LARC NEWS Posted: 2/16/2018 10:27:11 AM


       Following impressive daylight trial wins and the top two fastest qualifying times, Leslie Braker and Todd Williams’ RF Might Be A Hero (photo) and EG High Desert Farms’ Fiery Colt get top billing when 10 sophomores compete in the $107,500 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes at 350 yards on Sunday night. First post for the eight-race program is 5:16 p.m. with the Maiden Stakes being the final race of the evening.


RF Might Be A Hero was a hero on trial night to his large cheering section from Utah that made the trip to southern California to enjoy the trials. On that night, Braker was joined by the family of co-owner Todd Williams, including grandchildren, to watch the gelding by Mighty B Valiant win his trial by a 1 ½ lengths in the fastest qualifying time of :17.723. It made for a fun winner’s circle for Braker, the Williams family, and trainer Paul Jones.


Bred in Utah by Reese Farms Quarter Horse LLC, Rf Might Be A Hero debuted last year with a second place finish in a trial to the Hadley/Giles Memorial Futurity at Weber Downs in Utah. After posting back-to-back in the money finishes at Sandy Downs in Idaho Falls, including a second in the $10,000 Bitterroot Juvenile Stakes, the promising runner needed some time off.


“He ran three races and he was doing a little better each time, but he got sore,” Braker said. “He needed a small operation and that’s why the six months off.”


RF Might Be A Hero returned to action with a fifth place finish at Los Alamitos on December 29, but he returned with a career-best effort to win his Maiden Stakes trial on January 28.


“We liked him well enough that we decided to bring him to California and try the Maiden Stakes,” Braker added. “I’m good friends with Jeff and Kim Pitcher. I knew the race was coming up and we had talked about it when I can down for the Los Alamitos Equine Sale. Todd and I talked about it and we said’ we have to put him in if we can get him ready in time.’  He healed up. I think it was tough to get him ready. (Jeff and Paul) did a great job. We brought him down here to Paul’s ranch and left him there. They worked on him hard to get him ready. He was just out of shape. We had to wait four to five months before we ever touched him again after the surgery.”


Leading Quarter Horse pilot Jesus Rios Ayala will be aboard RF Might Be A Hero from post number three on Sunday night.


Lorenzo Campuzano will look for his first big money win Los Alamitos when he saddles Firey Colt for EG High Desert Farms on Sunday. Campuzano did well with the EG High Desert barn in last week’s Winter Series, saddling Matilda Czech to a solid fourth at 6 to 1 odds in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby and the 22-1 longshot Jess Hawk to third in the Grade 1 Brad McKinzie Los Alamitos Winter Championship. Firey Colt will be one of the top contenders in the Maiden Stakes after winning his trial by a 1 ¼ lengths in the second fastest qualifying time of :17.746.


“The horse is doing well and has been improving,” said Enrique Gonzalez of EG High Desert Farms about Firey Colt. “I think the issue with this horse is that he’s a young horse. He’s an April foal. He didn’t have experience (last year). Now he’s older and more experienced. I feel that’s helped him.”


Rodolfo Arvizu will ride the Walk Thru Fire colt bred by John Andreini and Zory Kuzyk from post number nine.


The Maiden Stakes offers a solid field that will also feature Edward and Theresa DeNike’s homebred Power Thinker, a horse on a two-race win streak who beat both Firey Colt and RF Might Be A Hero in the aforementioned maiden race on December 29. The Washington bred gelding by Walk Thru Fire returned with a hard-fought nose victory in the Maiden Stakes trial to win in a time of :17.92. Rodrigo Aceves will ride the Patricia Visscher-trained runner from post number one. Aceves piloted Power Thinker from the rail in that often-mentioned December 29 race. 


Tom Atwood’s AR Royal Blue enters the final as the third fastest qualifier following his trial win in :17.889. The Favorite Cartel gelding veered an bumped at the start of his trial, but flew once he found his stride to win by a neck.


“I was worried after I saw the start when he broke in,” trainer Jose Hernandez, Jr. said. “I thought we were in trouble. He’s a really good finisher. I was just concerned someone would just close him up. He showed a lot of run in the end.”


AR Royal Blue will start from post number six with jockey Eduardo Nicasio aboard. The complete field from the rail out is follows: Power Thinker, Devil In A Blue Suit, RF Might Be A Hero, Missmerizing, Alamode, AR Royal Blue, Eyes The Favorite, Apollitical Heart, Firey Colt, Fury Of Innocense. Horses were  eligible to the Maiden Stakes trials if they were maidens as of December 1, 2017.





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