LARC NEWS Posted: 3/26/2021 9:55:41 PM

MOOKKIE WINS IN FIRST START

       J. Francisco Diaz’s Mookkie was a hit in his career debut, as the gelding by Hez Our Secret won the fifth race by a head on Friday night at Los Alamitos.

          Bred by the late John Andreini, Mookkie came into the race after a strong time in his 220-yard gate work of :12.30 on March 6. His winning time in the 220-yard race on Friday was a solid :12.216 from the outside post number six. He was ridden by Alberto Zepeda.

          “It looked like he was a little lost from the outside,” trainer Lindolfo Diaz said. “Once he figured it out, he was rolling. He had a good late kick. He’s got a mind of his own. He did his job and he’ll be going in the Kindergarten Futurity trials (on April 25). We’ll have a month to get ready for the trials.”

          Purchased privately, Mookkie is out of the young broodmare Gotcha Bella, who ran in the 2015 Golden State Million Futurity. Mookkie’s female family goes back to Miss Racy Vike, who is the dam of champions Miss Racy Jess and One Sweet Racy. Mookkie’s sire, Hez Our Secret, earned nearly $900,000 in an outstanding career in which he finished second in the Grade 1 All American Derby and Grade 1 Los Alamitos Super Derby in 2012.

          Bred in California, Mookkie figures to be one of the marquee names in the Robert Adair Kindergarten trials next month. He also figures to have the returning Jesus Rios Ayala aboard once the leading jockey comes back after being sidelined with a knee and foot injuries since last November.

          “Alberto Zepeda helps me with the babies every year and he’s a good hand,” Diaz said. “He’s a good worker and he gets along great with the young horses. I told him in advance that Ayala would be coming back around the time of the trials and that most likely he would ride this horse. Alberto understood and he was great about it. He did a good job working with Mookkie and I’ll have another horse for him to ride.”

          Zepeda was pleased to have the opportunity to ride a sharp juvenile to victory.

          “In his workout, he wanted to go to the inside, and he can be a little nervous around other horses. When he saw the other horse he was working with, that’s when he went to the inside. We worked with him and he did a lot better tonight. It was a good win. This wasn’t an easy race, but we were blessed and had good luck.”

          Reliance Ranches LLC’s Brokenhearttattoo, who ran in an Oklahoma Futurity trial at Remington Park on March 8, finished second in this race. Jonathan Roman piloted the Jess Lips gelding for trainer Mike Robbins.

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