LARC NEWS Posted: 4/5/2015 3:49:10 AM

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    If the connections of the nine other horses in the El Primero Del Ano Derby thought they could beat the favorite and fastest qualifier in the 400-yard, they could forget about it a few seconds into the race. That’s because the overwhelming 2-5 favorite Forget It was sailing away from their sights, having already opened up a half length lead and soon to be 1 ¼ length advantage on the way to easy victory on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Carlos Huerta for owners Dr. James Streelman of Dutch Masters III and Jaime Gomez, Forget It was too good for his rivals to overcome. The Foose gelding had won his trial race by 2 ¼ lengths while posting a qualifying time that was 30/100ths of a second faster than the next top qualifier. In the final, Forget It was 27/100ths of a second faster than runner-up Koolist and 34/100ths faster than third place finisher Famous Bank. Forget It improved his career record five wins in nine starts and his earnings of $73,542 lifted his career bankroll to $280,003. Bred by Ed Allred, this was Forget It’s first stakes victory after running third in last year’s Ed Burke Million Futurity and seventh in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

Jaime Gomez, who trains Forget It, was emotional after the race, more emotional than usua. 

“It’s because of Dr. Streelman,” said Gomez of the man he has trained for since the mid 1990s. “I love the Dr. Streelman because we’ve gone through some great highs and some tough lows together. He’s battled a lot of health issues in the last few years because of his heart and I had been worried about him a few weeks ago. I was so happy to get this win for him and I when I saw Dr. Streelman today he looked great. I’m just so happy to be able to be in the winner’s circle with him again.”

Just moments after Forget It crossed the wire in first place in the El Primero Del Ano Derby, Gomez’s mobile phone rang.

“It was my great friend Bob Baffert,” he said. “I couldn’t talk to him right away because I had to go see Forget It so I gave the phone to Dr. Streelman. Bobby trained horses for Dutch Masters III here at Los Alamitos and when he first went across town to train Thoroughbreds. I couldn’t go see him win the Santa Anita Derby with Dortmund today because I had this derby tonight, but he called me right away after he saw that we had won.”

Forget It won the El Primero Del Ano Derby from post number three, a spot that has resulted in many nice winners for Gomez and Dutch Masters III. Their Higher Fire won the Ed Burke Million Futurity and Golden State Million Futurity from post three in 2005 and their Gold Nugget Rd won that year’s Kindergarten as well. Checknbac also scored in the 2006 Governor’s Cup Futurity from that spot.

“Higher Fire was one horse that us some of the highest highs,” Gomez said. “She was from the first crop of Walk Thru Fire when we didn’t know how Walk Thru Fire would turn out as a sire. She ended up a millionaire and a champion and ran second in the Los Alamitos Million Futurity also from post number three that year.”

“We had sold her mother to Mike Abraham and we almost also gave him the baby Higher Fire as part of the deal,” Streelman recalled.

In the excitement of the winner’s circle festivities, Streelman forgot to wave hello to his former fellow Dutch Masters partner, Denny Boer.

“He’s not my partner on the horses anymore, but he’s still my great friend,” he said. “I still talk to him every week. We use to come to Los Alamitos with 40 2-year-olds. Now it’s more like four or five. I’m feeling perfect right now. I’m 69-years-old and when you’ve been ill; you just don’t know how good it feels when you feel good again. When I wake up each morning and I see the sun shining I put my hands together and thank God for giving me another day. I just hope I deserve them.”

Forget It’s victory in the El Primero completed a weekend sweep of the derby for Gomez, who also saddled Bac In Front to victory in Friday’s La Primera Del Ano Derby. It was also a double for Carlos Huerta, who has already won five stakes races this season.

“Bac In Front’s win was tough, but this one was easier thanks to Forget It,” he said. “He was actually very impatient before the start and he wanted to break through the gate. The assistant starter did a great job settling him down. He broke pretty good, but halfway through the race he took off. I stayed after him after the race because this is a final and I could see the outside horse (Koolist) was trying to catch us, but I knew that Forget It was going great. He was just phenomenal in the race.”

Owned by Martha Wells, Koolist earned $29,767 for running second. Trained by Paul Jones and ridden by Oscar Peinado, Koolist tripled his career earnings with this effort. His lifetime bank account is now $43,111. The Separatist gelding had finished out of the money in his three previous stakes races. Wayne Shizuru’s Famous Bank earned $21,012. The colt by One Famous Eagle posted the 11th fastest time in the trials, but he made the field after Runaway Fire tested positive for the B2-agonist Clenbuterol via hair sample following his third place finish in the trials. Los Alamitos Race Course has a zero tolerance for Clenbuterol.

Abigail Kawananakoa’s Attempttocatchme ran fourth and was followed by Tango In Cash, Hot Shot, On A Corner, HRH Walkonfire, Energy Cartel, and Cold Cartel.

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