RACE GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN FOR HOPEFULBLUE ON SATURDAY NIGHT
The experience of having raced three times under the lights at Los Alamitos Race Course was a big plus for Martha Wells’ Hopefulblue, as the filly by Foose outdueled five rivals to win The Plan Handicap by a head here on Saturday night.
Ridden by Jonathan Roman for trainer Matt Fales, Hopefulblue took a big lead at the start of the 350-yard dash and then held off the strong late rush from Roche Equine Futurity winner Zoomin For Trix to win at odds of 9-2. The win was the first for the Wells-bred runner, who began her career at Turf Paradise in April. Hopefulblue finished out of the money in those starts, but the two outings helped make her eligible to race in the trials to the Wild West Futurity to be held here on September 26. All six horses in The Plan have their sights set on the Wild West, which is strictly for horses that have competed in the Intermountain and Northwest regions plus Nevada, Arizona and Canada.
Of the six runners in The Plan, Hopefulblue had the most experience racing at Los Alamitos. After her two Turf Paradise outings, the gray filly was shipped to the Orange County track where she finished fourth or better in all three of her starts. Her most recent outing was a good one, as she ran third to Race Thru The Fire in the $25,000 California Breeders Freshman Stakes for Fillies. That race plus her other nighttime starts appeared to have helped her going into The Plan.
“I think the jockey helped a lot too,” Wells said. “They just seemed to click. She didn’t have a very good experience (in Arizona), so I’m tickled to death with everything.”
Hopefulblue earned $8,250 for the win to take her career earnings to $12,430. This marked her first victory in six starts.
Walker Family Trust’s Zoomin For Trix, who won four of five starts while racing at Jerome and Pocatello Downs, was huge during the second half of The Plan to earn $3,375. Ruben Lozano piloted him for trainer Monty Arrossa.
Diego Creus’ Mister Bigg, sixth in the Desert Classic Futurity at Turf Paradise in April, finished third for trainer Jose Flores. Radar, Fire An Rain, and CM Blue By You completed the field.