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56 to run in Kindergarten Trials

April 30, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Twin Spires (#2, inside) and No Mor Sno (#5, outside) both win in a dead heat on April 9, beating Red Hot Genes (#3, between horses) by a nose . . . or is that by two noses?
(photo by Scott Martinez, courtesy of Los Alamitos Race Course)
By Orlando Gutierrez, Los Alamitos Race Course

With 56 two-year-olds set to do battle in Saturday night’s Kindergarten Futurity trials, some of Southern California’s finest juvenile prospects will be on display here at Los Alamitos. The first stakes race of the year for the new two-year-old class, the Kindergarten Futurity remains one of the most prestigious events held at the Orange County oval. Ever since the inaugural running back in 1955, the Kindergarten has long been a showcase for budding juvenile talent, producing standout performers like the legendary broodmare Corona Chick and numerous stallions such as First Down Dash, Corona Cartel, Tolltac, Hawkish, and Carters Cartel.`

Saturday night’s Kindergarten trials kick off in race three with a strong field of eight two-year-olds. Headlining the group is Jaime Gomez and Double Bar S Ranch’s Notawalkbehinder. Super impressive in her debut, she overcame a stumbled start to prevail by a length at the wire. A half-sister to $112,360 earner He Could Be The One, she boasts a strong pedigree in addition to her impressive performance thus far. Prior to her first start, Notawalkbehinder also wowed the morning clocker with a pair of blazing fast 220-yard gate drills in 12.10 and 12.50 seconds.

Race five features another filly with a world full of potential. Although she has yet to make her career debut, Cash For Cottontail could be sitting on a huge race. A two-year-old daughter of Hawkinson out of the Takin On The Cash mare West Coast Cash, she has the makings of a future stakes star. Cash For Cottontail has been dazzling in both of her workouts to date too, drilling the 220 yards in a blistering 12.10 seconds in her first work and 12.40 seconds in her most recent drill. A half-sister to three different stakes-caliber performers, she comes from the same family as Kindergarten Futurity finalist Cash This Okie, Autumn Stakes winner West Coast Okie, and the six-time winner One Fast Okie.

Rancho El Alacran also has a live runner in Show Me An Effort, who receives top billing in race number eight. A sparkling winner in his first out, this freshman son of Simply Silver Sage blew away the field by one and a quarter lengths on April 18th. Another horse that had been working strongly heading into his first career out, he is also a half-brother to Show Me A Beduino, the third-place finisher in last year’s Kindergarten Futurity prior to being disqualified for interference.

The ninth and final trial of the night features what is, in the minds of most handicappers, the strongest heat of the evening. Leading the fray in this highly contentious affair is Chaparral Racing’s Feature Th Goodtimes. She lived up to her pre-race hype on April 16th, turning in a powerful three-quarter length victory over a strong field of nine. Although she raced greenly throughout the race, Feature Th Goodtimes has shown remarkable ability in both her morning exercises and her lone start. As she continues to mature, this Carlos Lopez trainee could develop into one of the most talented two-year-olds on the grounds.

Her most likely competition should come from the Blane Schvaneveldt-trained Tylerite, who captured the first two-year-old maiden race of the 2009 meet on April 3rd in impressive fashion. Another horse to watch could be the unstarted colt Outtodustyou. He turned heads in his most recent workout, drilling the 220 yards in a rapid 12.20 seconds. Additionally, he comes from a dynamite female family, as his dam Dustys On A High racked up $118,075 in earnings and ran second in the Grade I Heritage Place Futurity at Remington Park.

Kindergarten is an indicator for Dutch Masters III

The Kindergarten Futurity has always been a very special race for Dutch Masters III. For many years now, the owners have had quite the love affair with this particular race. Just ask Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III and he'll tell you all about the wins, the tough beats, and the near sweeps of this prestigious Grade I event. "We've won this race three times, run second in it four or five different times, and one year we actually managed to win it and run third," explained Streelman. "We've had some really tough losses in this race like with Sixish last year, but we've also had some big wins. One thing is clear though: I feel like it's always been a good indicator of the kind of year that we're going to have. If we have good luck in the Kindergarten, then we're likely to have good luck for the rest of the year too. It's always important to start off the year right."

