The 1990 Los Alamitos summer quarter horse meeting will end Saturday with a stakes doubleheader--the $255,000 Denim N Diamonds Futurity and the $100,000 Los Alamitos Championship.
The 400-yard Denim N Diamonds Futurity is the last of the three major summer futurities, and heading the field of 10 2-year-olds will be the Merridoc gelding, Resolutions.
The 440-yard Los Alamitos Championship is the premier race of the summer for older runners, and set to contest this Grade I race are the champion mare, Dash for Speed, and the highly rated gelding, Heisajoy.
Resolutions earned his headliner status in the Denim N Diamonds by setting the fastest qualifying time for the race with a 19.95-second victory in the July 18 trials.
While he is the fastest qualifier for one of the year's richest races, Resolutions is hardly a flashy or spectacular runner. Instead, he is more of a tough, workmanlike competitor, much like his trainer, Charlie Bloomquist.
A straight-talking veteran of a Special Forces unit who served one tour of duty in Vietnam, Bloomquist has no illusions about Resolutions. According to his trainer, the young runner is solid, not sensational.
"There's nothing flashy about him," Bloomquist said. "He's real businesslike. He's durable, and I think he's just outlasted some of the other colts who were around earlier this year."
Resolutions finished fourth in the Grade I Kindergarten earlier this summer and most recently won the Dash for Cash Futurity Consolation.
With two victories in five starts, Resolutions has earned more than $25,000 in his career. That figure could jump by another $96,900 with a victory in the Denim N Diamonds.
"That $96,000 will spend just as easy, no matter how you win it," Bloomquist said. "'All he has to do to win this race is run like he did in his trial. Of course, it will help if the others will run just like they did in their trials too."
Bloomquist, who lives in Cypress, not only trained the gelding's sire, he also trained and at one time owned La Hemp, the dam of Resolutions.
Resolutions is owned by Denise Scane, the 24-year-old daughter of Fred Scane, who owned the gelding's sire during Merridoc's stakes-winning racing career.
"I guess you could say we've got the old group back together," Bloomquist said. "I would really love to win this race for Denise and Fred."
Among those facing Resolutions in the Denim N Diamonds will be the highly regarded colt, Kipadeucy. Winner of two Northwest stakes before shipping to Los Alamitos, Kipadeucy was second to Resolutions in their trial. Kipadeucy was beaten by a nose, and his time of 19.97 seconds was second-fastest of the night.
Getting the third-fastest time in the trials was the Dash for Cash gelding, Kid O Dash, also considered a serious threat in Saturday's final.
Owned by longtime Costa Mesa resident Joe Muniz, Kid O Dash overcame a bad start to win his trial in 20.05 seconds.
"We've got to outrun all of them, but Kipadeucy and Kid O Dash look to me to be the toughest in the race," Bloomquist said.
While the Los Alamitos Championship, with its $100,000 purse, is not as lucrative as the Denim N Diamonds, this race will be an eagerly awaited showdown between Dash for Speed and Heisajoy.
Dash for Speed broke a 14-year-old track record in her first start of the year on July 15 with a 19.53-second victory in the $50,000 Anne Burnett Invitational Handicap.
Heisajoy was equally impressive a week earlier when he won the Chicado V Handicap in 19.59 seconds, which at the time was the second-fastest 400 yards in Los Alamitos history.
A victory in the Los Alamitos Championship not only carries the prestige of a Grade I stakes win and a $55,000 winner's check, it also earns the winner an invitation to the $250,000 Champion of Champions next winter.