Zoomilicious Fastest in Kindergarten Trials
Ivory James filly advances to Grade 2 final for new owner.
May 5, 2014
Owner Jose Ubario will take part in his first futurity final at Los Alamitos Race Course after the Ivory James filly Zoomilicious posted a three-quarter-length victory with the fastest qualifying time to the $261,200 Kindergarten Futurity (G2) on Sunday night.
Ridden by Roberto Hernandez for trainer Jaime Gomez, who shares the record with seven Kindergarten victories, Zoomilicious covered the 300 yards in :15.403 in the first of eight trials on the night. The Kindergarten final will be held on Sunday, May 18. Zoomilicious is only the second Quarter Horse that the Fresno-based owner has started in a trial race at the Orange County oval. In fact, Ubario’s racing operation at Los Alamitos has consisted of only a handful of horses since the owner first started his runners here toward the end of the 2012 season.
“I ran horses for about four years in the fair circuit,” Ubario said. “Two years ago I decided to give Los Alamitos a try. I only run a horse or two each year. It’s just a hobby that I really enjoy, but hopefully we can do well, keep going and make it stronger.”
The lifelong horseman first arrived at Los Alamitos with Kisses Caliente and One Last Win, a pair of modest claimers that had previously raced in the Northern California fair circuit. Ubario’s first taste of trial races at Los Alamitos came last year with a hard-knocking gelding named Texcoco. The runner did not make a final, but the son of Red Hot Rhythm did score a couple of victories for his owner. The Bobby Cox-bred Zoomilicious gave Ubario a huge thrill, as she took the lead shortly after the start and finished strongly to win as the second shot in the wagering at 9-5 odds.
“She had started from a similar spot in her racing debut and she ran well from there,” Ubario said. “I thought the experience of that race would help and she seemed to like running from that spot.”
Zoomilicious finished second to the highly-regarded Pink Berreta from the outside post number six when they both debuted on April 13. On Kindergarten trial night, Zoomilicious once again drew the outside post, this time it being post number seven. By the way, Zoomilicious will meet again with Pink Berreta after she qualified to the Kindergarten as well.
“(Zoomilicous) did everything right,” said Ubario with a smile.
Gomez has regularly made the right moves in the Kindergarten finale over the years. The trainer has won this race many times and with huge stars like the great stallion Corona Cartel and champions Secret Card and Carters Cartel. He’ll now hope that the fastest qualifier can zoom to the finish line first in two weeks.
Celina Molina’s Viento Negro and David Brownell’s Off Beat shared the second-fastest qualifying time of :15.433 after dead-heating for the win in the second trial of the night. Viento Negro and Off Beat both recovered from less than ideals starts to make the Kindergarten field.
“I was in the Kindergarten 20 years ago and ran second in the race with a horse named Double Density,” said Brownell, a longtime Quarter Horse owner and a board member of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association. “I’ve entered many horses to the Kindergarten trials and it’s great to have one back in the Kindergarten.”
Cesar De Alba piloted the Paul Jones-trained Foose colt to his second win in as many starts.
“I liked this young horse’s breeding and I’m also a big Foose fan,” said Brownell of the horse he purchased for $11,000 at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale. “When I saw (Off Beat) I thought he had beautiful confirmation. He has not been gelded and for being a colt he has good attitude and just loves to run. I have him entered in every single futurity this year.”
Sired by First Moonflash, Viento Negro also improved to two victories in as many starts. Trained by Juan Aleman and ridden by Raul Valenzuela, Viento Negro recovered from early trouble to get a share of first place in this race.
“He had a ton of trouble,” Aleman said. “When I saw him stumble and get left I thought we would be lucky to hit the board. I thought it was all over. He finally started getting a hold of the ground and he was just flying in the final 100 yards of the race. He’s going to be tough in the final because I know that he’s better than that (trial). To make up the ground at 300 yards shows his ability.”
Ramon Sanchez piloted Wild Sixes Cartel to an impressive half-length victory from post number one for trainer Paul Jones. The effort earned the son of Corona Cartel out of the Grade 1-winning mare Wild Six the fourth fastest clocking of :15.438 for owners Tom Bradbury, Tom Bradbury Jr. and Lisa Beauprez. The Bradbury name is synonymous at Los Alamitos Race Course with the world champion mare Dash For Speed, the winner of the 1990 Champion of Champions.
“Tom owns this colt in partnership with his son and daughter,” Jones said. “It’s a family deal partnership. This horse was second in his first start, but he came back and looked sharp in this race. He did everything right and he’s got talent.”
Wild Sixes Cartel finished ahead of the very promising Ivory James filly named Vitali for owner Armando Arreola Jr. and trainer Cody Joiner. Vitali bumped twice at the start and was seventh after the first few yards. He flew in the final half of the race to run second while earning a berth to the Kindergarten final. Raul Valenzuela, who also qualified Viento Negro and Ochoteco, was aboard Vitali.
Salvador Pimienta’s Ochoteco won his trial thanks to strong finish at odds of 11-1. Trained by Felix Gonzalez, the homebred Separatist gelding covered the distance in the fifth fastest time of :15.442.
“His mother is a full sister to (multiple graded stakes finalist) Bingo,” said Pimienta, who teamed up with Gonzalez to win the 2013 Kindergarten with homebred Blackberry Czech. “I sent this horse to Hermosillo to sell at a horse sale, but I ended up repurchasing him. He flipped in his stall before he entered the sale ring and cut his leg and back. I brought him back to the United States and paid him into the Kindergarten. I worried about him in the trials because he did not do that good in his first start, but we felt he was a good horse because he posted a :12.10 workout before that race. I expect good things from him. He’s made the finals to this race and that’s the most important thing.”
Jose Flores, who saddled last year’s Kindergarten winner Glitter In My Face, will look to make two in a row after qualifying Old Girl for his father, Jose Arturo Flores. Old Girl covered the distance in :15.448 in spite lugging inwards during the race. She’s won both of her starts.
EG High Desert Farms’ Perryczech qualified with a time of :15.461 after running second to Ochoteco in the trials for trainer Francisco Vallejo. The Corona Czech filly will look to give EG High Desert a third Kindergarten win. Balgo Racing Team Inc’s Pink Berreta improved to a perfect two-for-two while advancing to the final after a half-length trial win in a time of :15.504. Carlos Huerta was aboard the Mr Eye Opener filly for young trainer Lindolfo Diaz.
It’s hard to believe, but Ed Allred will be looking to win his first ever Kindergarten with the TR Dasher-bred Mystery Man. The gelding was saddled by Jose Flores and ridden by Cruz Mendez, who also piloted Old Girl to a Kindergarten spot.
The top 10 list of qualifiers is as follows: Zoomilicious (:15.403), Off Beat (:15.433), Viento Negro (:15.433), Wild Sixes Cartel (:15.438), Ochoteco (:15.442), Old Girl (:15.448), Perryczech (:15.461), Pink Berreta (:15.504), Vitali (:15.509) and Mystery Man (:15.527).
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