Much like every year, Dutch Masters III will bring a strong arsenal into the Kindergarten Futurity once again in 2009, fully intent on continuing their track record of near unprecedented success with this storied event. "We're going to have five horses in the trials," said Streelman. "That's not quite as many as we've had in the past, but we still feel like it's a strong group. More and more we've elected to hold off on starting our horses until later in the year. We've gone to unveiling our two-year-olds in a series of waves throughout the year. Some will start early, some in the middle of the year, and some late. This will be our first wave."

Arguably the most highly touted of the group is Twin Spires, a winner of his first start on April 9th at Los Alamitos. Out of the outstanding broodmare Docs First Card, Twin Spires is a full-brother to All American Futurity and Governor's Cup Futurity finalist Separate Secrets. "Twin Spires definitely had the best first out of our bunch," commented James. "He comes from a really great family, so you've got to like him automatically just from the breeding. To be honest, he wasn't really much as a weanling or a yearling though. It really took him a while to grow into himself. He was kind of uncoordinated and small when he was young. I guess it just took him a while to grow up."

Now that Twin Spires has had more time to mature, he looms one of the most appealing Kindergarten hopefuls on trial night, having already scored an impressive victory in his career debut. Twin Spires earned a strong 79 Equibase speed rating for the triumph, prevailing by a short nose in what was essentially a blanket finish between three different runners. "I thought he had the race won early and so did our jockey, who sort of eased up on him late in the race," added James. "Then the other horses started making up ground on him and they almost caught him at the wire. That doesn't concern me a whole lot though. I'm much more concerned with my horses gaining experience in their first out and moving forward than I am with winning the race. Winning has always taken a backseat to learning in these early maiden races."

Another regally bred contender that Dutch Masters III is excited about is Southern Fury. Out of 2000 Kindergarten Futurity winner Secret Card, Southern Fury comes from one of Dutch Masters III's finest racemares to date. "Secret Card was a real stocky mare whereas this filly is built like a deer," said Streelman. "Having said that, the one thing these two do have in common is their attitude. Both horses are a little high strung. What I remember most about Southern Fury was how terrible of a trip she had in her first out. She was knocked sideways at the start and had the whole back half of her body knocked out from under her. I'd look for a big improvement form her on trial night."

Dutch Masters III also sends out Care Taker and Zoomin For Gold in Saturday's trials. "Zoomin For Gold is a horse that I bought from Jerry Windham at last year's Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale," James explained. "He comes from a really nice family and was a great looking individual when I first saw him at auction. Unfortunately, he hasn't grown a whole lot since the sale, so I'm not quite sure what to make of him at this point. He's had one out already, where he ran a pretty even third. I guess we'll find out a lot more about him after the races on Saturday."

The fifth and final horse sent out by Dutch Masters III is Its All About Fdd, a two-year-old colt by First Down Dash that's co-owned by Kelly Spackman. A winner of his first career outing at Dixie Downs, he pulled away to win that event by three-quarters of a length against futurity trial competition in early April. "I really like how this horse is coming into the race," said Denny Boer of Dutch Masters III. "He's from a great family, he's been training well, and he looked really good in that first start. Although he won his trial, his time wasn't fast enough to qualify to the finals. I wasn't too upset by that though because the plan all along with this horse has been to take him to Los Alamitos."

In addition to the five horses that Dutch Masters III will be sending out on trial night, Boer also has a rooting interest in the two runners campaigned by owner Lisa Anderson. "Lisa is my fiancée, so I'm very much rooting for her horses along with the ones that we'll be running on Saturday," added Boer. "We met years ago at Sun Downs after some of our mutual friends introduced the two of us at the racetrack. Lately she's been into show horses mostly, but luckily I've been able to sort of get her back into Quarter Horse racing. Her two runners are Regal Transformation and Outtodustyou and I think both of them have a good shot as well."