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New stars to arrive on Kindergarten trial night


April 29, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

Bobby Cox's homebred All N The Jeans, winning her maiden on April 9.
(photo by Scott Martinez, courtesy of Los Alamitos Race Course)
Shortly after a full afternoon of Derby Day festivities, the top young Quarter Horses in California will step on the track at Los Alamitos Race Course to be part of a full night of trials to the Grade 1 Kindergarten Futurity on Saturday night. A total of 74 2-year-olds will compete in the trials with each of the nine races on tap featuring fields of eight horses or more.

The money that these babies will be chasing is also significantly higher than last year's money in the Kindergarten Futurity. The purse for the 2010 Kindergarten is 20% higher than last year, hopefully a sign of things to come in the always tough and rich futurity division at Los Alamitos. There are more Kindergarten hopefuls also chasing the big cash this year with that number being 32% higher to be more exact.

The horses with the 10 fastest times on Kindergarten trial night will advance to the Grade 1 final to be held on Saturday, May 15. The winner of the Kindergarten final will earn $152,166. As it has been the case in this futurity recently, trainer Jaime Gomez looks to be a major player on trial night. The winner of this race seven times since 1996, Gomez will have a talented group of eight babies competing in the trials headed by Bobby Cox's All N The Jeans, who sizzled to victory in her maiden start on April 9. She won her debut by almost two lengths and now she will start in the first of nine Kindergarten trials on Saturday.

"She's going to set the pace," Gomez said. "I've done well in this race in the past and I think the key to start on time with these babies and allowing them to tell me when they are ready to work out."

Also trained by Gomez, Ernesto Solis' Rough N Fit will see action in the second heat and he could provide a rag to richest sort of story. Gomez bred Rough N Fit by combining the young stallion Throwin A Fit with a Thoroughbred mare and he admits that he did not know what to expect from his runner. "I tried to sell him but I couldn't find a buyer," he said. "I ended up partnering up on him with one of my assistants and Rough N Fit has done nothing but surprise me. I'm glad now that I kept him."

Gomez's other runners include Fireball From Heaven, who along with a lot of talent has a nice story to go along with it. Owned by Gomez, Ron and Denise VanAmburgh and James Streelman, the Walk Thru Fire baby nearly died while he was being foaled. Even his mother was in danger of losing her life as she was giving birth to her Fireball.

Among the young horses that looked great in their first starts and are now racing in the trials to the Kindergarten Futurity, Bobby Cox's Carburator and Victor Gonzalez and Ruben Salcedo's Jess California Blue top the list. Jess California Blue won her debut easily from the rail and now returns to race again from the rail in the trials. She won her first outing by more than a length.

"I've been excited about this filly for a long time," said trainer Hector Jaime Hernandez. "I think she can be a nice surprise."

Trained by Joe Bassett and owned by Bobby Cox, Carburator was tremendous when he broke his maiden a nice time of :15.59 at 300 yards. He had a big lead early in that race and while he ended up only a winner by a neck, his nice quickness is key to his chances to qualify. Carburator will be facing Rough N Fit in the second trial.

Joe Badilla never won the Kindergarten during his great riding career, but the trainer has one of the strongest groups of juveniles competing in these trials. Just about Badilla's entire band of babies had their names changed recently to moniker honoring a fast and expensive automobile. The names fit because many of these runners can certainly give their namesakes a run for their money. First Down Jaguar, for example, is now the aptly named Jaguar XJ. He will race in the third heat after posting super works of :12 flat and :12.1. Based on these two morning drills he is one of the favorites to qualify to the Kindergarten finale. Jaguar XJ is a graduate of the Los Alamitos Equine Sale.

Half Pipe, the $325,000 sale topper at the Heritage Place Quarter Horse Yearling Sale, is now named Rolls Royce Ghost. Badilla hopes that the classy and stylish name fits the royally bred runner. "He's a full brother to Wave Carver and Ocean Runaway and I just hope that he can be as great as his older brothers."

Badilla's barn also includes Mi Lamborghini, a Mercedes Roadster, Porshe Turbo, Corvette Elite, and Blues Ferrari. He also has Blues Girls Choice, a colt out of 2007 World Champion Blues Girl Too. "We didn't change his name because we had misplaced the horse's papers and we didn't want to risk not having the name changed in time for the trials."

You can be sure that as long as he runs like a Maserati in the trials, his connections will be more than happy with the colt's recognizable name. Leave The Scene, West Coast Hawk, and Julas Walkthru Fire are among the other local first out winners in action on Saturday night.