World Champion Empressum Wins 2023 Debut, Tops Trials To Brad McKinzie Los Al Winter Championship

LOS ALAMITOS' CA—JANUARY 29, 2023— It was not easy, but Steve Holt and Jeff Jones’ Empressum, the newly crowned AQHA World Champion and PCQHRA Horse of the Year, won his 2023 debut thanks to a big time finish in the first of two trials to the Grade 1, $144,950 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship here on Sunday night.

The 5-year-old gelding by Apollitical Jess was last at the start of his 400-yard trial, trailing the always sharp Scoops Dynasty by a length after breaking slow and towards the inside and getting bumped at about 75 yards into the race.

Empressum shook off the contact, set his sights on Scoops Dynasty and moved into a higher gear.