Dec. 26-28 Weekend Stakes Recap

A review of the non-graded stakes from this weekend.

Q-Racing Journal

Following is a recap of all official American Quarter Horse stakes for the weekend of December 26-28, listed by track. For recaps of graded stakes and Bank of America Racing Challenge events, see the individual race recap stories posted in the Previews and Recaps section. This recap page will be updated throughout the weekend.

Hialeah Park
Opening day of the 2014-15 American Quarter Horse racing season at Hialeah Park saw horseplayers both on-track and off-track wager nearly $400,000 over eight races, with the handle figure of just over $399,200 leaving track officials optimistic that it has set the tone for the new season of live racing at this iconic racing venue.

Jockey Osdany Leal was the only rider able to win more than one race on a competitive afternoon in South Florida. Leal grabbed the second race of the day aboard Jet Black Alikat, then returned to the winner's circle after the featured $25,000 Bienvenido De Nuevo Stakes aboard Dashin Beduino.

A four-year old gelding, Dashin Beduino is a gray by Gros Orellle out of the Dashin Bye mare Swiftone who was the 8-5 post time favorite. He took command early and tallied by a length, stopping the timer in :16.540 seconds for 330 yards. The 26-1 outsider Miss Southern DD finished second, a neck ahead of third-place horse Novas Gold. Charvet finished another head back in fourth.

Dashin Beduino, saddled by Javier Amodeo, earned $15,000 for his owner, World Wide Promotion Enterprises LLC.

In Sunday's featured $25,000 Orange Blossom Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 550 yards, the 6-year-old gelding Emperor Valerian proved best in his first try at Hialeah Park, defeating Paint Candy Flying by three-quarters of a length as the 3-2 post time favorite.

Running for Rancho Los Dos Potrillos LLC, Emperor Valerian was saddled by Anna Crowson and ridden to victory in the Orange Blossom Stakes by the veteran Alex Baldillez Jr. Emperor Valerian is now a five-time stakes winner with nine career wins and earnings of $215,167.

Los Alamitos
Owned and bred by Celina Molina, Viento Negro flew like the wind to easily win the first stakes race of the new season of racing at Los Alamitos Race Course, the $20,000 Holiday Handicap for 3-year-olds on Sunday night.

Named after a 1964 Mexican drama film (Black Wind), Viento Negro was outstanding in the Holiday, as he took the lead right away in the 350-yard dash before opening up a length advantage at the midway point of the race. With Santiago Mendez aboard, Viento Negro continued his impressive dash while crossing the wire 1 ½ lengths ahead of the runner-up One More Card. A brown colt by First Moonflash out of the Corona Cartel mare Coup Of Corona, the Arizona-bred sprinter covered the distance in :17.669. This was Viento Negro’s second start since finishing 10th in the Kindergarten Futurity (G2) on May 18. In his comeback start, Viento Negro finished third in a trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) on November 23.

“He needed the race,” Molina said. “He had surgery after the Kindergarten and we had to wait on him to recover. We also gelded him (after the Kindergarten). He looked great tonight. What a blessing to see him run like this again.”

Viento Negro began his racing career with back-to-back victories for trainer Juan Aleman. He broke his maiden by 1 ¼ lengths in his career debut on April 13 and then finished in a dead-heat for first in his successful trial to the Kindergaten. Sent off at 7-1 odds in the Kindergarten, Viento Negro was bumped repeatedly during the race on the way to finishing out of the money to eventual winner Old Girl. Having to undergo surgery after the Kindergarten was just another challenge for Viento Negro to overcome.

“Ever since he was a baby, he’s needed to be a fighter,” Molina said. “We almost lost him when he was a baby. He had to have surgery to save his life. He’s a fighter and one of the toughest horses I’ve ever seen. My dad had always wanted to name a horse after one of his favorite movies from the 1960s. When he saw this horse he told me, ‘This is the horse that I want to name Viento Negro.’”

Viento Negro earned $11,000 for the win to nearly double his career earnings to $22,069. He also improved his record to three wins in five starts. Up next for Viento Negro is a busy derby campaign in 2015. His schedule is expected to include a pair of derby trials in Oklahoma and a trip to Ruidoso Downs highlighted by the All American Derby (G1) trials.

“I’m really excited to see him run next year,” Molina said.

He’ll likely return to Los Alamitos later next year she added.

Howard Nichols’ One More Card was fifth at the start, but made a nice late run to beat Old Six Six by a nose for second place. The filly by Carters Cartel earned $4,500 for finishing second. Ronald Skeen and Fawn Knight’s Old Six Six earned $2,500 for finishing third. Wild West Futurity winner Cartels Fire was fourth. First Down Tiny Man, HRH Walkonfire, No Arizona, and The Perfect Love completed the field.

Turf Paradise
In the $27,360 Margie Bryan ASOA Futurity (R) on Sunday at Turf Paradise, Ralph and Carolyn Fales’ homebred See Yah Later, trained by their son Matt, scored a decisive win as the 3-10 favorite. With Jorge Bourdieu in the irons, the Arizona-bred filly by Azyoucansee stopped the timer at :19.893 for 400 yards. The filly debuted with a second-place effort against maidens at Turf Paradise and now has reeled off three straight wins, including a maiden victory and a trial for the ASOA Futurity. She has banked $18,258 in her young career.

Cruisen, a gelding by Heza Motor Scooter running for the same Fales family connections, finished a clear second with One Hot Dejon in third.

In the $15,000 Turf Paradise Championship Stakes, Jorge Preciado’s Eye Got It Going On scored a mild upset at 7-1 odds with Emilio Tapia riding for trainer Ron Ronquillo. Eye Got It Going On covered 440 yards in :21.362. Bred by Randy McDonald, the Oklahoma-bred gelding by Inseperable has spent his entire career at Turf Paradise with five wins from eight starts and earnings of $26,324.

The Fales family took second with Heat Warning, and favored Specials Gold finished third.

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