J. FRANCISCO DIAZ
-Won Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap with Running Bac in 2002
If you're hungry and driving around San Diego make a stop at Humberto's Taco Shop. There, you'll be treated to some tasty Mexican food and if shop owner J. Francisco Diaz is around, maybe he'll tell you about some of the fastest Quarter Horses currently racing at Los Alamitos where Diaz is a racehorse owner. Diaz became involved in horseracing after meeting jockey Ramon Sanchez through a mutual friend in San Diego in 2001. The 48-year-old restaurant proprietor enjoyed conversing with the jockey about racing and immediately became interested in learning more about the sport. The owner of a small ranch in San Ysidro, Diaz visited Los Alamitos. He liked what he saw and then began to look for a way to get more involved. Diaz' stable was first managed by trainer Juan Aleman. The two combined to win several big races with the mare Running Bac in 2002. Purchased privately, Running Bac won four consecutive stakes races, including the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap. Diaz's stable is now under the care of Jose Flores. "He's a wonderful owner to work for and his enthusiasm for the sport has made things a lot of fun," Flores said. "We've had luck together." Diaz has 15 horses currently in training at the Orange County track, including the stakes placed Im High Falutin, Southern California Derby finalist and allowance winner Put Me Down As Bud, and high-level claimer Seperate Dreams.In 2004, Diaz was the fifth leading owner with 23 wins from his 97 starters.His horses finished in the money 60% of the time.