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Go Girl Gone Out To Make a Name for Herself in California


August 20, 2008     E-mail this page to a friend!

Go Girl Gone, second from right, breaks her own track record on May 4 at Sun Downs in Kennewick, Washington
(photo by Ginny Harding)
Story by Orlando Gutierrez, Los Alamitos Race Course

Ask anyone involved in quarter horse racing in the state of Idaho about Go Girl Gone’s reputation and you’re likely to receive a highly favorable response. Already a well-known and accomplished stakes winner from the Intermountain region, this mare has six victories to her credit and has only finished out of the top three in one occasion in her eleven career starts. Despite the strong resume that she has pieced together back home, eventually her owners 3G Racing chose to campaign their talented runner in Southern California, hoping to add a stakes win from Los Alamitos Race Course to her already impressive list of accolades.

Her connections couldn’t have chosen a better time either, as Go Girl Gone appears to be in the best form of her life. A winner of two of her three starts this season, this mare has already broken the 400-yard track record at Sun Downs on two separate occasions this year. “In the trials to the Northwest Distaff Challenge, she broke the record with a :19.76 and we all thought that was pretty impressive,” said Michael McKay of 3G Racing. “Then she came right back in the finals and broke it again in :19.74. She did it so easily, too. Our jockey barely even had to touch her. That race gave us a lot of confidence in her and we thought we might as well take a chance and send her to Paul Jones so she could run here at Los Alamitos.”

Go Girl Gone now looks set to tackle champion aged mare Blazin Fire in Friday night’s Merial California Distaff Challenge.

Even as a two-year-old, Go Girl Gone seemed to stand out from her rivals.

She won a pair of races mid-season at Les Bois Park, taking the trials and finals of the Northwest Juvenile Challenge under easy handling. She was then shipped to Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, for the trials of the Dash For Cash Futurity, where she won her trial while earning the 16th fastest qualifying time. She declined the invitation to run back in the Dash For Cash Juvenile Stakes two weeks later, choosing instead to compete in the Ford Juvenile Challenge on November 11th. Go Girl Gone turned in a very strong effort that night, running a close second only a neck behind the classy mare Remember Me Rose, a nine-time winner and earner of $820,895. She also finished ahead of the talented Bench Mark Dove, a stakes-winning daughter of Game Patriot who also ran third in the Grade II Sunland Park Winter Futurity later in her career.

“We were really impressed with that race too,” added McKay. “It’s always nice to have your horse be kind of validated when they venture out to some of the bigger racetracks.”

Go Girl Gone was rather lightly-raced the following year, due in part to an injury she suffered in the trials to the Grade III Northwest Derby Challenge at Les Bois Park in June of 2007. “She was only able to start two times that season,” commented McKay. “She ran a nice race in the trials, but she chipped an ankle and just didn’t run her race in the finals. After that happened, we chose to operate on her and give her some time off.”

So far this year, Go Girl Gone has seemed like a brand new horse, turning in some of the best performances of her career, including a pair of track-record lowering efforts in the trials and finals of the Northwest Distaff Challenge at Sun Downs. Her only other start in 2008 was a runner-up performance in the Easy Date Handicap earlier in July at Los Alamitos, her first local start here in the state of California. “It was no shame to lose to Clydette Mia that night because she’s been beating everyone and 300 yards isn’t even her best distance,” Michael added. “She’s a lot more effective if she has a little more ground to work with.” Clydette Mia has now won her last five consecutive races here at Los Alamitos, including a pair of stakes triumphs in the Easy Date Handicap and the Grade III Miss Princess Handicap.

“These Challenge races are something we’ve always tried to focus on,” said McKay. “From where I’m from in the Northwest, they’re pretty significant because you don’t have a whole lot of other opportunities to run for the big money.” 3G Racing also has a positive history with this series of races, as they enjoyed a victory in the Grade I Juvenile Challenge Championship here at Los Alamitos in 2005 with a nice two-year-old they owned that year named Canosa. After winning a number of races in Wyoming, Washington, and Utah earlier in the year, Canosa came to the Orange County oval with something to prove, but ended up shocking the betting public with a half-length victory at odds of 16-to-1.

McKay, whose main business is farming potatoes, onions, and grain, believes Go Girl Gone should perform well in the Merial California Distaff Challenge. “This is actually the only horse we have stabled here at Los Alamitos,” Michael commented. “We have five horses back home in Boise and a few others in Canada as well. She’s a nice mare though and we feel like she’ll like the distance of Friday’s race a lot better than her last start. She’s always been so honest for us. I think she’ll be right there, either first or second.”