LARC NEWS Posted: 7/29/2017 11:31:40 PM

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MATILDA CZECH TAKES FRESHMAN FOR FILLIES

EG High Desert Farms’ Matilda Czech continued her terrific form, as she won the $25,000 California Breeders Freshman Stakes for Fillies, to improve to two wins from four starts. One of her loses was a second-place finish in the Ed Burke Memorial Stakes, while she was fourth in her career debut.

On California Breeders Champions Night, Matilda Czech was head-to-head with Annas Babe Foose and then La Sierran before flying late to score a half-length victory in a 350-yard time of :17.744.

“She’s been very honest and always gives you her best,” Zamudio said. “She’s good to train. I was nervous because she was facing tough competition, but she ran her race. She has futurity trials ahead. We’ll probably look for a handicap to keep her active and then start training her for those trials.”

Matilda Czech is eligible to run in the Golden State Million Futurity trials and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials. The Fast Prize Cartel filly earned $13,750 for the win to take her lifetime earnings to $23,235.

Howard Nichols’ La Rusa finished second for trainer Jose Flores, while Ed Allred’s La Sierra was third.

TUSTIN KID TAKES THE FRESHMAN STAKES

Ed Allred’s homebred Tustin Kid showed on California Champions Night what made him one of the most highly regarded juveniles during the early spring workouts this season. The Kiddy Up gelding reached the winner’s circle for the first time in his career thanks to a strong finish that helped move past Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Remember To Dash to win the $25,000 California Breeders Freshman Stakes.

Out of the A Regal Choice mare Register To Win, Tustin Kid was second during the early part of the race from the outside post 10, but then took in the final 100 yards to post a head victory over Remember To Dash. Tustin Kid, who posted an eye-catching :12.10 gate work in April, was third in his trial to the Governor’s Cup Futurity. He ran third and fifth in his other two outings before this victory. With Rodrigo Aceves up, Tustin Kid won the Freshman Stakes in a 350-yard time of :17.858. He earned $13,750 for the win.

EG High Desert Farms’ Remember To Dash earned $5,625 for running second for trainer Valentin Zamudio. Spackman Racing and Lin Melton’s Dont Foose With Me, the runner-up in the Kindergarten Futurity, finished third.

MAGGIE DURANT WITH BIG UPSET IN MATRON STAKES

Spackman Racing and Lin Melton’s Maggie Durant (photo) upset a solid field of distaffers to win the Restricted Grade 3 Matron Stakes at 44-1 odds on California Breeders Champions Night.

“It’s a good thing she can’t read the toteboard,” said Melton, who trains the 4-year-old Idaho-bred mare. “She doesn’t know her odds. To be honest, I don’t know why she was such a longshot. She’s run and won against some mares before. This was a good field, but I thought she had a chance.”

Leaving the gate from post number one, Maggie Durant was second before taking the lead for good about 50 yards into the 400-yard race. The One Sweet Jess mare had a ¾ length lead early on and ½ length lead in the second half of the race before holding off Thermonuclear Energy by a neck.

“(Maggie Durant) had been training like a million bucks,” Melton added. “I’ve only run her three times this year. She won one race and ran fourth in a pretty good allowance race against Zendaya. Maggie Durant has outrun good mares. She stood great in post one when other horses were acting up. She’s just a good mare. She’s in the Merial California Distaff in two weeks. We’ll see how she comes back. We might finally run her and (stablemate) Time For Jess together.”

Maggie Durant will be looking to defend her title in the Merial California Distaff after winning the race last year. Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, Maggie Durant earned $22,000 for the win to take her career earnings to $80,524. She covered the distance in :19.876.

Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s Thermonuclear Energy earned $9,000 for second for trainer Chris O’Dell. C.K. and Laurel Allen’s Strawfinders Jessee ran third.

LD IS BACK GIVES DARLING FARMS ANOTHER STAKES WIN  

Darling Farms’ dream year continued on California Breeders Champions Night as the racing operation won the $25,000 Jens List Memorial Stakes for 3-year-old with the impressive LD Is Back. Darling Farms is in the top 10 nationally with 15 Quarter Horse wins thanks to LD Is Back, while ranking among the leaders in country in money earned with $795,768. Darling Farms has also enjoyed some major victories thanks to Hold Air Hostage, the winner of the Grade 1 Rainbow Derby and Heritage Place Derby. Darling Farms also won the Restricted Grade 2 $390,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and finished second in the Grade 1 $1,000,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity with J Fire Up.

Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Jaime Gomez, who also co-owns LD Is Back, the Walk Thru Fire gelding cruised to a 1 ½ length victory in the Jens List while covering the 400 yards in :19.722. LD Is Back was winless in eight starts as a 2-year-old, but is now undefeated in his two races as a sophomore.

“He ran in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity here last year, but he had chips in the knee and we had to operate him,” Dan Darling said. “We waited on him and he came back well it looks like. It’s been a good year.”

LD Is Back earned $13,750 for taking the Jens List to raise his career earnings to $42,300. Eva Carrazco’s Stelfast, the winner of the El Primero Del Ano Derby and Dillingham Handicap, finished second in the Jens List to earn $5,625. The Stel Corona colt has earned $185,832 in his 18-race career. He’s finished in the top two in nine of those outings. Hold Sway, Well Good, Favorite Aquaholic, and Still Trying completed the field.

SCHOLARLY ENJOYS 2ND CAREER WIN ON CHAMPIONS NIGHT

Kolleen Ledgerwood’s Scholarly became the 13th horse to win at least two stakes races in history of California Breeders Champions Night after she took the $25,000 Debutante Stakes for sophomore fillies. The TR Dasher filly won the Freshman Stakes for fillies last year and then defended her divisional title as a sophomore thanks to a tremendous closing kick that saw her go from fourth to winner by a nose.

“That was fantastic,” Ledgerwood said. “She made up so much ground.”

 Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for trainer Roberto Dominguez, Scholarly was picking up her fourth career win in 12 starts. Bred by Ed Allred, the talented filly has been in the top two in nine of her starts.

“Eduardo really put a ride on her and brought her through,” Ledgerwood added. “She can be a handful. She never gave up. This was pretty neat. She ran the race of her life.”

Ledgerwood has enjoyed the last two editions of California Breeders Champions Night. In addition to winning the Freshman Stakes for fillies with Scholarly last year, Ledgerwood also won the boys division, the Freshman Stakes, with Favorite Aquaholic.

Scholarly earned $13,750 in the Debutante to take her career earnings to $47,750. Allred’s Tough To Figure, runner-up by a nose in the La Primera Del Ano Derby earlier this year, just missed in the Debutante, but finished second to earn $5,625. Scott Willoughby trains Tough To Figure, who was ridden by Gary Boag. Steve Burns’ Ilikethewayshewalks finished third.

HOOSE COOSE CRUISED IN 550-YARD STAKES

The father and son team of owner J. Francisco Diaz and trainer Lindolfo Diaz enjoyed a big win on California Breeders Champions Night thanks to the former $8,000 claimer Hoose Coose in the $20,000 550-Yard Stakes. The Foose gelding cruised to a ¾ length win, fourth since being claimed. Hoose Coose’s previous wins for his new barn came at the $16,000, $20,000 and $30,000 claiming level, but he’s now a stakes winner. Jesus Rios Ayala piloted Hoose Coose to victory in a hand time of :27.30.

“Ayala told me that he wanted to break a little too fast, but the ground kind of broke from under him,” Lindolfo Diaz said. “He said when he leveled off he started rolling. (Newport Coaster) started getting close, but when he asked him he took off and put it in another gear. It was a good win, a solid horse.

“I don’t know if he’s a straight handicap horse at a shorter distance,” Diaz said. “I don’t know if he can beat that kind. Maybe we’ll look at another high claiming race for $40,000. Hopefully he pulls up sound.”

Hoose Coose earned $11,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $42,034. He now has six wins from 15 starts. Herminia Gutierrez’s Newport Coaster earned $4,500 for second, while Ed Allred’s Bound To Bet, an impressive winner at 870 yards in his last start, finished third.

KICKIN KATELLA AND SCHOOL PREZ SCORE IN CLAIMING STAKES

California Breeders Champions Night featured a pair of Claiming Stakes, which were won by Link Newcomb’s Kickin Katella and Jesus Avila and Jesus Cuevas’ School Prez. Ridden by Martin Arriaga for trainer Juan Aleman, Kickin Katella won the $5,000 Sophomore Claiming Stakes easily by a length, while covering the 350 yards in :17.882. A winner for only the second time in 12 starts, Kickin Katella earned $8,250 for the win. Steve Burns bred the TR Dasher gelding.

School Prez, an Ed Allred-bred gelding by Kiddy Up, has now won three in a row after taking the $10,000 Sophomore Claiming Stakes. Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Valentin Zamudio, School Prez won by ¾ lengths while covering the 350-yard distance in :17.784. School Prez earned $9,625 to take her lifetime earnings to $33,053.   

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