LARC NEWS Posted: 4/22/2024 1:51:40 AM

FEAR N FRIDAYS, MY BUDD TOP NIGHT OF TRIALS TO KINDERGARTEN FUTURITY

             Much was expected of AGMW Racing’s Fear N Fridays in his career debut on April 6 at Los Alamitos. The Utah-bred gelding by PYC Fun N Fancy was the 7-5 favorite in that race, but he could only muster a fourth-place finish in that 220-yard outing.

          The learning experience served the Thurston Quarter Horses-bred sprinter well, as he returned with a flawless performance from the rail to win the fourth of eight trials to the Grade 2, $256,200 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity on Sunday night at the Orange County oval. Ridden by Armando Cervantes for trainer Monty Arrossa, Fear N Fridays (left) posted the fastest qualifying time to the 300-yard final after covering the distance in a time of :15.665. He finished 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Antonio Diaz’s Exploiter in this trial with the runner-up also advancing to the Kindergarten final.

          Fear N Fridays is out of the Proudest Effort mare Kipannie, a daughter of the graded stakes winner Easy Kipa, who won the Evergreen Futurity at Sun Downs in 1996 and ran in the Bitterroot Futurity at Les Bois Park. 

Arrossa now has an opportunity to add another Kindergarten victory after winning this race Fire Fast Honey in 2021, Valiantli in 2022, and Double Down 123 last year. With those three Kindergarten winners being fillies, Fear N Fridays will look to become the first male to win the Kindergarten since Chayito Cartel in 2019.

“In his first out, Fear N Fridays drew the rail, and he was a little green and really needed the race,” Arrossa said. “Tonight, he drew the rail again. The (previous) race benefited him. He ran a real professional race. I’m very happy with him.”

Arrossa also saddled Lex Fabrizio, Dennis Jensen and Randy Young’s Hey Wauss to a spot in the Kindergarten. The gelding by Ivory James finished behind second fastest qualifier My Budd in the final trial of the night with Hey Wauss clocking in as the fifth fastest qualifier.

“Fear N Fridays and Hey Wauss have been work partners,” Arrossa added. “They’ve had a couple of good workouts together. Both looked like they’ve been progressing along. We liked what (Hey Wauss) had done in the mornings. He came in here and got a little hot. He was a little nervous in the paddock. He needed the race. He was on the outside and you never know what they’re going to do when they’re on the outside. He handled it well and professional. He got beat by really nice horse.”

Keith Nellesen’s My Budd won the trial in :15.702, while Hey Wauss crossed the wire in :15.770. Jensen and Young won this race with Fire Fast Honey and Valiantli. Young added a third with with Double Down 123, a filly he co-owns with Taos River Ranch. Hey Wauss gives the owner a chance to win in the winner’s for the fourth time in the Kindergarten.  

Even with Arrossa recent Kindergarten success, no trainer has won more runnings of this race than Jaime Gomez, who has won eight runnings of this historic race with four of those coming with horses carrying the famous black and gold silks of Dutch Masters III. The owner and trainer combination will look to add another win to their respective records in this race after Play Misty (photo) won the second trial of the night. Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, Play Misty enjoyed a clean start, picked up speed with every stride, had plenty of room to operate and sailed to an easy ½ length victory in sixth fastest time of :15.792.

Sired by Jess Good Candy and out of the 2017 Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Imqtpie, Play Misty entered her trial after a better than looked gate work on March 17. The James Streelman and Bill Dale-bred filly hesitated to leave, circled slightly to the outside before moving back inside and going under wraps in the final 50 yards. Her time of :12.3 was the fastest of 38 works on that morning, but she could have easily gone much faster.

            “I’m very excited about Play Misty,” Gomez said. “I thought she was one of our best prospects coming into the trials.”

            Gomez’s most recent Kindergarten win came in  2020 with La Jaconde. His four victories with Dutch Masters III  include Secret Card in 2000 and Sassy Smith in 2001. He also saddled Dutch Masters III’s Gold Nugget Rd to victory in the 2005 Kindergarten, a victory that gave the legendary stallion Walk Thru Fire the first stakes winner of his amazing career as a sire. Gomez and Dutch Masters III also teamed up in 2009 with Twin Spires.

            Nellessen will have three runners in the Kindergarten final thanks to My Budd (photo),  fourth fastest qualifier Zoomin On Home, and ninth fastest qualifier, Set The Edge. Zooming On Home and Set The Edge both posted runner-up efforts, but in fast enough clockings to advance to the Kindergarten final. Meanwhile, with Rodrido Sigala Vallejo up, My Budd uses a flipping halter for this race, breaking nicely and then finishing powerfully to score a half-length victory over Hey Wauss.

