After Coyote Code qualified to the $329,500 Kindergarten Futurity, owner Kolleen Ledgerwood couldn't wait to make her flight and hotel reservations for the weekend of the Kindergarten final on Saturday, May 20.
"My family was making fun of me because this was the first time I've stepped up and bought first class tickets," Ledgerwood said with a laugh.
A Grade 1 race with a first class horse certainly deserves a first class trip and in Coyote Code, Ledgerwood has a big time chance to win California's first major futurity of the year. The gelding by Separatist won his debut race by 2 1/4 lengths before winning his trial heat by 3/4 lengths. His winning time of :15.34 makes him the fourth fastest qualifier and one of only three undefeated horses in the race. For Ledgerwood just being a part of the Kindergarten will be a thrill.
"We appreciate the chance to have a horse and a trainer in Roberto Dominguez that gives us a chance to contend," she said. "We'll enjoy every minute of it while we are there and you can be sure that Coyote Code will have the support of a lot of people from the Northwest."
Ledgerwood lives in Kennewick, Washington along with her husband of 14-years, Jim Ledgerwood. It was her husband that first introduced Ledgerwood to horseracing. He had been involved in the sports for several decades and had campaigned Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos in the mid 1980s. One of his top mares was Aqua Treasure, a talented runner who went on to become a solid broodmare for the Washington-based horseman. He eventually sold Aqua Treasure to Dr. Steve Burns.
"I met Jim while he was working on a project in Vancouver," she said. "One day I had roses on my desk. He said 'Did you see the roses?' and we went on from there. I relocated from Vancouver and came to the Tri-Cities area after we got married.
"Jim got me hooked on racing from the first time I went to the track. We went and we won and I loved it right away. I had never experience such as a high," she said. "Since then we've experience some lows and some highs in the sport. About five years ago, Jim decided he was done with racing. He didn't want any more horses to race. But it was too late for me. I was hooked by then. Racing is just something that's so completely different to what I do for a living."
A graduate of Washington Law School, Ledgerwood has been an attorney for 22 years and the owner of a family law firm in Kennewick.
"I am the sole practitioner in the office and I have three assistants," she said. "We stay busy. I've been fortunate to build my own law office. It's a very stressful profession. We're busy all day and I'm in court a lot. The horses are my escape from dealing with the legal problems. Plus I love the excitement and the anticipation of having a runner and seeing them develop."
"We were at the Pacific Coast Yearling Sale a couple of years ago and my husband was still considering getting out of the sport. I was standing behind him while bidding was going. All of the sudden he turned around and said, "Are they pointing at you?" I just smile and shook my head because they were. I went to buy that horse. His name is Four Jets Royal. My husband just said, 'I guess we're staying in the business after all.' I bought Revivalist the following year and last year we bought a couple of babies, including Coyote Code.
"We're fortunate to have found Roberto Dominguez. We think highly of him and so do a lot of people around the track. My husband went with Roberto to the Schvaneveldt/Andreini Sale last year. It was Roberto that really wanted Coyote Code. He is the reason that we ended up buying Coyote Code. We gelded him because he was a hot horse to handle. We feel it was right decision, plus there are so many stallions out there.
"We're so excited to be in race of this caliber with a horse that can contend," she added. "I'm real happy with the horse that we have. We have a good shot. If nothing else Coyote Code has the name of a winner. His name has a nice ring to it. It just rolls right off your tongue."
And nothing would please her more than to hear track announcer Ed Burgart call the name of Coyote Code many times during the running of the Kindergarten Futurity.