10/21/2011 12:47PM

Los Alamitos: Wild West gets them from all over


From tracks as small as Sandy Downs in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Dixie Downs in St. George, Utah, to better-known venues such as Arapahoe Park and Turf Paradise, horses from throughout the West have qualified for Sunday’s $100,000 Wild West Futurity at Los Alamitos.

The 350-yard race is restricted to 2-year-olds who have made at least two starts in 11 Western states, other than California. The 10 finalists raced earlier this year in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Washington.

It does not take a level of expertise at those smaller venues to assess the Wild West field. Los Alamitos held two time trials for the Wild West Futurity on Oct. 2.

Fly Chet Fly, who began his career in Idaho, set the fastest qualifying time of 17.40 seconds, and is one of three finalists trained by Bret Vickery.

Owner Robert Hickman of Washington State won both trials, the first division with Chitchattin Memories, who ran 350 yards in 17.61 seconds, helped by a 12-mile per hour tailwind. Runner-up Lookin At Miracles was the only other qualifier from that division. Trained by Vickery at Los Alamitos and earlier this year in Idaho, Chitchattin Memories has won 3 of 7 starts.

Fly Chet Fly, who had a 10-mile per hour tailwind for his win in the second division, won for the second time in four career starts. A gelding, Fly Chet Fly was a 20-1 outsider in the trial, and won by a half-length over Ivory Riches.

Earlier this year in Colorado, Ivory Riches was sixth in two futurities at Arapahoe Park – the Rocky Mountain and Mile High.

Eduardo Nicasio won the trial races and will ride Fly Chet Fly on Sunday.

The race has not drawn a strong field. There is one stakes winner, the Vickery-trained Wayward Wings, who won the $32,000 Hawthorne Futurity at Sandy Downs in July. A filly owned by breeder Dan Moon of Idaho, Wayward Wings was a troubled seventh in the second division of the Wild West Futurity trials.