Javier Moreno, who trained the outstanding 2-year-old Quarter Horse filly Lip Request to victory in the fourth ever running of the Kindergarten Futurity at Los Alamitos back in 1958, passed away at the age of 84 last Sunday, February 19. Moreno, known around racing circles as ‘Cugie’ is the cousin of long-time Thoroughbred trainer Henry Moreno.
“Henry trained Thoroughbred, but Javier loved the Quarter Horses,” said his wife of 57-years, Angelina Moreno Garza. “We met at the Pomona Fair. He was training horses and I was there to see my brother, jockey Erasmo Garza, ride. It was love at first sight between the two of us, that’s for sure. We got married three months later.”
Born on January 12, 1933, Moreno was a jockey for a brief time early in his career in horseracing. He would concentrate on training horses in early 20s, saddling Lip Request, a daughter of a Clabber mare named Miss Lipstick to five wins from nine starts during her freshman campaign. Lip Request would win the 1958 PCQHRA California Bred Futurities on December 6, 1958 and four days later she would go on to win the Kindergarten final in her final start as a 2-year-old. The talented filly was owned and bred by Javier’s father, Ventura Moreno.
Javier Moreno retired from training in 1968 and went to work at Lockheed Air Service in Ontario, California where he would remain employed until retiring in 1995. Javier and Angelina Moreno would then move to Phelan, California near Victorville to enjoy their golden years.
“For Javier, horses were his number one interest besides his family,” she said. “He absolutely loved Quarter Horses.”
Lip Request helped make Moreno a household name in Quarter Horse circles in the late 1950s. The filly sired by the Thoroughbred Little Request would finish her career with nine wins from 25 starts while also winning the Johnny Dial Stakes in 1959 at Los Alamitos and the Au Revoir Stakes at Bay Meadows in 1960. She ran in many of the big races of that era including the Pomona Championship twice, the Monita Stakes, Pacific Coast QHRA Derby and Josie’s Bar Handicap.
Javier Moreno is survived by his wife, Angelina, their four children, Francis, Martha, John and Pauline, nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
“We lived a wonderful life together,” Angelina concluded.