CHICKS FIRST FLASH IS FASTEST QUALIFIER TO THE KINDERGARTEN FUTURITY
Chicks First Flash
Five Livestock Company LLC and Steve Wright’s Chicks First Flash entered the trials to the Grade 2, $287,500 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity after running second in his career debut in the fastest 220-yard race of the season. On that night, Chicks First Flash chased the surprising and lightning-fast Marcelo when the two face the starter for the first time back on April 3.
With no Marcelo to worry about, Chicks First Flash showed that he’s one of the fastest juveniles on the ground, as he broke sharply from the outside post number eight and just like he did in his debut, he finished strongly to win by a half-length while posting the fastest qualifying to the Robert Adair Kindergarten on Sunday night at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, Chicks First Flash (right photo) covered the distance in :15.428 while finishing ahead of Javier Barragan, Enrique Becerra and Miguel Gomez’s Mornings With Maria, who ran greenly but still showed quickness and acceleration on the way posting the second fastest qualifying time of :15.497.
Having been a part of the two fastest races of season for 2-year-olds, Chicks First Flash will be one of the top contenders when the 10 fastest qualifiers unite to run in the Kindergarten final on Sunday, May 15. Sired by First Moonflash and out of the stakes winning broodmare First Prize Chicks, Chicks First Flash was bred by Five Livestock Company.
“His first start was at 220 yards,” said Cervantes of Chicks First Flash. “The horse showed late run and I felt that he would run big in the later yards again. He behaved well in the gate. They loaded us quickly and they opened gates right away. He broke out but once I started hustling him, he settled nicely and ran his race. We had room to run.”
Cervantes won the Kindergarten last year, piloting Fire Fast Honey to victory for Arrossa. The jockey and trainer had a big night on Sunday, as they combined to quality two other horses to the final in addition to Chicks First Flash. The duo also qualified Lex Fabrizio’s One Sweet Duck, whose first two starts have gone swimmingly, and Hector Cuevas’ J Perfect Deal, who finished third in his trial but qualified with the 10th fastest time.
One Sweet Duck, a filly by One Sweet Jess is out of the multiple stakes winner Duck Dash N Go, who Arrossa also trained. One Sweet Duck finished with the sixth fastest clocking of :15.611 after winning her trial by ¾ length over Bill Dale and Jim Streelman’s Fraq Attack.
“She drifted over a little bit but she ran a really good race,” Arrossa said of One Sweet Duck. “She’s good in the gates, she broke sharp. I trained her mother, Duck Dash N Go. She was a stakes winner at Los Al. It’s been exciting to have (One Sweet Duck). She reminds me a lot of her mom. She’s not very big and has a real good mind. She’s quick at the gates so I’m pretty excited about her.”
For Five Livestock and Steve Wright, Cervantes and Arrossa won the Grade 2 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year with Fire Fast Honey.
Arrossa also saddled Dennis Jensen and Randy Young’s Valiantli to a 1 ½ length victory in the fifth trial, earning the impressive Valiant Hero filly a berth to the Kindergarten final. Valiantli finished with the seventh fastest time of :15.615 with Jesus Rios Ayala up in the convincing victory. Jensen and Young will be looking to win the Kindergarten for the second year in a row after taking the race with the previously mentioned filly Fire Fast Honey.
Keith Nellesen’s Muy Bien Corona, a colt by Corona Cartel out of Lady Perry On Fire, posted the third fastest qualifying time o f :15.514 after outdueling Jesus Nava’s homebred filly Navaja by a ½ length in the opening trial. Muy Bien Corona led every step of 300-yard race, but the Walk Thru Fire filly Navaja finished strongly to pull away from Kindergarten qualifier J Perfect Deal on the way to also making the Grade 2 final. Navaja finished with the fifth fastest time of :15.584.
This race, however, was all about the Heath Taylor-trained Muy Bien Corona (photo below) after he improved his record to two victories from the equal amount of starts.
“This horse was always real forward and looked like he was going to mature early,” Taylor said. “Originally, we had the horse slated for the Ruidoso Futurity. I got together with Mr. Nellesen at the (Heritage Place) January Sale and I had spoken to him that I was going to go to Los Alamitos with some horses. Throughout the sale, we visited back and forth, and Keith Nellesen said, ‘What do you think about paying the penalty and running the horse in the Kindergarten?’ I said that he’s a really nice prospect for that particular race. He was also paid to the Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million. He would have the flexibility to stay or still go to Ruidoso. He had been geared to the early races from the start and has been real professional.”
Nellesen won the Ed Burke Million Futurity and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity with AQHA champion KVN Corona in 2017. Taylor, back at Los Alamitos with a strong stable of horses, has won 172 Quarter Horse races during his training career at the Orange County oval.
Navaja, winner in her racing debut here on April 2, is out of Nava’s stakes placed filly Jess Flashee, who also qualified to a pair of graded stakes races during her sophomore campaign in 2019.
Owner J. Francisco Diaz won the 2019 Kindergarten with his homebred Chayito Cartel, who was trained by his son, Lindolfo. The father and son team will look to repeat that accomplishment with the homebred One Sweet Bar, the winner of the second trial in the fourth fastest time of :15.549. Sired by 2013 Ed Burke Million winner Five Bar Cartel, One Sweet Jess won his trial by 1 ¼ lengths.
“He had a nice workout before his racing debut but he didn’t break that great and then we were facing a very quick horse in (His Chickless),” Lindolfo Diaz explained. “He had a good post tonight; he still ran a little green, but he looked good and we’ll see how he does in the final. He had an outside post but sometimes you don’t know how a 2-year-old will handle it. My horse ran professional enough, just a little bit green. He’s still learning.”
The list of qualifiers also included Fraq Attack, owned and bred by Bill Dale and Dr. James Streelman. Fraq Attack, a gelding by A Revenant and out of the Hard Hitting mare Hard Headed Chick, was second to One Sweet Duck in the third trial. Dale and Streelman were the breeders of 2021 Los Alamitos Super Derby winner Flash Bak. Jaime Gomez trains Fraq Attack, who was ridden by Oscar Peinado.
Rojas Racing LLC and Juan Moya’s Smokin Hot Fire completed the list of qualifiers after running a game third to Chicks First Flash and Mornings With Maria. Cesar Franco rode the Walk Thru Fire colt for trainer Ricardo Guillen. Reginald Rasner bred Smokin Hot Fire.
Here’s the complete list of qualifiers to the Kindergarten Futurity: Chicks First Flash (:15.428), Mornings With Maria (:15.497), Muy Bien Corona (:15.514), One Sweet Bar (:15.549), Navaja (:15.584), One Sweet Duick (:15.611), Valiantli (:15.615), Fraq Attack (:15.725), Smokin Hot Fire (:15.742), and J Perfect Deal (:15.760).