Required Fire Wins Los Al Maiden Stakes

Walk Thru Fire filly earns third career victory at California track.

February 25, 2013

Owned and bred by Mike Abraham, Required Fire edged Cina and John Sperry’s Revv Me Up by a nose in Sunday’s $125,000 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes to improve her record at the Orange County oval to a perfect three-for-three since January 12.

Led by Required Fire and Revv Me Up, a full field of 10 3-year-olds competed in the 10th running of the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes at 350 yards. Horses in this race were eligible to compete in the trials on February 2 if they were still maidens as of December 1, 2012. Because of those restrictions, the race is not an official stakes under AQHA rules.

Required Fire had finished fourth in a pair of futurity trials at Ruidoso Downs prior to that December deadline. But since then, she’s done nothing but win races at Los Alamitos. Trained by Jose Flores and ridden by Cruz Mendez, the filly by Walk Thru Fire was at her grittiest in the Maiden Stakes, as she dueled with the Stel Corona filly Revv Me Up every step of the way in a very competitive race. In the end, Required Fire prevailed to earn the $52,500 first-place share of the purse for winning the Maiden Stakes. The New Mexico-bred filly out of the Jody O Toole mare No Tools Required covered the distance in :17.438. J. Garvan Kelly and Nancy Yearsley’s Grade 1 finalist Nellie Delaney was a neck behind Revv Me Up to complete a 1-2-3 finish for fillies in this race.

Abraham was not convinced that his filly had won when the field crossed the finish line.

“It was tight,” he said. “When I watched the race live I was thinking that (Revv Me Up) had caught her at the wire. But she dug in at the end. When (Required Fire) left the gate it looked like she went in and bumped. It was her fault. She’s the one that did the bumping. She didn’t let the horses get away from her and when she made the lead she never let them get by her.”

Required Fire has now won three of five career starts and earned $59,985. She’s the first filly to win the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes since Mongoose Hawkette in 2006. Required Fire is eligible to compete in the trials to the Southern California Derby (G1) to be held in December at Los Alamitos.

“It would be great to get some black-type on her,” Abraham added. “She just beat a nice field of horses and now she’s got some money underneath her thanks to winning this race. Making the late payment to the Los Alamitos Super Derby is a possibility, but you can’t get too excited just yet.”

Abraham sold Required Fire as a yearling before purchasing her back at the Heritage Place Fall Sale last year.

“I always liked her and I figured that if anything else that she could be a nice broodmare. It’s paid dividends,” he said.

The trainer and jockey combination of Jose Flores and Cruz Mendez picked up their second straight victory in the Maiden Stakes. The duo combined to win last year’s running with Ed Allred’s Kool Million.

“This has been a good race for us,” Flores said. “I think it’s a great race for the industry because it gives horses that maybe had some bad luck as 2-year-olds a shot to run for a nice purse. I think it’s a great deal for the owners. We’ll probably give her some time off now. We’re not in a hurry with her.”

Trained by Paul Jones and ridden by Ramon Sanchez, Revv Me Up earned $21,250 for her runner-up effort. A Grade 1 finalist in 2012, Revv Me Up has now earned $63,582 in eight career starts. Ridden by Francisco Rubio for trainer Arnoldo Pulido, Nellie Delaney earned $15,000 for her third-place finish. Stel Single, SFR Stuck On You, French Fury, Patriot SR, Thrifty, Forgotten Dynasty and Follow The Dream completed the field.