Trainer Mike Robbins and jockey Oscar Peinado are off to a tremendous start with their 2-year-old Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos this season. The trainer and jockey combination kept on rolling on Saturday night after winning with Gary and Linda Gordon’s homebred FG Jess Paintin Thru to give them a clean sweep of the first four races for juveniles of the season.
Inaction in the sixth race of the night, FG Jess Paintin Thru fought gamely with Howard Nichols’ Thin Lizzey before edging her rival by a nose in a 300-yard time of :16.019. Sired by PYC Paint Your Wagon, FG Jess Painting Thru is out of Jess Walking Thru, the 2014 AQHA champion 2-year-old filly after winning that year’s Grade 1 Dash For Cash Futurity while also running third in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. FG Jess Painting Thru joins stablemates SC Divas Cartel Man, Halley and Eagle Empire as the first four winners of the freshman races held so far at Los Alamitos.
“We’ve had this little group of runners marked right from the start,” Robbins said. “They’ve been good babies ever since we started them. I’ve felt very good about them all along. We brought them here and gave them (their second gate drill) in late February and then we let them have a little time off. They were all good in gates,so we were able to just let them rest. We’re really happy in the way they ran,and we just hope that we can keep it going with them.”
The Robbins quartet posted their first required gate drill at the Lazy E Ranch training center in Guthrie, Oklahoma before arriving at Los Alamitos. FG Jess Paintin Thru made her second required gate work on February 25 when working:12.70 at Los Alamitos. The filly showed her talent on Saturday night, as she was able to outduel the Jess Being Valiant filly Thin Lizzey by a small margin.
“Oscar said she didn’t want to run past (Thin Lizzey) at first,” Robbins said. “He got after her a little bit and she responded and was able to win the race.”
FGJess Paintin Thru is eligible to the Ed Burke Million Futurity, Golden StateMillion Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.
Michael and Shannon McKay’s Unstoppable One (photo) took advantage of Robbins and Peinado not having a horse in race number seven and the colt by Hes Relentless made it his own on the way to a solid half-length score. Ridden by Alberto Zepeda for trainer Hector Magallanes, Unstoppable One broke sharply from post number one and while he lugged out after the start, he was still well clear of the competition on the way to victory in a time of :16.013. Bred in Oregon, Unstoppable One is out of the mare Time To Splash Bac, a stakes placed runner with earnings of $40,574 in her career.
Bradbury Racing’s Tip Your Hat To That, a Colorado-bred gelding by Good Reason SA, finished second as the longest shot on the board at 13-1 odds. Oscar Andrade Jr. piloted him for trainer Paul Jones.
The Early Pick Four at Los Alamitos saw another record-breaking handle on Saturday night when racing fans wagered $335,918 to shatter the previous mark of$271,403 set just a week ago on Saturday, April 4. The total handle on the nine live Los Alamitos races on Saturday was $2,049,028. That’s the highest figure for a live racing program at the Orange County track since Saturday, November 3, 2007 when the 13-race Bank of America Challenge Championships program handled $2,074,753.