The 2019-2020 racing season at Los Alamitos Race Course kicked off on Friday evening with a great debut from new track announce Michael Wrona and several notable performances on the track. Here are a few quick notes on the first of 150 racing nights to be held at Los Alamitos during this new season.
Right off the bat, jockey Francisco Orduña Rojas made this opening night a memorable one, as he swept the first three races on the card – all three of them coming around the turn. Orduña Rojas won the first race of the meet aboard the Oscar Heredia-trained King Henry and then won with the pick-up mount of L’Engineer in the second for trainer Milton Pineda. He completed his personal triple with the aptly named Evening Reward for trainer Adrian Vallejo. All three wins were by daylight with Evening Reward being the easiest by three lengths.
With Orduña Rojas sitting out the fourth race, the spoils of winning went to newcomer Victor Flores (photo), who picked up the mount on Ima Separatist and immediately guided the Quarter Horse by Separatist to victory at 870 yards. It was Flores’ first ever win at Los Alamitos, his first ever on a Quarter Horse, and the 10th of his two-year riding career. Most of Flores’ riding has taken place at Golden Gate Fields. He also rode at Monmouth Park and several other eastern tracks.
Trainer Danny Montes began the new meet in style, as he enjoyed a Quarter Horse training double thanks for a pair of longshot delights. San Gregorio Racing Stable’s Cartel Bob returned $22.60 after winning the sixth race at 300 yards for Montes. The trainer got his second win of the night in dead-heat fashion after Javier Alvarez Jr’s Apollitical Bred hit the wire in unison with Come Forth. Apollitical Bred returned $9.60 for the win.
The $12,425 allowance feature in the eighth race on opening night went to J. Francisco Diaz’s Check My Cartel, who held off a big-time rally by the Matt Fales-trained Old School Icon, to win by half-length in a 300-yard time of :15.622. Jesus Rios Ayala piloted the homebred for trainer Lindolfo Diaz from post number four.
Ayala and the father/son combo of J. Francisco and Lindolfo Diaz will look to do it again in Saturday’s sixth race, as the three will join forces with Bac On Track in the sixth race. Similarly to Check My Cartel, Bac On Track will start from post number four.
This is the 70th year of live racing at Los Alamitos. The first meet opened on December 4, 1951 with an 11-day season. Live racing has been held at the Orange County track every year since then.