Thirsty Always Springs Upset In Royal Owl Stakes At Los Alamitos

Thirsty Always upset heavily-favored stablemate Rock N Rye, leading throughout in the $75,000 Royal Owl Stakes, the closing day feature of the Los Angeles County Fair meet at Los Alamitos Race Course in Cypress, Calif.

In his first collaboration with jockey Abel Cedillo, the 2-year-old Stay Thirsty colt out of the Not for Love mare Angela’s Love, quickly established command against his four opponents and went on to win by 1 ½ lengths in 1:03.28 for the 5 ½ furlongs.

The 5-1 third choice, he paid $13.00, $3.20, and $2.40. The victory was his third in five starts and pushed his earnings to $147,600 for owners Tom Beckerle, Saul Carrillo, and breeder Terry Lovingier, and trainer Walther Solis.

Rock N Rye, also trained by Solis – as was fifth-place finisher Mr. T’s Thirsty – and bred by Lovingier, finished four lengths clear of 18-1 shot Drizella as the 2-5 favorite. He returned $2.20 and $2.10 while the show price on Drizella was $3.40. Carmen Miranda checked in fourth as the 3-1 second choice.

“I was telling (Lovingier) before the race I knew (Rock N Rye) was the favorite, but the way this colt had been acting lately I knew he would give (Rock N Rye) a run for his money,” said Solis. “When he was able to make the lead, I thought he was gone. He gets brave when he’s in front.”

Cedillo said his decision on strategy was made at the start.

“He broke so sharp and (Solis) told me that if he can make the lead to go on with him,” said Cedillo. “I did and he responded.”

The stakes win was the second of the meet for Cedillo – he had taken the E.B. Johnston via disqualification with Loud Mouth Sept. 11. He wound up the meet’s leading rider, giving him his second local title. He also led the standings during the 2020 LACF Winter season.

“It’s been great,” he said. “This is not an easy place to ride because the track is so different and the long stretch, but I got to ride a lot of good horses and they made me look good.”

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