There were some impressive Quarter Horse winners over thepast weekend at Los Alamitos. None was more eye-catching than AbigailKawananakoa’s Mesa Moonlight, who delivered a tremendous ¾ length victory inthe eighth and final race on Friday at Los Alamitos. Mesa Moonlight covered the330 yards in a time of :16.492.
Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Paul Jones, MesaMoonlight is a half sister to 440-yard world record holder First Moonflash, the2009 AQHA champion aged stallion and two-time winner of Grade 1 TheChampionship at Sunland Park. Mesa Moonlight and First Moonflash are both outof the Major Rime mare Nagano Moon.
Mesa Moonlight was making her first start of 2014 thisweek and first outing since running fifth in an absolutely loaded trial to theLos Alamitos Two Million Futurity on November 24. Among the runners that shefaced in that trial were Rainbow Futurity winner Ms First Prize Rose, LosAlamitos Two Million finalist and recent La Primera Del Ano Derby finalist SisIs Hot and Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes winner Another Oatie. After that out ofthe money finish, the filly by FDD Dynasty returned to post a 220-yard workoutin :12.60 on February 21 and before posting a sizzling :17.60 bullet drill at 350yards on March 8. That effort set her up nicely for her season debut, as sheflew out of the gate and always led from post number two.
This was her third career victory and first since winninga trial to the Rainbow Futurity on July 5. One of the horses she beat in thatRainbow trial was local stakes winner Viva Mi Corazon, who after racing atRuidoso Downs came to Los Alamitos to win the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and LosAlamitos Winter Derby. He also ran second in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.
Mesa Moonlight will have a busy season at Los Alamitosthis year. She’s eligible to run in the Golden State Derby trials and LosAlamitos Super Derby trials.
The top Quarter Horse winners on Saturday night wereMartha Wells’ stakes winner Forrest Fire and Anna MacPherson’s Annas Man 2.Forrest Fire scored a ¾ length victory in the meet’s fastest 330-yard time of :16.486.His time was the fastest at this distance this year, bettering Mesa Moonlight’sclocking from Friday night. Forrest Fire is a grizzled veteran, as he’s madeseven races in 43 career starts. A winner of more than $300,000, the son ofWalk Thru Fire won the Katella Handicap and Whosleavingwho Handicap in 2012,but he’s also appeared in 20 stakes during his prolific career. His best effortin a Grade 1 race was a third place finish to that year’s world champions,Apollitical Jess, in the 2010 Los Alamitos Super Derby. Oscar Peinado pilotedthe 7-year-old Forrest Fire for trainer Paul Jones in this event for $20,000claimers.
Annas Man 2 also posted a big win, as he crossed the wirea half-length ahead of Zesty in the eighth race for $12,500 claimers. Ridden byCarlos Huerta for trainer John Cooper, Annas Man 2 improved his record to threewins in 13 starts. He has also finished third or better in 10 of his last 11starts. The son of Tac It Like A Man covered the 300-yard distance in :15.274.