Q-Racing Blog: Going Places

Young Matt Fales has talent and drive.

Quarter Racing Journal

Young Matt Fales has talent and drive.

Trainer Matt Fales, 32, is a personable, energetic young man on the go. Physically, he hauls part of his 40-head stable between Los Alamitos and Turf Paradise nearly every week. Career-wise, he has two horses in the $129,200 Wild West Futurity at Los Alamitos and three Arizona-bred juveniles in the AQRA Futurity at Turf Paradise. Each of these futurities is contested on October 29.
 
“I think I drive about 100,000 miles a year,” said Fales while piloting his rig on I-10.

Fales started training in Arizona, went to New Mexico and has been at Los Alamitos for about a year.

“It’s going really good. I fit in good at Los Alamitos,” said Fales. “There are conditions for my horses and I enjoy the night racing. I’ve got a nice barn and they’ve been very good to me. It’s cool; a trainer’s dream.
 
“I love that I can run in restricted races. This has been a plan in the making for a couple of years.”
 Yanque is a Fales-trained 2-year-old who may not need any restrictions. The gelding is the fastest qualifier to the Wild West Futurity, which is restricted to horses that have raced in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Arizona and Canada. Other races at Los Alamitos with these restrictions are the Blane Schvaneveldt, The Plan, John Ward, He Flys and Kip Didericksen.

The Martha Wells-owned Yanque started his career at Turf Paradise and made two starts there before moving to Los Alamitos for his latest six starts. He is also a Cal-bred, so he fits in many of the Cal-bred races at Los Alamitos.

If he gets a clean start, Yanque will be the horse to beat in the Wild West Futurity.

In his trial, he got away from the gate and then was in another class than his competition. He won by an expanding 1 ¾ lengths, with a time of :17.682 for the 350 yards. The second-fastest qualifier, Moonie Blues, was clocked in :17.883. That’s a differential of about 1 1/2 lengths.

A gelding by Favorite Cartel, Yanque qualified for the Governor’s Cup Futurity for Cal-breds in July, however had a rough trip. He came back in $15,000 The Plan and scored a neck win. That was the start before his Wild West trial.

“Once they started going 350 yards, it helped him,” said Fales. “It seems the Favorite Cartels mature later and now he’s learning and growing. The way he’s built (tall and lean) and with his pedigree, he should excel at 400 yards. I don’t want to look too far ahead, but he could be a monster 3-year-old.”

Fales will also send out Cowgirl N Up, owned and bred by his parents Ralph and Carolyn Fales. The Texas Icon-sired filly won her first two starts at Turf Paradise, including the John Deere Turf Paradise Juvenile Challenge. She finished third, as the 17-10 favorite, in her Wild West Futurity trial.

“She was a standout in Arizona and then we brought her here for the Wild West,” said Fales. “We’ll take her back to Arizona for the Turf Paradise Open Futurity after the Wild West.”

In the AQRA Futurity, Fales saddles Tanyah Tucker, Caits Icon and Dashing Texas. They are all sired by Texas Icon.

Another Fales homebred, Tanyah Tucker was third in her trial. “We gave her the summer off and now she’s coming into shape,” said Fales.

James Mitchum’s homebred Caits Icon is a maiden that Fales calls a solid horse. “She does well against Arizona competition,” said Fales.

John Sanchez’s homebred Dashingtexas made his career debut in the trial and reached the finals with the 10th-fastest qualifying time. “It was his first out and he was in the one hole,” said Fales. “He did well to qualify and should improve.”

Fales has been on a roll at Los Alamitos. In September, he scored his first Los Alamitos stakes win when Larry Stark’s homebred Jess A Cowboy won the He Flys Handicap and then he took the Blane Schvaneveldt Handicap in his most recent start.

Just a few races after Jess A Cowboy gave Fales his first Los Alamitos stakes win in the He Flys, Yanque won the The Plan to give him his second stakes win.

Fales has the horses and is running them in races where they are competitive.

He’s not just young, he’s savvy.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook and visit www.aqharacing.com.