Jim Walker’s Zoomin For Spuds has found a home in Southern California. The gelding by Zoomin for Bux picked up his third stakes win at Los Alamitos since late October after cruising to an impressive 1 ¼ length victory in the $15,000 Fullerton Handicap on Friday night.
Ridden by Cesar De Alba, who enjoyed a riding triple on the card, Zoomin For Spuds jumped to an early daylight lead and never looked back while covering the 350-yards in :17.548. Trained by Bret Vickery, the Walker-bred runner has finished third or better in 11 of 12 career starts with four of those being wins – all of them at the Orange County track.
“Jim Walker couldn’t be happier,” Vickery said. “He was facing a tough bunch tonight. There were lots of nice horses tonight and to have him win like with those kind of horses, he really made us proud. He’s a nice horse.”
De Alba agreed with the thought that Zoomin For Spuds made things look easy in the Fullerton.
“He’s a professional horse,” said De Alba, who is currently the meet’s leading Quarter Horse rider with 19 victories. “He does his job in gate. He just stands there and waits for the gate to open. He’s pretty quick away from the gate and never makes a mistake, which helps me. I felt like he got stronger towards the end so it was exciting.”
Zoomin For Spuds warmed up perfectly according to De Alba.
“He was calm, which is always a good sign,” he said. “He was calm and relaxed. He loaded in the gate nicely.”
Zoomin For Spuds came into the Fullerton after winning the Costa Mesa Handicap on February 12. Previously, the chestnut sprinter won the $126,000 Wild West Futurity for Intermountain, Northwest, Nevada and Canadian horses back on October 25. After earning $8,250 for winning the Fullerton to raise his career bankroll to $80,812, Zoomin For Spuds is expected to enjoy some time off now.
“Right now we’ll give him a break,” Vickery said. “He’s had nine pretty tough races now. He’s been very consistent. We’ll regroup and see where we go from there.”
Eladin Flores’ Obi Juan Kanobi earned $3,375 for finishing second for trainer Elena Andrade and jockey Jesus Rios Ayala. The First Down Dash gelding came into this race after posting a strong allowance win on February 19. He’s been in the top two in five of eight career starts.
Jesus Nava’s Luv On The Run, back in action after being scratched in the gate when getting fractious prior to the start of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on February 13, ran a solid race to finish third for trainer Guillermo Morales. Clemente Hurtado’s Long Beach Handicap winner Zendaya finished fourth. Coach Carter, Apollitical Gamble, and She Snows Shes Ivory completed the field.