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Sunday’s Robert Adair Kindergarten to offer richest race since 1987

May 14, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Dutch Masters III's Chazaq sets the second-fastest time&mdash300 yards in :15.594—from 11 trials to the Bobby Adair Kindergarten Futurity
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
The Kindergarten Futurity has featured some special moments since Art Pollard’s Arizonan won its very first running in 1955. Over the years, many legendary horses have won the Kindergarten at Los Alamitos, names like Jet Deck in 1962, Easy Date in 1974, Town Policy in 1977, First Down Dash in 1986, Corona Chick in 1991, Corona Cartel in 1996, and Hawkish in 2003. There are many reasons that the 2016 running promises to be a memorable one, as the race has been renamed the Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity in honor of one of Quarter Horse racing’s greatest jockeys. Bobby Adair’s family and close friends—around 40 strong—will be on hand at the Orange County oval in honor and memory of the great jockey.

The purse for the Grade 2 Robert Adair Kindergarten is also very strong—$428, 400—the richest in the event’s history since Runaway Winner won the 1987 edition of the Kindergarten. The field of 10 2-year-olds is also very strong, as it will include six Kindergarten trial winners headed by fastest qualifier One Proud Eagle, trained by John Cooper for owner Ron Hartley. Cooper, one of the all-time great trainers at Los Alamitos, and Adair enjoyed some history making nights together here, none bigger than when they teamed up to win the 1979 Champion of Champions with the big longshot Mr Doty Bars.

“Bobby was deadly sick, had the flu really bad,” Cooper said. “He got out of bed to ride that one race. He won it and then went right straight home. They didn’t call him ‘The Masters’ for nothing. He was a horseman, that’s what he was.”

To be ridden by Tony Guymon, One Proud Eagle won his trial by ¾ lengths while covering the 300 yards in :15.55 for Cooper. It’s a long ways from where the gelding by One Famous Eagle started out when he first began his training.

“He was an ugly duckling that turned into a swan,” Cooper said.

Cooper is also excited about the chances of Hartley’s Jess A Chick Magnet, which ran second to Dutch Masters III’s Chazaq in the trials.

“He’s getting better every time,” Cooper said. “He’s a gate horse. He stands well in the gate and when they say go, he’s gone.”

Hartley will be looking for his first major futurity score after winning derbies and top caliber races for older horses with the great Moonist.

“I don’t know who the best horse is this race, but I think we have a chance,” he said. “Jess A Chick Magnet is smart gate horse and he can leave the gate and that’s what wins races in Quarter Horse racing. We’ll need luck, but hard work makes good luck and that’s what I attribute to Mr. Cooper”

Trainer Jaime Gomez will saddle Chazaq for Denny Boer and Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III and also Katella Deli for Streelman and Paul Blanchard. Gomez will be looking for a record eighth Kindergarten win, he’s tied with Blane Schvaneveldt for the stakes record, while Dutch Masters III is looking for a record fifth win as an owner. The racing operation is tied with Ivan Ashment with four.

Sired by Corona Cartel and out of Bobby Cox’s great broodmare All About Ease, Chazaq won his trial by ¾ lengths in a quick time of :15.59. Gomez knows exactly which horse is reminded of when he sees Chazaq. “He’s like that other nice Corona Cartel baby I had last year, Docs Best Card,” Gomez said of the runner-up in last year’s Kindergarten and a winner of over $736,000. “Chazaq is a serious horses with a great mind. He’s a terrific mind. Alejandro Luna will ride him and he never gets nervous. Those two make a good team.”

Chazaq also marks the returns of Denny Boer to the Dutch Masters III team. “Denny is a great man and great for the business,” Gomez said. “It’s a joy to train for him again.”

“I’ve never been out of the horse game,” Boer added. “But it had been long enough since I had own a horse with Dr. Streelman. We won this race together four times, but we’ve never won it without one another. We’re back together and I’m really excited about that. We needed to get back together and it’s turned out that we’re back with, hopefully, a good one. When Doc (Streelman) called me about owning a horse, he didn’t have to twist my arm too hard. I love Jaime Gomez and the three of us are like brothers. I just feel blessed to be back.”

Gomez will also saddle the aforementioned Katella Deli, who’ll start from post nine with Martin Arriaga aboard, and also Ur My Princess for Valeriano Racing Stables, LLC, with Carlos Huerta up.

“Katella Deli is a solid horse. I like his post position,” Gomez said. “He’s had no luck at the start of his races, but after the start he ran well in the trials. Martin is also the younger brother of (former jockey) Gregorio Arriaga.”

For Valeriano Racing Stables, Gomez will saddle a horse he bred by the name of Ur A Princess. The filly is a full sister to Fires Blazin, which ran in all three million dollar futurities in 2012 and was second in that year’s Ed Burke Million Futurity. Gomez multiple Grade 1 finalist Fires Blazin Fire. Gomez previously saddled Jess Lips for Valeriano Racing Stables to a second place finish in the 2011 Golden State Million Futurity.

Talented runners in the field will also feature Three Six On Fire V, which posted a terrific 1½-length victory in the trials for Jose Ivan Muniz. Jose Flores, who’s won the Kindergarten with Old Girl, Glitter In My Face, West Coast Hawk, and Sneaky Fast, will saddle the Tres Seis gelding. Cruz Mendez will ride. Jesus Nava’s Brimmin Corona, who was a shining star during morning works, posted a hard-fought nose win in the trials and returns as one to watch in the final for trainer Guillermo Morales. Rodolfo Arvizu will ride the Fantastic Corona Jr filly.

