Ronas Runner (left) and This Wagons Okay, a pair of well-bred 2-year-old Quarter Horses, scored solid victories in their respective 300-yard debuts on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Racing for Alberto Valdes, Ronas Runner broke sharply from post number three and never looked back on the way to a ¾ length victory in the eighth race of the night. Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Jose De La Torre, Ronas Runner covered the 300 yards in :15.673. The Utah-bred is a filly sired by the outstanding Corona Cartel and out of the 2005 Southern California Derby winner First Down Runner. Ronas Runner came into her debut having posted a couple of solid 220-yard workouts of :12.20 and :12.40.
“She broke so fast that she almost left me in the gate when she took off,” Nicasio said. “She had a very good start to this race. She felt really good in her first start. It felt like she was going really easy and I didn’t have to push her much. She’s a very attentive filly in that she likes to look around at everything that is going on. She pays attention to every little thing.”
“She looks like she has talent,” said De La Torre. “She's skipping the Kindergarten Futurity and instead we'll wait for the trials to the Ed Burke Million Futurity. That gives us another month to work with her.”
Freakier LLC’s Fiesty Flo finished second while crossing the wire in a time of :15.808. Corona Crystal Fire, PYC First Prize Fany, Thirty Six Belles, Top Fuel Cha Cha and Pain Pleasure will complete the field.
The other race for 2-year-olds went to Stacy and Randy Hill’s This Wagons Okay, a colt by PYC Paint Your Wagon, who posted a hard-fought neck victory over Jeff Aldstadt, Flying L Ranch and Karen Buckingham’s Foose Down Dash in the evening's second race. Ridden by Francisco Rubio, the 3-5 favorite This Wagons Okay covered the distance in :15.758. This Wagons Okay had previously posted times of :12.20 and :12.50 during morning drills.
This Wagons Okay’s mother is This Candys Okay, who earned $218,355 while winning nine of 14 starts. Trained by Stacy Hill for Carl Pevehouse, This Candys Okay won the 2007 $250,781 Black Gold Futurity Championship and $95,000 Black Gold Futurity at Blue Ribbons Downs. She was also second in that year’s Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Futurity.
“This Wagons Okay slipped coming out of the gate, but once he got rolling he finished great,” said trainer Juan Aleman. “Hopefully this race will give him experience for the Kindergarten trials.”
Joe Bettencourt’s Timothee ran third and was followed by Murphys, Faster N Winner, Big Time JP, Dash To Tell and Chollima.
Trainer Humberto Loma saddled a pair of Thoroughbred winners on Saturday night. He won the third race with Jerry McClanahan’s Myfavorite Stefani following an exciting duel with James Davis’ Free Itch in the 4 ½ furlong test. Loma saddled his next winner with Solveig Perez’s Destiny Knocks also at 4 ½ furlongs in the sixth race. Ridden by Eulices Gomez, Destiny Knocks won by a length in a time of :51.76, while Myfavorite Stefani covered the distance in :53.21 with Gerardo Gavica in the irons. Both wins came in races for $3,500 claimers. Loma has won eight Thoroughbred races this season at Los Alamitos.
Saturday’s program featured a pair of events for $5,000 claimers with Mike Flory’s J Louie winning the $11,000 first race and Pirate Stables’ Uncle Glen winning the $10,000 seventh race. J Louie was ridden by Cheryl Charlton for trainer by Keith Craigmyle, while Uncle Glen was ridden by Dee Dee Williams for trainer Chris O’Dell. By the way, Craigmyle won the $23,000 fifth race at Santa Anita on Friday afternoon with Edward Kono’s 21-1 longshot Summers Dignity at 6 furlongs.