Q-Racing Blog: Best Friends

It's time for these horses to get a new best friend.

Quarter Racing Journal

It's time for these horses to get a new best friend.

Your “best friend” in racing parlance often refers to a horse’s maiden status. The point is that when a horse wins a maiden race, he or she loses their best friend because they may have trouble beating winners.

Regarding maiden stakes – which are not recognized as stakes races – still having your maiden status is truly the horse’s best friend.

The $109,750 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes run on February 19 is a prime example and a race deserving attention. Two-year-olds must be maidens on December 1 to be eligible. They can win a race after that December 1 date and retain their eligibility.

This provides incentive for the connections of horses who may have been late developing juveniles, are coming back from injuries or started their careers later in their 2-year-old season.

The 350-yard Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes also can and has foreshadowed horses who may develop into stakes horses throughout their 3-year-old careers.

This year’s renewal provides the usual selection of lightly raced horses and horses who have competed in stakes races.

Leading the qualifiers is the Double Bar S Ranch homebred All Kinds Of Kind. The Tac It Like A Man-sired filly was off the board in her first four starts and then came through with four second-place runs for trainer Paul Jones.

The day after the December 1 deadline, All Kinds Of Kind put it all together. After being bumped at the start of the 300-yard maiden race, she rallied to get her maiden score by a head. She also rallied in her Maiden Stakes trial to win by a head over second-fastest qualifier Stolin Diamond.

All Kinds Of Kind was timed in :17.783 while Andrea and Eddie Jensen’s Stolin Diamond was clocked in :17.818.

The Monty Arrosa-trained Stolin Diamond came into the trials after winning his maiden on December 4 by an impressive 1 1/4 lengths. That was after six winless starts.

Lucky Seven Ranch’s Sass You Blue, the fifth-fastest qualifier in :17.883, has the breeding to have a big upside for trainer Mike Casselman. The daughter of One Dashing Eagle and Jess Sass Me is a half-sister to 2016 champion aged mare Sass Me Blue.

Sass You Blue finished in the top-three runners in her four starts before the Maiden Stakes trials. She then stepped up and won her trial by a neck.

Martha Wells’ homebred Frozen Icon has stakes experience in Arizona. The Matt Fales-trained filly qualified for the Desert Classic Futurity back in the spring and closed out her freshman season with two second-place runs in a minor stakes at Turf Paradise. She made her Los Alamitos debut in the Maiden Stakes trials and responded with a close second-place finish in her trial with a:17.885 time.

Jose A. Flores and Steve Mickaelian’s Gone Thru Fire got the neck win over Frozen Icon with a :17.845 time. After being winless in 2016, Gone Thru Fire is 2-for-2 this year. He overcame a bump at the start to gain his maiden win on January 1.

Keep your eye on the Maiden Stakes. There just could be a horse in the race that will have a new best friend – a lucrative stakes career.

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