A horse with an impressive trial victory was Denny and Sandy Weigt’s Paint A Candy Storm, who posted a ¾-length trial win on May 1.

“I was celebrating my birthday on that day,” said Weigt, who was turning 83-years-old. “A few years ago (trainer) Monty Arrossa had a horse for me named Illtacmanhattan, which won seven races in a row. Prior to a Beehive Futurity trial I told him jokingly that I wanted to win the trial and have the fastest time. Illtacmanhattan went on to do both just one day before my birthday that year. That was quite an early birthday present. When these trials came up on May 1st I told Monty, ‘I don’t need the fastest time, but I would love to get in this race.’”

Arrossa and Paint A Candy Storm made Weigt’s birthday wish a reality after covering the 300 yards in :15.70 to equal the fifth fastest qualifying time.

Paint A Candy Storm is from the same family as last year’s All American Futurity winner and champion Jess Good Candy.

“I had a filly before from this family and did well,” he said. “I saw a picture of this filly at the Heritage Place Sale and all I could say was ‘that’s a nice filly.’ We bought her right away. I’m 83-years-old, but these horses keep me going. I’m really fortunate to work with a great trainer like Monty Arrossa.”

Paint A Candy Storm will return home to Jerome, Idaho, after the Kindergarten final and be pointed to run in the Bitterroott Futurity trials. Plans also call for her to run in the John Deere Juvenile Challenge trials and also Wild West Futurity trials at Los Alamitos later in the year.

The Kindergarten field will be completed by Cina and John Sperry’s Stelfast, runner-up in both of his career starts, and Rivera Quarter Horse Racing and Aislinn Vences’ Stel A Wish, which ran second to fastest qualifier One Proud Eagle. Paul Jones will saddle Stelfast, who’ll be ridden by Oscar Peinado, while Valentin Zamudio will saddle Stel A Wish, with Cesar De Alba up.

Trials report

One Proud Eagle soars to fastest qualifying time to Kindergarten final

Ron Hartley has another horse to be very proud of at Los Alamitos. The longtime horseman already campaigns the popular champion and multiple Grade 1 winner Moonist and also this year’s Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes winner My Favorite Check. In the 2-year-old ranks his American Force rates as one of the most impressive juveniles to have raced here this season. Hartley can now add to that list the impressive One Proud Eagle, a gelding by One Famous Eagle which posted the fastest qualifying time to the $428,400 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Tony Guymon, One Proud Eagle won the first of 11 trials in a time of :15.558 on the way also breaking his maiden in his second career start. Trained by John Cooper, who also conditions Moonist, My Favorite Check and American Force for Hartley, One Proud Eagle came into the race after a trouble third when facing the well regarded Evil Genius and Kindergarten Futurity second fastest qualifier Chazaq on April 8. Leaving the gate from the outside post nine, One Proud Eagle had no trouble in his return effort and will now lead a solid field in the richest running of the Kindergarten since Runaway Winner in 1987. The Kindergarten final will be held on Sunday, May 15.

“I didn’t know how he would do from the outside post,” trainer John Cooper said of One Proud Eagle. “He got roughed up pretty good the last time out. I had pretty good hope for him.”

Cooper had his doubts as to whether One Proud Eagle’s time in the early evening trial would be enough to qualify to the final.

“I don’t think it could hold us in the top 10,” Cooper started. “But I could be wrong,” he concluded.

Cooper was happily right to be wrong about One Proud Eagle’s clocking. He’ll go into the rich Kindergarten as the top qualifier. Out of the young broodmare Guy Chasing, One Proud Eagle is a half-brother of the hard-knocking runner Blu Brusier, who hit he board in six races at Los Alamitos. His granddam is the multiple derby winner Girl Secrets, winner of races like the Grade 1 Golden State Derby, Grade 2 La Primera Del Ano, and California Sires Cup derbies during her career. Her son, Secret Path, won the 2010 Dillingham Handicap.

Hartley, Cooper, and Guymon also joined forces to qualify Jess A Chick Magnet, which was runner-up to second fastest qualifier Chazaq in the eighth race. Dutch Masters III’s Chazaq ran powerfully from the outside post nine while recording a time of :15.594. After the race Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III had some great news to share.

“This is the real Dutch Masters on this one,” Streelman said. “Denny Boer and I both. He’s back with me. Just got off the phone with him and he’s very happy. (Trainer) Jaime Gomez told me that (Chazaq) is the best 2-year-old in his barn. He didn’t break, but he came running.”

Streelman and Boer decided to team up as owners again during the All American Sale at Ruidoso Dows.

“I have a home in Ruidoso and I am at the sale every year,” Streelman said. “I said ‘Denny, why don’t you get involved?’ He said that (Lin Melton) would get him one and he did. He said ‘You know pick one out that is not terrible expensive.’ I did and we’re partners on this one.”

Chazaq comes from an outstanding family. The gelding by Corona Cartel is out of All About Ease, the dam of 2009 Rainbow Futurity winner Zoomin With Ease. She’s also the mother of All N The Jeans, which ran third in the 2010 Kindergarten. All N The Jeans also qualified to the Ed Burke Million Futurity while earning over $120,000 on the track.

Here’s the complete list of qualifiers: One Proud Eagle (:15.558), Chazaq (:15.594), Three Six On Fire V (:15.622), Stel A Wish (:15.663), Paint A Candy Storm (:15.701), Katella Deli (:15.701), Brimmin Corona (:15.712), Jess A Chick Magnet (:15.714), Stelfast (:15.717), and Ur My Princess (:15.719).