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Unbeaten fastest two qualifiers head $303,600 Kindergarten Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos

May 12, 2017     E-mail this page to a friend!

Perfect Az Can Be sets the second-fastest qualifying time—300 yards in :15.593—from seven trials to the Robert Adair Kindegarten Futurity
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
A pair of unbeaten fillies, one the darling of the juvenile division so far at Los Alamitos, and the other with a name that fits her performances this season, will headline the running of the $303,600 Robert Adair Kindergarten Futurity at 300 yards on Sunday, May 14. First post for the nine race card is at 5:48 p.m.

Owned by Paul Jones and Thompson Racing, Inc., Summertime Favorite has been stellar in her two starts in 2017. The Favorite Cartel filly was spectacular in her debut, as she recorded a wire-to-wire 2½-length victory on April 9. She returned 21 days later in a much tougher race, but she still prevailed to win by a neck while posting the fastest qualifying time in the trials to the Kindergarten final. Ramon Sanchez, the winner of the 2008 and 2011 Kindergartens, will ride Summertime Favorite from post #3. Jones, who teamed up with Sanchez to win those two Kindergarten finals, will saddle the full sister of multiple stakes winner Flay.

“(Summertime Favorite) made a few mistakes (in her trial win), but she still got the victory and in a pretty decent time,” Jones said. “She overcame a little bit of trouble. It wasn't such an easy race like last time. She was able to run in between horses. She did well. We are real proud of her."

Summertime Favorite is also a half-sister to the champion millionaire Foose.

Omar Placencia’s Perfect Az Can Be has been true to her name so far this year. The Arizona-bred filly by Texas Icon won with a strong finish and by a half-length in her debut on April 14 before flying right out of the gate to post a 1½-length victory in her Kindergarten trial. She finished the night with the second-fastest qualifying time. Eddie Garcia, this track’s all-time leader in win and stakes wins, will ride Perfect Az Can Be from post number five. Garcia’s lone Kindergarten win came aboard the living legend, the great sire Corona Cartel, in 1996.

Perfect Az Can Be was bred by Las Vegas Ranch. She’s a full sister to stakes winner Arizona Icon.

“She's perfect so far, as her name says," said trainer Kristen Watanabe. "She doesn't do anything wrong. She's a nice filly to be around. She's very personable and loves people. It makes my job a lot easier. She and Eddie make a great team."

Watanabe began training in 2010 after a decade of working for and assisting 1997 AQHA Champion Trainer Donna McArthur. McArthur was the winning trainer of the 2002 Kindergarten Futurity.

The longtime partnership of jockey Eduardo Nicasio and trainer Juan Aleman will have a great chance to win their first ever Kindergarten final when they team up with JGA Racing Stables, Inc’s Fire And Sass on Sunday night. Aleman will have a second runner in the Kindergarten in the Texas-bred Shangrilalala.

To be ridden by Martin Arriaga on Sunday, the Bobby Cox-bred Shangrilalala posted the third-fastest qualifying time in the trial. The filly by Mr Jess Perry is out of the Corona Cartel mare Bodacious Dream, the dam of multiple Grade 1 winner and top ranked Quarter Horse sprinter Bodacious Eagle. Shangrilalala was second to Summertime Favorite in the trials. Fire And Sass enters the final after posting the fourth-fastest qualifying time. Bred in Utah, the Walk Thru Fire gelding is a full brother to AQHA champion filly Jess Walking Thru, the winner of the 2014 Dash For Cash Futurity and third place finisher in that year's Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Shangrilalala and Fire And Sass both made their career debuts in the Kindergarten trials.

"It's hard going into (the) trials with first time starters," trainer Juan Aleman said. "But we planned it like this because there's so many futurities ahead of us. It's a long year. We said let's try them in the Kindergarten and make that their first race because these horses are paid to the Ed Burke Million, Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million. We just went in there trying our luck and we were lucky.”

Spackman Racing and Lin Melton's Dont Foose With Me was sixth in his career debut back on April 7, but returned to win his Kindergarten trial by ¾ lengths and in the fifth-fastest qualifying time.

"He had a horrible trip," said Melton of the Foose gelding’s first out. "He got left and came back trying to run through horses. We always liked him a lot.”

Melton will also saddle John Firth’s Mucho Bravado, which qualified to the Kindergarten final after his fourth place finish to Summertime Favorite in the trials. Mucho Bravado’s dam is Love My Corona, the runner-up in the 2005 Kindergarten. Cesar De Alba will ride Mucho Bravado, while Minor Arana, who qualified both of the Melton-trainees, will stick with the Foose gelding Dont Foose With Me in the final.

Ed Allred’s Seems Even Better, also undefeated in his two career starts, had a rough beginning to his trial, but he still came out on top while qualifying with the 10th-fastest clocking. From the family of 2015 Champion of Champions finalist Well And Good, Seems Even Better is by the stallion Kiddy Up. Carlos Huerta will ride Seems Even Better.

“The horse made a big mistake away from the gate (in the trial),” trainer Scott Willoughby said. “He’ll run better in the final. He came flying down at the end.”

Jose Flores, a four-time Kindergarten winning trainer, will saddle the Tres Seis gelding Kindigit, which finished third in the very tough Summertime Favorite/Shangrilalala trial. The field will be completed by Denny and Sandy Weigt’s Missmerizing and Alejandro Sanchez’s Atypical, the second and third place finishers to Fire And Sass in their trial.

Go to for the complete trials report.