Jim Walker’s Zoomin For Spuds broke his maiden while posting the fastest qualifying time to the $126,150 Wild West Futurity on Sunday at Los Alamitos. A total of 33 juveniles competed in the 350-yard trials with the horses with the 10 fastest times returning for the final on Sunday, October 25. The Wild West is for horses that raced Intermountain region, Northwest region, Nevada and/or Canada in 2015.
Ridden by Cesar De Alba for trainer Bret Vickery, Zoomin For Spuds was outstanding in his seventh career start. The Idaho homebred by Zoomin For Bux broke sharply from post number seven and never looked back on the way to a half-length victory over Hayden Brothers Ranch’s Tickle Ur Fancy in the fourth and final trial. Zoomin For Spuds covered the distance in :17.584 to earn the honor of fastest qualifier, while Tickle Ur Fancy finished as the second fastest qualifier with a time of :17.680.
Zoomin For Spuds began his racing career in the barn of trainer Monty Arrossa at Les Bois Park in Idaho. The chestnut gelding showed immediate promise, as he finished second in a pair of races at the Intermountain track.
“Monty had him in Boise and the horse ran some good races at Les Bois,” Vickery said. “He showed a lot of talent. He’s a big colt that looked like he would enjoy racing at 440 yards. I got him at Ruidoso Downs and he did like the 440-yard distance. He ran a nice third in his trial to the All American Futurity. We raced him in a couple of other races at Ruidoso Downs and he did well. He ran great here at 350 yards.”
“I’ve trained for Jim Walker in the past and that working relationship was instrumental in me getting this horse in Ruidoso,” Vickery said. “Jim is a great guy.”
It’ll be a family affair of sorts in the Wild West final, as Bret Vickery will saddle Zoomin For Spuds against a horse trained by his father, Donald Vickery. The later saddled Gary and Jeralyn Messenger’s Fames Jess Sweet to victory in the first trial of the night with Cody Jensen in the irons.
“We’ve faced each other in finals before,” Bret said. “My dad’s horses are always tough to beat. He knows what he’s doing.”
The winner of the Idaho Cup Futurity, Fames Jess Sweet came into this race after finishing second in The Plan Handicap in her only other previous start at Los Alamitos. The filly by One Sweet Jess will go into the Wild West final having finished third or better in seven of eight career starts.
Johnny Trotter’s Bo Dash Back won the third trial of the night thanks to an easy 1 ¼ length win in a time of :19.693. Trained by Jaime Gomez, the Bodacious Dash filly has won both of her Los Alamitos starts.
“This is the first year that I’ve trained for Johnny,” said Jaime Gomez, who saddled Bo Dash Back. “He sent me this filly and (trial two participant) Famous Cartel Lady. Bo Dash Back ran nicely to win her Los Al debut and then I gave her a little turn and work to get her ready for this race. She was pretty good tonight.”
Five Livestock Company LLC’s First Prize Chicks beat The Plan Handicap winner Timely Delivery by a length to capture the second of four trials in a time of :17.780. With leading Los Alamitos rider Cruz Mendez aboard for trainer Jose Flores, the sorrel filly by Spit Curl Jess covered the distance in :17.780.
The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Zoomin For Spuds (:17.584), Tickle Ur Fancy (:17.68), Bo Dash Back (:17.693), First Prize Chicks (:17.780), Fames Jess Sweet (:17.843), On Fire (:17.913), Fixer Upper (:17.924), Timely Delivery (:17.930), Fabulous Corona (:17.953), and Dr Stellar (:17.954).