05/20/2011 2:05PM

Los Alamitos: Kindly Fellow up against it in Kindergarten


Recent history is working against Kindly Fellow in the $339,600 Kindergarten Futurity for Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

Four of the last five winners of the Kindergarten entered the race unbeaten, with wins in a maiden race and a time trial for the Kindergarten, annually the season’s first futurity at Los Alamitos.

Kindly Fellow has only a maiden race win, and a neck loss to the impressive This Boogie Fires in the time trials on May 8. Still, Kindly Fellow finished his trial in 15.21 seconds after being bumped shortly after the start, a performance good enough for the fourth-fastest qualifying time in the field of 10.

With a better break, Kindly Fellow can pull an upset in the Kindergarten, a race his trainer, Jose Flores, won in 2010 with West Coast Hawk.

“We’re in the dance, so that’s the best part of it all,” Flores said after the trials. “My horse got bumped leaving the gate, but he still ran his heart out. He barely lost.”

Kindly Fellow needs a perfect race to win the Kindergarten. A 300-yard race affords virtually no margin of error.

The Kindergarten features three undefeated runners: Separate Fire, This Boogie Fires, and Sompin About First. Separate Fire will be a heavy favorite for trainer Paul Jones, who also starts Kobe, a trial winner and the sixth-fastest qualifier.

Separate Fire set a 300-yard track record of 15.10 seconds in the time trials, winning by 2 1/4 lengths, the widest winning margin of any qualifiers.

Fixin To Fly had the second-fastest time – 15.18 seconds – after winning for the first time in three starts in the trials. This Boogie Fires had the third-fastest time – 15.19 seconds – and can give trainer Jaime Gomez an eighth win in the Kindergarten. This Boogie Fires was ridden by jockey Alejandro Luna in the trials, finishing a neck in front of Kindly Fellow.

After the trial, Luna told Gomez that This Boogie Fires ran erratically. He said she felt like she stopped three times during this race,” Gomez said. “She would go and then she would wait. Alejandro felt like she was looking for company to run along with her.”

Sompin About First, trained by Adan Farias, had the fifth-fastest time of 15.28 seconds, winning by a neck over eight-fastest qualifier RLR Tres Premios.

The other qualifiers are Features Gift, Ima Chickie Two, and Red Dasher. Of those, only Features Gift won a division of the trials.