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Gomez looks for record night in Kindergarten with fastest qualifier on Sunday at Los Alamitos

May 16, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Zoomilicious (#7) beats Mystery Man (#5) on May 4 in their trial race to the Kindergarten Futurity
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Itís been 60 years since the prestigious Kindergarten Futurity was first held at Los Alamitos Race Course in 1955. Since then, AQHA world champions Pap, Jet Deck, Easy Date, First Down Dash, who is also the sportís all-time leading sire, and great names like Corona Cartel, Corona Chick, Tolltac and Town Policy have been among the many stars that have graduated with winners honors in the Kindergarten, which serves as the first major futurity of the Los Alamitos racing season each year.

This yearís Kindergarten running could have another record-breaking moment, as trainer Jaime Gomez will look to saddle his eighth winner in this event. Gomez, who is tied with the legendary Blane Schvaneveldt with seven Kindergarten wins, will send out fastest qualifier Zoomilicious for owner Jose Ubario in the 300-yard dash. The Grade 2 event will feature a $261,200 purse and is scheduled as the ninth race on the Sunday night card. First post is 6:05 p.m. with the Kindergarten set for 9:16 p.m. Zoomilicious is Ubarioís first major stakes finalist at Los Alamitos and the Fresno-based owner is thrilled to have an opportunity to be part of the Kindergarten with the Ivory James filly.

"I ran horses for about four years in the fair circuit," Ubario said. "Two years ago I decided to give Los Alamitos a try. I only run a horse or two each year. It's just a hobby that I really enjoy, but hopefully we can do well, keep going and make it stronger."

While this is Ubarioís first time in the Kindergarten, the field is loaded with owners and trainers with a lot of experience in this race. Gomez is, of course, a master at winning the Kindergarten, as he led a horse into the winnerís circle seven during a 14-year span.

One of those victories came with the aforementioned Corona Cartel for owner Celina Molina in 1996. Molina has an excellent chance to enjoy her second Kindergarten win with the brilliant First Moonflash colt Viento Negro, who is undefeated in his two career starts. Viento Negro finished in a dead-heat for the win on trial night with David Brownellís Off Beat. Brownell has yet to win the Kindergarten, but he did finish second in the race with a horse named Double Density. Off Beat is one of two Kindergarten finalist trained by Paul Jones this year. Jones is a two-time winning trainer of the Kindergarten.

Second-year trainer Lindolfo Diaz is saddling his first Kindergarten starter, but sheís a terrific filly named Pink Berreta. The daughter of Mr Eye Opener has done every perfectly so far this season, looking sharp in the mornings and flawless in her two winning starts. She is owned by Balgo Racing Team, Inc, the winner of the 2010 Kindergarten with West Coast Hawk.

Salvador Pimienta's Ochoteco will look to give his owner a second Kindergarten win in the past three years. Pimienta teamed up with trainer Felix Gonzalez to win the 2013 Kindergarten with homebred Blackberry Czech. The owner/trainer are teaming up again with the homebred Ochoteco on Sunday evening. The Separatist gelding will come after after flying to win his trial in the final strides.

"His mother is a full sister to (multiple graded stakes finalist) Bingo," said Pimienta. "I sent this horse to Hermosillo to sell at a horse sale, but I ended up repurchasing him. He flipped in his stall before he entered the sale ring and cut his leg and back. I brought him back to the United States and paid him into the Kindergarten. I worried about him in the trials, but we felt he was a good horse because he posted a :12.10 workout before that race. I expect good things from him."

Jose Flores, who saddled last year's Kindergarten winner Glitter In My Face, will look to make two in a row with the talented Stel Corona filly Old Girl for his father, Jose Arturo Flores. Old Girl has won her first two career starts, matching Glitter In My Faceís record prior to her Kindergarten victory last year. Flores has won two other Kindergarten runnings with the previously mentioned West Coast Hawk in 2010 and with the big longshot Sneaky Fast in 1997. In this race, Flores could also give the sportís all-time leading owner Ed Allred his first ever Kindergarten win when he saddles Mystery Man on Sunday. The TR Dasher gelding will be ridden by Santiago Mendez, who takes over the reins in place of his brother, Cruz Mendez, who will pilot Old Girl.

Perryczech qualified to the Kindergarten thanks to gritty second place finish to Ochoteco for trainer Francisco Vallejo.

Owned by longtime horseman Tom Bradbury in partnership with Tom Bradbury Jr. and Lisa Beauprez, Wild Sixes Cartel is a son of Corona Cartel and out of the Grade 1 winner Wild Six. The Oklahoma-bred is one of the sentimental choices in this race. Bradbury, who co-owned 1990 World Champion Dash For Speed, was not able to attend the trials because of illness, however, he could be released from the hospital in time to watch the final in the comfort of his own home. Armando Arreola, Jrís Vitali could be the most talented runner in this field, as she is the only qualifier that had no racing experience prior to her trial race. The Ivory James filly has also been superb during morning works for trainer Cody Joiner.

Trials report

For the full story of the trials, go to