07/20/2011 1:35PM

Los Alamitos: Clean break makes all the diference for Ima Chickie Too


A poor start cost Ima Chickie Too any chance in the Kindergarten Futurity at Los Alamitos in May. A clean start in time trials last Saturday has made her the fastest qualifier for the $466,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity on July 30.

In the time trials, Ima Chickie Too ran a mistake-free race over 350 yards, winning her division by 2 1/4 lengths in 17.275 seconds. She is expected to be favored in the final, which is part of a lucrative night of stakes for California-bred Quarter Horses.

“We always knew that she had talent, but what she did in the trials was very impressive,” trainer Adan Farias said. “This filly got wiped out in the gates in the Kindergarten before breaking her maiden impressively.”

Farias gave jockey Rodrigo Aceves an easy set of instructions for the time trials – keep riding to the wire.

“I told him, ‘If you stop, she’ll stop,’” Farias said. “If she doesn’t feel horses next to her, she’ll stop. She needs the pressure of other horses.”

There weren’t any horses near Ima Chickie Too at the finish of the trials, by far the filly’s most impressive performance in five starts. Owned and bred by Don and Kathy Meneely of Washington state, Ima Chickie Too was third in a maiden race and second in a division of the Kindergarten trials before the disappointing eighth in the finals. She later won a 300-yard maiden race on June 17, a prep for the Governor’s Cup trials.

Farias had runners in each of the nine divisions of the trials, and trains four of the 10 finalists, including Long Gone, FDD Moon, and Miss Mindys Bar Bet.

There was one other Kindergarten runner in the Governor’s Cup trials in Fixin to Fly, who set the second-fastest qualifying time of 17.28 seconds. Fixin to Fly ran three races earlier on Saturday’s program before Ima Chickie Too and won his division of the trials by 1 1-4 lengths.

Another stakes on the July 30 program is the $196,000 Governor’s Cup Derby, which will feature Hot Hitter, the winner of the 2010 Governor’s Cup Futurity.

Trained by Felipe Quintero, Hot Hitter won a division of the Governor’s Cup Derby trials on July 15, his first start since a seventh in the Los Alamitos Two Million last fall.

◗ Los Alamitos has adjusted its first post on Sundays to 6:30 p.m. Pacific, beginning this week through the end of September during the Del Mar and Fairplex Park meetings.