It would not have been a surprise to see a gelding by FDD Dynasty in the winner’s circle after the running of the $25,000 Independence Day Handicap on Saturday at Los Alamitos. The big surprise, however, was that the son of FDD Dynasty posing for photos was recent arrival Lotta Dynasty, a 15-1 longshot which had just held off the multiple Grade 1 winner Far Niente by a head in the 300-yard dash.
Also sired by FDD Dynasty, Far Niente was making his 2016 debut after running fifth in the $600,000 Champion of Champions on December 12. Owned by George and Judy Weldon, Lotta Dynasty was also making his first start of the year and his Los Alamitos debut after landing at the Orange County track after racing last at Arapahoe Park on July 30, 2015. Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, Lotta Dynasty made a big impression in his first start of the 2016, as the 4-year-old gelding led every step of the way while posting one of the meet’s fastest times at 300 yards of :15.349. The top 300-yard time at Los Alamitos this year belongs to JJ Cool Boy when covering the distance in :15.322 on May 7.
Lotta Dynasty won the $130,000 Mile High Futurity at Arapahoe Park in 2014 and was the runner-up in the $30,000 Adequan West/Southwest Derby Challenge which also held at Aurora, Colorado track last year. Lotta Dynasty’s win in the Independence Day is the first stakes win for George and Judy Weldon as sole owners of a horse at Los Alamitos. The Weldons had previously won three stakes races at Los Alamitos as part of the partnership that campaigned 2015 Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Ynot Walk.
Under their own name, the Weldons have enjoyed 22 wins from 231 starters at Los Alamitos since 2000. One of their top runners at Los Alamitos was Lotta Dynasty’s half-brother, JW A Royal Trip. Sired by Gw A Royal Chick, the Utah-bred JW A Royal Trip won seven of 19 career starts for earnings of $71,080. He won the $57,000 Silver Dollar Futurity in 2007 and was second in the Blane Schvaneveldt Handicap here in 2008.
Lotta Dynasty earned $13,750 for his win in the Independence Day to take his career tally to $90,955. This was his fourth win in 12 career starts.
“He had some type of surgery, but he seemed to be doing well,” said Flores, who was saddling Lotta Dynasty for the first time. “He had a good work, he worked :11.90 (at 220 yards here on June 14) so we went ahead and ran him in this race. It was tough for his first start after being off for so long, but it all worked out. The 300 yards was the perfect distance. He wasn’t fit to go any farther, but we know he can go a longer distance. We expect bigger things from his later in the year.”
Flores has trained for the Weldons for the past two years.
Tom Atwood and John Wells’ Far Niente figures to be a major player in major races during the second half of this year. The 6-year-old won the Golden State Derby in 2013 and the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity each of the past two years. This was only the third time in his career racing at 300 yards. Seventeen of his 24 career starts have come at either 400 or 440 yards. Far Niente earned $5,625 to take his lifetime earnings to $477,273. Ramon Sanchez piloted Far Niente for Jose Hernandez, Jr.
Sugardaddy B finished third and was followed across the wire by Jake Gold BR, Viento Negro, BF Farm Boss and Foosilame.