J Fire Up Wins Golden State Million Futurity

The homebred Kiddy Up filly gets her second graded stakes victory.

Q-Racing Journal

J Fire Up (number 2) held on to win Sunday's $938,850 Golden State Million Futurity. PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

J Fire Up, the fastest qualifier and even-money favorite, earned her second graded stakes victory in Sunday's Grade 1, $938,850 Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos.

Racing for Darling Farms, Ernesto Solis, and trainer Jaime Gomez, J Fire Up went 400 yards in :19.854, and her margin of victory was a nose from 16-1 longshot Matilda Czech, who was timed in :19.855. Jose Nicasio rode the homebred daughter of Kiddy Up, who earned a 90 speed index and the $380,037 winner's share of the purse.

Jockey Jose Nicasio returns to the
winner's circle with J Fire Up. The
Golden State Million Futurity victory
marked the rider's first Grade 1 win.
PHOTO: Los Alamitos Racecourse

"She ran like I expect her to run," said Nicasio, who has ridden J Fire Up in all seven of her starts, including her 1 3/4 length victory in her Golden State Million trial on October 22. "She broke well, but Matilda Czech was right there with us. I felt Matilda Czech 50 yards into the race.

"In the final yards, she was really coming on, but we hit the wire together," the rider added. "It was a tough race, and for a moment I thought we'd lost."

Nicasio is the younger brother of jockey Eduardo Nicasio, a three-time winner of the Champion of Champions (G1). The Golden State Million marked Nicasio's first-ever Grade 1 victory.

J Fire Up was bred in California by Gomez, a four-time winning Golden State Million Futurty trainer. The filly's dam, This Boogie Fires, is a homebred winning 8-year-old daughter of Walk Thru Fire who ran third in the 2011 Kindergarten Futurity (G1) at Los Alamitos.

"When our filly saw the other filly, she just kept on trying,” said Gomez. “Matilda Czech kept coming on strong, but our filly came back as well and beat her. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if we had won the race. I thought that maybe we had a dead-heat for first."

Raced exclusively in California, J Fire Up has won five of six races. Gomez said that J Fire Up would make her next start in the 400-yard Los Alamitos Two-Million Futurity (G1) trials on November 26.

A Political Lady finished third, a half of a length behind J Fire Up, and was followed by Chance To Fire, Black Fryday, The Revenant, Call Me Cole, Famous N Hot, Remember To Dash, and Unblemished.

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