J Fire Up Wins Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity

The Kiddy Up filly dominates her competition on Sunday.

Q-Racing Journal

J Fire Up was all alone at the wire in Sunday's Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

J Fire Up, a daughter of Kiddy Up owned by Darling Farms, Ernesto Solis, and trainer Jaime Gomez, dominated her nine opponents in Sunday's $1,703,450 Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos Racecourse.

Ridden by Jose Nicasio, J Fire Up covered 400 yards in :19.753, and her margin of victory was a clear 1 1/4 lengths from stablemate Moonie Blues. The $715,449 winner's share of the purse from California's richest horse race pushed her earnings to $1,430,411.

J Fire Up was bred in California by Gomez. The second-fastest qualifier, she brought a five-race win streak into the "Deuce" that included a three-quarter length victory in the 350-yard, $390,000 Governor's Cup Futurity (RG2) on July 29, and a nose win as the fastest qualifier in the 400-yard, $939,000 Golden State Million Futurity (G1) on November 5.

Jockey Jose Nicsaio and J Fire Up return
to the winner's circle after the Kiddy Up
filly's victory in Sunday's Los Alamitos
Two-Million Futurity. PHOTO: Los
Alamitos Racecourse

J Fire Up is out of This Boogie Fires, a homebred winning and graded stakes placed daughter of Walk Thru Fire. Gomez, who won this race in 1996 with Corona Cartel, admits that he intended to sell J Fire Up in the autumn of 2016.

“I raised this baby and I tried to sell her to everybody,” Gomez said. “I bought her back for $25,000 (at the 2016 Los Alamitos Equine Sale). I wanted $30,000 at the time. This guy Dan Darling though, he’s like a lucky charm. Everything he touches turns to gold. He came up to me and he wanted to buy horses. He liked the filly and I said give me $20,000 and you can own half. That was the deal of his life.

"Our other partner, Ernesto, he’s worked for me for 23 years," he added. "I give him half (ownership) of babies all the time. He picked out this mare. He then said ‘Hey, how about the stallion?’ I said ‘Don’t worry, I’ll pay everything.’ I paid for the embryo. I paid the breeding and there she came. We should have kept 33% (each), but we sold the half to Dan Darling, but that’s okay. I'm happy, and this night I'll never forget.”

Raced exclusively in California, J Fire Up has won seven of nine starts, and her race record includes a second-place finish, a head behind winner KVN Corona, in the 350-yard, $1-million Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) in June. All season long, Gomez has noted the filly's soundness and athletic ability.

“She’s healthy all the time,” he said. “She comes out of the race like if she didn’t run. The next day she’s happy, kicking and bucking. That’s what you want from those horses. If a horse comes out a race and doesn’t eat for four or five days, you’re (toast). This horse comes back and eats well. You have to hand-walk her all the time because she’s kicking and bucking. If she hears something she wants to take off. In the stall, you can come over and you can do anything with her.”  

“J Fire Up has never made a mistake,” Gomez added. “She breaks like a bullet all the time. She just goes out there and runs her race every time. She came out the gates like a rabbit. Her mother, This Boogie Fires, was one of the fastest (mares) I had here. She got a little infection in the gut and I had to retire her early. She was sound. She can’t carry babies. I have to do embryos every time. She’s super nice. Everything she’s thrown has been a runner.

Gomez indicated that J Fire Up might be headed to the breeding shed.

“I’m going to x-ray this filly in a couple of days, then I'm going to turn her out,” he added. “I want to get a One Famous Eagle (foal) out of her.”

Call Me Cole, the fastest qualifier, finished third, a head behind Moonie Blues. Matilda Czech, Scoopie Jess, Peighnt Your Fate, Jess My Kiss, Ditto Head, Remember The Rose, and On Our Way completed the order of finish.

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