Harris Farms’ Bred Club Aspen Surprises in King Glorious Stakes

From Los Alamitos Publicity
CYPRESS, Calif. (Dec. 15, 2019) – Making his first start around two turns on dirt, Club Aspen drew off late to post an 8-1 upset in the $100,000 King Glorious Stakes for Golden State Series eligibles on Sunday at Los Alamitos, the final day of the Winter Thoroughbred meet.

Bred by Harris Farms, trained by Craig Lewis for his brother Larry and ridden by apprentice Jorge I. Velez, the 2-year-old Clubhouse Ride colt out of the Talkin Man mare Aspen Gal tracked pacesetter and 3-5 favorite Tap Back for most of the trip, then kicked away in the final eighth of a mile to win by 2 ½ lengths.

The victory was the second in seven starts for Club Aspen, who completed the mile in 1:36.28 in a race restricted to juveniles bred or sired in California. He paid $19.40 and $4.80 while increasing his bankroll to $118,211. There was no show wagering.

“He looked like the winner to me every jump of the way,’’ said Lewis. “I never had a doubt he would handle the two turns.

“He’s had some excuses. In his turf race (sixth in the Zuma Beach Oct. 6) he never had a chance to run. He was in trouble from start to finish, and in the (Golden State Juvenile) he was compromised by drawing the inside post in a huge field.

“I think both of those races were better than they appeared on paper and I think he showed it today.’’

Club Aspen’s success completed a Sunday hat trick for Velez and gave him his third riding title of the year at Los Alamitos. He finished the Winter meet with nine wins, the same number he had in leading the Summer Thoroughbred Festival (June 29-July 14) and he led the Los Angeles County Fair season (Sept. 7-22) with 14.

“There’s a long stretch here, but I like it,’’ said Velez. “You have to be patient. I’m grateful to all the owners and trainers for the success I’ve had. I love riding here.

“(Tap Back) was the horse to beat, so I wanted to follow him around the track and see if I could beat him. I liked this colt’s maiden win (Aug. 2) at Del Mar.’’