Q-Racing Blog: Busy Weekend

Stars will be bright on this upcoming busy weekend in Quarter Horse Racing.

Quarter Racing Journal

Stars will be bright on this busy weekend in Quarter Horse Racing.

The reigning champion 2-year-old J Fire Up stars on the busiest weekend in American Quarter Horse racing.

The final weekend in July always seems to come up with more stakes races than any other weekend. The reason is simple. The Zia Festival for New Mexico-breds is held at Ruidoso Downs and California Breeders Champions Night for Cal-breds is on tap at Los Alamitos. These stake-packed programs – each with total purses in the $1 million range – bring out state-breds racing in virtually every stakes division, ranging from a futurity and derby on each card to plenty of stakes for older runners.

Owned by trainer/breeder Jamie Gomez with Darling Farms and Ernesto Solis, J Fire Up headlines the $203,000 Governor’s Cup Derby (RG3) at Los Alamitos.

“She’s ready,” Gomez said. “She’s big, sound and beautiful. She has grown a couple of inches (since her 2-year-old year).”

J Fire Up won the second of two Governor’s Cup Derby trials on July 15, which was her first start since boldly humbling her rivals in the $1.7 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) on December 17. She won the Two Million by 1 1/4 lengths as the 19-10 favorite for her third futurity win in 2017. She also won the $385,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) and the $904,000 Golden State Million Futurity (G1). She set the all-time single season earnings record for a filly or mare at Los Alamitos with $1,430,411.

Between that championship season and winning her Governor’s Cup Derby trial, she had a “couple of little, bitty chips removed and we got an embryo by One Famous Eagle,” Gomez said.

Now she is riding a seven-race winning streak and the last horse to beat her was champion KVN Corona in the $960,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1). That was 13 months ago and she only lost by a head.

A daughter of Kiddy Up, J Fire Up was the 1-5 favorite in her Governor’s Cup Derby trial and made her many backers a little nervous. She was bumped at the start and held on to win by a scant nose.

It was the classic example of a horse needing a race.

“She worked three times and came back super,” Gomez said. “But there is nothing like a race.

“I hope that she steps up a couple of lengths (in the Governor’s Cup Derby),” Gomez added.

J Fire Up is a product of the Gomez breeding program. Her dam, This Boogie Fires, is a Walk Thru Fire mare whom Gomez bred and now solely owns. The 9-year-old mare raced for owners Mike Abraham, Carlos Lopez and Gomez.

This Boogie Fires made seven starts with three wins. She set the third-fastest time to the 2011 $339,600 Kindergarten (G1) and finished third in the finals. She ended her career as a 3-year-old with her last race being a fifth-place finish in the 2012 $214,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) after setting the fastest qualifying time in the trials.

J Fire Up is eligible for the Golden State Derby, Los Alamitos Super Derby and the Southern California Derby.

This Boogie Fires is a young broodmare and is already a champion producer. J Fire Up is a champion millionaire with a promising 3-year-old season ahead. It’s all good for Gomez.

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