            “The horse has always shown talent, but he’s pretty high spirited,” trainer Heath Taylor said of the gelding by KVN Corona. “After we started getting qualified and he got a taste of it, he got a little speed silly, a little wound up. The engine just got going a little too fast. We did a little bit of schooling. A few times in the morning he was a bit of a handful to load. He was always really, really good in the gate, but he was not too good behind the gate and not loading. We have been practicing and I was happy with how he saddled in the paddock. He’s not a kid’s horse, he’s a handful.”

            Nellesen’s Zoomin On Home is a full brother to PCQHRA champion gelding Political Rivarly, the Grade 1 winner in the Ed Burke Million Futurity and Grade 2 winner in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year. Political Rivalry also qualified to the Kindergarten last year, but was not entered back in the final in order to instead prepare for the Ed Burke Million. Zoomin On Home exits a very competitive duel with third fastest qualifier Cedar Hill, a gelding from the barn of trainer Eddie Willis.

            “Cedar Hill is a good horse,” Taylor said. “Eddie Willis had told me earlier in the year had good talent. Cedar Hill had already run twice at night at Remington Park and at 300 yards twice. He just shipped out, so he’ll improve. You always want to win, but for Zoomin On Home to run against that horse and duel with that horse, that was a good effort. Zoomin On Home having run 300 yards now, he’ll probably be a little fitter and probably a little bit more bottom to him. We need to school (Zoomin On Home) a little bit more in the gate. He was a little rambunctious, lifting a time or two in there. It’s tough with this 2-year-olds. You want them to stand perfectly, but at the same time you want them to break and explode. Later in the year is not that big a deal as you school them and stand them. Right now, they’re just now learning the hand opening and the breaking. They still don’t know and every noise that they hear is really challenging. As they get seasoned, they’ll be better. They’ll both need to get better to win the final.”

            Taylor also trains Set The Edge, a gelding sire by KVN Corona and out of the graded stakes winner Famous Little Reba, who earned $194,587 in her career.

Owned and bred by Abel Flores and James Sills, the duo of Cedar Hill and Freight Lyner both picked up victories in their respective Kindergarten trials, giving their owners a talented and experienced pair of runners for the May 12 final.

Cedar Hill, a gelding by Capo de Capi with stakes experience in the Oklahoma Juvenile Stakes, won the seventh trial while posting the third fastest qualifying time of :15.746. Out of the Carters Cartel mare Ms Shakem Cartel, a finalist to the 2015 Grade 3 Oklahoma Horsemen’s Association Mystery Futurity, Cedar Hill (photo) led from start to finish while holding off Zoomin On Home by a nose. Justine Klaiber piloted Cedar Hill for trainer Eddie Willis. 

The same connections teamed up with Freight Lyner, who was already a winner at Remington Park on March 16. He broke out sharply at the start of trials number five but had enough left in the late going to win in a time of :15.887. With Klaiber up for Willis, Freight Lyner is the only runner out of these trials already with two victories. Freight Lyner is an Oklahoma-bred sired by Freighttrain B and out of Js Abel Dasher, a multiple graded stakes placed earner $112,151.

To go along with Play Misty, Gomez will also have the Kiddy Up filly Exploiter in the final. Gomez has had good luck with Kiddy Up fillies in the past, as he conditioned the outstanding J Fire Up to a record setting juvenile campaign at Los Alamitos in 2017. Sired by Kiddy Up, J Fire Up won the Los Alamitos Two Million, Golden State Million and Governor’s Cup Futurity to earn over $1.43 million, the highest single season total ever by a 2-year-old filly at Los Alamitos. Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, Exploiter covered the distance in :15.845.

            Jose Luis Valdez’s Val Sofia finished with the 10th fastest qualifying time of :15.895 following her third-place finish to Play Misty and Set The Edge in the second trial. Valdez has been a part of the Kindergarten in the past, as his homebred Val Frida posted the fastest qualifying time to the 2021 running of this race. Erasmo Gasca piloted Val Sofia for trainer Ramiro Zuazo.

            The complete list of qualifiers to the Robert Adair Kindergarten is as follows: Fear N Fridays (:15.665), My Budd (:15.702), Cedar Hill (:15.746), Zoomin On Home (:15.754), Hey Wauss (:15.770), Play Misty (:15.792), Exploiter (:15.845), Set The Edge (:15.849), Freight Lyner (:15.887). and Val Sofia (:15.895).

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