LARC NEWS Posted: 6/13/2022 2:52:59 AM


       Gentry Farms enjoyed a sweep of the stakes races for fillies and mares held on Sunday night at Los Alamitos after AQHA champion aged mare Kiss Thru Fire won the inaugural running of the $100,000 Abigail Kawananakoa Stakes at 400 yards, while In My Heart won the $25,000 Check Her Twice Stakes at 350 yards.

       Kiss Thru Fire (photo), the winner of the Grade 1 Charger Bar Handicap in each of the past two years, scored her third $100,000 stakes win after taking the lead shortly after the start in the Abigail Kawananakoa and then sailing away to a 1 ½ length win over Virginia Hyland Stakes winner Famous Shining Star. Covering the distance in :19.754, the Walk Thru Fire mare earned $50,000 for the win to take her lifetime earnings to $536,025.    

       Ridden by Jesus Rios Ayala for trainer Juan Aleman, the 5-year-old Gentry Farms-bred mare also picked up her 11th win in 29 starts. This was also her sixth stakes victory at Los Alamitos.

       “It’s very special to win the debut of the Abigail Kawananakoa,” said Robert Kirk Gentry. “A few years ago (Abigail) came to our farm in Lubbock, Texas and I’ll always treasure that. She’s a special lady and good for our industry. It’s an honor to win the very first running. Thank you, Abigail.”

       The Walk Thru Fire mare entered this race after finishing third in the Denim N Diamonds Stakes and second in the Miss Princess Handicap. She finished behind Jet Wings One in both of those 350-yard races. The added 50 yards in the Abigail was certainly to Kiss Thru Fire’s liking, plus she did not have to worry about Jet Wings One, who was scratched from the race earlier in the day.

      “We had plan to run all three mares (Kiss Thru Fire, In My Heart, and Gentry Farms’ College Scandal) in the Abigail,” Aleman said. “We decided to go with In My Heart in the Check Her Twice because it’s 350 yards. It suited her better. We went ahead and put her in that race, and it worked out fine. We knew that Kiss Thru Fire would be back to her distance of 400 yards and she’s tough at 400 yards. She’s been beat at 350, but 400 is her lick. She has a kick right at around 300 yards she starts kicking in.”

      With Kiss Thru Fire winning both the Charger Bar and the Abigail and Jet Wings One having her wins in the Denim N Diamonds and Miss Princess, the next time they meet might be in the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap in mid-September.

       “We’ll keep (Kiss Thru Fire) right here, and we’ll get her ready for the Mildred,” Gentry added.

       “Maybe the Matron Stakes on California Breeders Champions Night,” Aleman added. “We’ll see how she comes back and decide from there. The main race is the Millie Vessels.”

       Owned by Johnny Trotter and trained by Jose Flores, Famous Shining Star earned $21,500 for her second-place finish in the Abigail Kawananakoa. Ridden by Cruz Mendez, Famous Shining Star has finished third or better in all four of her stakes races this season. In addition to the Virginia Hyland, she was third in the Miss Princess Handicap and second in the Dashingly Stakes on January 2.

        Paul Jones and Thompson Racing’s Suite Expectations earned $11,000 for running third. Inaudible, Up For You, and College Scandal completed the field.  

        In the Check Her Twice, In My Heart led from start to finish to record her first ever stakes win. Ridden by Rios Ayala for trainer Aleman, In My Heart finished ½ length ahead of EG High Desert Farms’ La Beverly Hills, while covering the 350 yards in :17.636. Now a winner in fourth of 18 career starts, In My Heart has earned $70,141. The Apollitical Jess filly finished fourth in both the Virginia Hyland and the Miss Princess in her other stakes outings this season. Looks On Fleek, Leah Carroll, Svelte, Ms Ko completed the field.


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