10/04/2012 3:08PM

Los Alamitos: Far Niente tops field for PCQHRA Futurity

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A well-timed shopping trip for a pair of cowboy boots put the 2-year-old Far Niente in the stable of trainer John Wells last year.

Last year, Far Niente was bought back at the Heritage Place Yearling Sale in Oklahoma City. A few days later, while on a shopping trip, Wells was approached by a woman connected with the yearling.

“She asked if I still wanted him,” Wells recalled recently. “I was definitely still interested.”

A year later, Far Niente is part of Wells’s stable and has won three of his first four starts. He is the fastest qualifier for Saturday’s $392,000 Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders’ Futurity at Los Alamitos.

In time trials Sept. 15, Far Niente ran 350 yards in 17.40 seconds, easily the quickest of 74 horses in the trials. Owned by Tom Atwood and Vessels Stallion Farm, Far Niente will make his stakes debut in the PCQHRA Futurity.

Far Niente, who will be ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, has drawn the outside post in a field of 10. The race includes two prominent 2-year-olds from earlier this year – Blackberry Czech, who won the Kindergarten Futurity in May, and Joy Roses Eagle Sa, who was third to One Dashing Eagle in the Ed Burke Million Futurity in June.

One Dashing Eagle later won the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs.

Far Niente won his debut in May, but was seventh in a division of the Ed Burke trials in early June. After winning an allowance race in late July, he won a division of the PCQHRA Futurity trials by a half-length over Stel My Corona, another qualifier to the final.

Wells has a history with Far Niente’s family. He trains his 3-year-old half-sister Sheza Shy Shahayla, who has placed in stakes.

“We’ve had good luck with Sheza Shy Shahayla, so that’s one of the things that I liked about this colt,” he said.

The PCQHRA Futurity is the first major stakes for Jr Dynasty Mountain, who won a division of the trials in 17.52 seconds.

Trained by Bear Bassett, Jr Dynasty Mountain won three races in Utah and Idaho in April and May before finishing fourth in a division of the All American Futurity trials. The PCQHRA Futurity trial was Jr Dynasty Mountain’s California debut. He won his division by 2 1/4 lengths, the widest margin of victory in the trials.