LARC NEWS Posted: 3/21/2022 1:48:49 AM


          Sent off as the second longshot shot on the board at 16-1 odds, Fernando Flores’ Mister Tornado delivered a strong and trouble-free effort on the way to defeating a talented group in the running of the $35,000 Moonist Stakes on Sunday at Los Alamitos.

          Facing six rivals, all of them paid to the trials to the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity, Mister Tornado showed that when he’s on his game, he can reach special heights. A gelding by Sports Cartel out of the Senior Solo broodmare Spanish Sola Mark, Mister Tornado led from gate to wire in route to scoring his ninth win in 30 starts.

          Ridden by Henry Reynoso Lopez for trainer Felix “Pelillo” Gonzalez, Mister Tornado finished a half-length ahead of 2021 Town Policy Handicap winner Just A Dasha Hero and covered the 400 yards in a time of :19.922.  Bred by Flores’s father, Salvador Flores, Mister Tornado was also enjoying his second career stakes win, adding the Moonist to his win in the Adequan California Derby Challenge in 2020.  

          “We want to dedicate this win to my mom,” said the owner. “We are proud of this horse because my dad raised him. He gave him to me and passed him along to continue (our family’s) legacy. We have a good team with Pelillo and Henry. We are happy to see (Mister Tornado) strive and continue to move along. We look forward to seeing where he goes from here.”

          Flores, 32, has won 15 races during his time as owner from 65 starters. Mister Tornado is his most accomplished runner by far, but the young owner is hopeful that his family’s stable of young horses will soon be making headlines at Los Alamitos as well.

          “We also own Mister Tornado’s full brother, a stallion by the name of Cinco Blanco,” he said. “When they were younger, we thought that Cinco Blanco was perhaps the better of the two. Unfortunately, a mare kicked him in a pasture before he ever got a chance to race. We spent a lot of time with Cinco Blanco to make sure he would be okay. We now breed him and we’re just now getting his first group of babies.”

          While Flores is excited about the future of Cinco Blanco as a stallion, he’s equally thrilled about Mister Tornado’s racing exploits. The 5-year-old gelding earned $19,250 for the win in the Moonist to take his career earnings to $124,344. Like the other starters in this race, Mister Tornado is also paid to the Vessels Maturity trials. There, he’ll have an opportunity to knock heads once again with the top aged runners at Los Alamitos.

          “We always felt that it was only a matter of time where (he) could be competitive,” Flores added. “It was a matter of whether we could get lucky, go out, make no mistakes and get the win.”

          Racing for the partnership of Bland Family Investment, Robyn Gordon and S-Quarter K LLC, Just A Dasha Hero earned $7,875 for running second. He was ridden by Erasmo Gasca for trainer Jose Flores. Link Newcomb’s Cattail Cove, a multiple grade 1 placed runner, finished third for trainer Juan Aleman. Cattail Cove earned $4,375 for his third-place finish. Graded stakes winners Bail Czech and Chocolatito finished fourth and fifth and were followed by Up And Atem and Stolen Lives.


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