LOS ALAMITOS : Ah Sigh Is in a Class by Herself


Years ago, you could almost always find Frank Nakamura at Los Alamitos, sitting in his favorite spot behind the box seats, betting the races.

These days, you can still find Nakamura at Los Alamitos, but you may have to look in a different spot. Try the winner’s circle, where he is likely to be with Ah Sigh, who recently posted the fastest qualifying time for the $200,000 Golden State Futurity, to be run Dec. 16.

Nakamura, who was a casual horseplayer long before he owned racehorses, has one of the top fillies at Los Alamitos this year in Ah Sigh. And although she is not the first stakes winner Nakamura has owned--he also campaigned 1982 La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Bugs Royal--she is the first one he has bred.


Ah Sigh, named after Nakamura’s wife, Asaye, is out of another mare Nakamura bred and campaigned, Cindio, and is by First Down Dash. Cindio was named after Nakamura’s daughter.

By naming Ah Sigh after his wife, Nakamura accomplished what he had been unable to do in the previous 20 years, get his wife excited about horse racing. But it would be hard not to get excited about Ah Sigh.

Her qualifying for the Golden State Futurity with the top time shouldn’t surprise anybody who has read her past performance lines or seen Ah Sigh run. She has won seven of eight starts, including two major futurities, with the kind of ease usually seen only in seasoned veterans.

When she’s right, the filly is almost unbeatable. And she has been right a lot lately.

Ah Sigh won her first four races, among them the Grade II Miss Kindergarten Futurity, with ease. Her only defeat came in the Governor’s Cup Futurity when she was third behind Jungle Raised and Dicey Secret.

“She’s lightly raced and she’s a strong filly,” Nakamura said after the Miss Kindergarten Futurity. “She was up to a good race. She’s a nice horse.”

Ah Sigh soon proved just how nice. After two months off, she easily won her trial for the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity and the Grade I final.


Ridden by John Creager in the Golden State Futurity trials, Ah Sigh broke with her usual speed, racing to the lead in the 400-yard race. She was never seriously challenged and never pressured by Creager as she turned in a 19.88-second clocking and won by 1 1/2 lengths.

“I can’t remember ever having a 2-year-old that has been as consistent as Ah Sigh has been this season,” said Charlie Bloomquist, Ah Sigh’s trainer who has conditioned such outstanding young horses as champion Solvency and Merridoc. “I think she’s as good as any 2-year-old I’ve ever had.”

Ah Sigh might be challenged in the Golden State by two other qualifiers, Joes Tol and Meter Me Gone. Both have noteworthy records this year, and were impressive in their trial heats.

Joes Tol, a Tolltac filly owned by Joseph Granone, won the third trial in 19.90 seconds, the second-fastest qualifying time. A Dash Of Beduino finished second in that race and posted the third-fastest time, 19.94.

Trained by Connie Hall, Joes Tol has steadily improved since running sixth in her debut, having won all four of her subsequent starts. And two of those four races were stakes, the Santa Barbara and San Diego handicaps.

The Golden State will be Joes Tol’s first graded stakes appearance, but after her solid effort in the trial, she promises to be a top contender in the final.


Vessels Stallion Farm’s Meter Me Gone also turned in a stunning performance in the trials, winning the second trial as easily as Ah Sigh had won the first. Trained by Danny Cardoza, Meter Me Gone has now won his last three races and six of 10 lifetime.

The Golden State Futurity field: Ah Sigh; Joes Tol; A Dash Of Beduino; Meter Me Gone; Alibis Assets; Simply Scorching; Honey Who; Mistofelees; Jungle Raised and Casual Eyes.

Los Alamitos Notes

Two divisions of the California Futurity for Arabians were run last Friday. Running seven furlongs in 1:34 1/5 under the guidance of Guillermo Gutierrez, Sam Taire won the $27,000 colts and geldings division for trainer Yancey Carter and owners Cheryl and Kinsman Wright. Only six horses entered the fillies’ division, with the Dean Frey-trained Kawzah Tiki winning the $20,000 stake impressively. She finished 16 lengths ahead in 1:37 1/5.