Far Niente is Topweight in Independence Day Handicap

The 6-year-old gelding will make his season debut Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Q-Racing Journal

A field of seven runners has been entered in Saturday's $20,000 Independence Day Handicap at Los Alamitos.

Far Niente, a 6-year-old gray son of champion Fdd Dynasty racing for Tom Atwood and John J. Wells, will make his season debut in Saturday's 300-yard, $25,000 Independence Day Handicap at Los Alamitos.

Far Niente will be making his first start since December 12, when he ran fifth, four lengths behind winner and eventual world champion Heza Dasha Fire, in the 440-yard, $600,000 Champion of Champions (G1). The gelding is coming off of a 5-year-old campaign during which he scored a wire-to-wire, 1 1/4-length victory in the 400-yard, $146,000 Vessels Maturity (G1).

"It's tough not to see him in (this year's) Vessels Maturity," said Far Niente's trainer, Jose Hernandez Jr. "But the idea was to give him plenty of rest so that we can have a very strong horse for the second half of the year.

"Far Niente is one of those horses that just loves to run fresh," he added. "We gave him time off and he ran great in both 2013 and 2014. The Independence Day is at 300 yards, and he's only made two career starts at that distance. It'll be interesting to see how he does, but since he hasn't raced all year the 300 yards is a nice way to get his year started."

Made the early 9-5 favorite by Los Alamitos morning-line maker Ed Burgart, Far Niente will tote highweight of 126 pounds. The gelding drew post 7 and will be ridden by Ramon Sanchez. His trainer said he will be pointed to longer races toward the end of the year.

"We'll be pointing him to the (August 14, 440-yard) Bank of America California Challenge Championship, (440-yard) Los Alamitos Championship, and perhaps the (400-yard) Go Man Go Handicap," Hernandez said. "We'd love to see him run in the Champion of Champions again."

The complete lineup for the Independence Day Handicap, in post position order including jockey and weight assignments and morning-line odds:
Jake Gold Br (Cesar DeAlba, 124), 7-2
Bf Farm Boss (Carlos Marquez, 122), 12-1
Lotta Dynasty (Cruz Mendez, 118), 8-1
Viento Negro (Eduardo Nicasio, 120), 7-2
Foosilame (Carlos Huerta, 118), 20-1
Far Niente (Ramon Sanchez, 126), 9-5
Sugardaddy B (Samuel Mendez, 123), 3-1

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