FRANCISCO VIRAMONTES PROFILE

FRANCISCO VIRAMONTES
     
 The Viramontes have turned their operation into a family affair. While Francisco's name is the one spearheading the operation, his younger brother Rodolfo is the one in charge of the training. But that's not all. "Our brother, Efrain, is also part of the team, as is our 76-year-old father, Francisco Sr.," Francisco said. "The three of us work with the horses in the morning and my dad helps out as much as he can. Rodolfo is the youngest and speaks the most English, so he is the barn's official trainer." The Viramontes became involved with Quarter Horses in the United States a decade ago. Before that, they had horses in match races in their hometown of Zacatecas, Mexico. "Our dad has loved horses his entire life," Francisco added. "It is because of him that we now race horses at Los Alamitos."
     One of the Viramontes' first Quarter Horses was Georges Desert Queen, the dam of Jabonerita Chicks. Georges Desert Queen was a star in her own right, winning a division of the Grade 3 Miss Princess Handicap for the family back in 1998. Georges Desert Queen has now become the centerpiece of the family's breeding operation, as she is also the dam of the Viramontes' 4-year-old stakes winning filly Jabonerita Chicks and the sophomore runner Georges Beduino. "Georges Beduino and Jabonerita Chicks are full siblings sired by Chicks Beduino. My dad's dream was always to have a baby sired by Chicks Beduino. We scrapped our money together to buy the breeding to Chicks Beduino. It was a sacrifice. It was a dream come true when Jabonerita Chicks was born. It is an honor for us to have the opportunity to campaign horses sired by the late great Chicks Beduino. 
     Gardeners by trade, the Viramontes live in Sylmar, about 50 miles north of Los Alamitos. There, they own the Jabonera Ranch, which roughly translates to 'Soap Ranch.' "They tell us, that they used to make soap at the ranch," he added. "We named this filly after the ranch."  The brothers now take turns traveling to the track to tend for their horses. It can be a tough drive because of the traffic. It is a sacrifice that we have to make to enjoy our horses. The horses are a big part of our lives, and what an incredible feeling it is when they do well.