for the first time and flashed early speed before settling into a two-wide stalking position in fourth outside of Tacoflavoredkisses.
The 9/5 favorite Mister Bold led the 2/1 second choice Good With People through opening fractions of :23.01 and :47.05 before Good With People moved up to challenge for the lead heading into the far turn.
Play Chicken raced alongside Good With People while cornering and straightened for home in contention and in the clear. Good With People led at the 1/4 pole, but Play Chicken inched his way to the front just past the 3/16 pole
The Doug O’Neill trainee drew clear enough to sustain a late push from Moving Fast and win by a neck, completing the 1-mile fast dirt route in 1:38.10.
“The key was getting him to wait because he wanted to go chase the leader early and we wanted to wait with him,” Gutierrez said. “Tried to save as much as I could with him for the stretch and he really dug in.”
Club Cal was a 1/2-length further behind in third and the same distance separated Mister Bold, himself a nose and a neck ahead of Good With People and Tacoflavoredkisses.
From the Get Go, Ascot Storm, Wedding Groom, and Govenor’s Party completed the order of finish.
Positivity (last of six in Saturday’s Los Alamitos Futurity [G2]) was scratched, as was Also Eligible Bobby’s Alibi.
Play Chicken’s win was his second following a debut score in a Santa Anita Park mile route on turf against fellow Cal-breds. The Square Eddie colt, fifth in the Golden State Juvenile Stakes in his only other start, has now earned $94,000.
“I thought it was great,” said assistant trainer Stephanie Murray. “He showed a lot of heart. He was very gutsy, couldn’t have asked for him to do anymore. We just wanted to play the break and see how the race unfolded. It was kind of Mario’s decision from the get-go, so I think he gets all the credit.”
Play Chicken returned $29 to win, $10.60 to place, and $7 to show. Moving Fast brought back $11 to place and $7.20 to show, while Club Cal paid $5.80 to show.
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