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Check My Thoughts Wins Golden State Derby

Gelding gives Allred his fourth win in Grade 1 race.

August 27, 2012

Ed Allred’s Check My Thoughts had always shown the ability to finish his races with power. In his maiden win, the gelded son of multiple Grade 1 winner Check Him Out went from leading by neck at 200 yards to winning the 300-yard race by a half-length. In his Golden State Juvenile Stakes (R) win, Check My Thoughts went from leading by a half-length at 250 yards to winning the 400-yard race by three-quarters of a length. In the Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1), the Allred-bred runner was sixth at the start and fifth halfway through the 400-yard race before making up ground to finish a fast-closing third.

So when Check My Thoughts broke on the lead from post number six in Sunday’s Grade 1, $236,400 Golden State Derby and then extended it from a head to a half-length, it clearly became his race to win. Ridden by Eulices Gomez and trained by Jimmy Glenn Jr., the 9-2 shot Check My Thoughts cruised to a half-length victory over Gustavo and Jose De La Torre’s Do You Do Corona while recording his fourth win in 10 career starts. Out of the Allred-owned broodmare Just Think, Check My Thoughts gave Allred his fourth win in the Golden State and his first since Girl Secrets won the 1998 running of this prestigious derby. Allred’s other Golden State Derby scores came in 1988 with Dashing Val, 1980 with Rich Gritch and 1976 with Windy’s Request. Gomez and Glenn, meanwhile, were both enjoying their first ever Grade 1 Quarter Horse wins.

“My dad started training in the late 1970s and I started riding in 1981,” said the now 47-year-old trainer. “We pretty much started with the horses together. I eventually started training horses and won stakes races in places like Oregon and Idaho, but to win a Grade 1 race at Los Alamitos is the pinnacle for me. I feel like it puts me in the map. Where I come from, we always look at Los Alamitos as the major leagues of Quarter Horse racing. You want to do well at home so that one day you have a chance to run in a big stakes race at Los Alamitos.”

Gomez began his riding career in style back in November 2006. After being given his first mount on just a four-day notice, Gomez obtained a jockey's license at the last minute and rode Neiman The Saint on November 18, 2006, at Bay Meadows in Northern California. At Los Alamitos, he carved a good niche for himself aboard Thoroughbreds and is currently the meet’s third-leading rider on the breed. Glenn and trainers like Scott Willoughby and Charles Treece have given him a chance to ride in Quarter Horse races over the past couple of years and Gomez has taken the opportunity by the collar.

“This is by far my biggest win,” said the 27-year-old from Duarte, California. “This win is nothing unexpected because we felt that we had a big chance with this horse. It’s nice to see him come through and I owe Dr. Allred and Jimmy Glenn a lot for the opportunity. Hopefully this win changes things a lot for me and opens some doors.”

Glenn was excited about the way Check My Thoughts exited the Golden State Derby trials on August 12, even though in untypical fashion he was not able to hold on to his lead when beaten to the wire by fastest qualifier Zoomdasher.

“We turned him out after the Los Alamitos Winter Derby and he was fine at the ranch,” Glenn said. “He then bruised his foot a little bit. We don’t know how he did it. He may have bruised himself on a rock or something like that. His foot issues are done though. The Golden State Derby trials were his first race back and he was a little short in that race, but he came out of the trials unbelievably. I was little concerned that he was going to bounce in this final, but he ended up putting it all together tonight.

“I thought that after he won the Golden State Juvenile Stakes that he had separated himself a little bit from most of the other horses in his division,” Glenn continued. “He wasn’t in the Los Alamitos Two Million trials so we waited for this year. I think he runs best when he’s on the outside than when he’s inside. I think he waits on the horses when he’s inside. He got pushed down in the Winter Derby, but he still finished. He never gave up. I think he likes to be outside of the speed. Dr. Allred showed a lot of confidence to pay him late to the Los Alamitos Super Derby.”

Allred’s Just Think is by Pritzi Dash and out of the Tolltac mare Toltackitt. On the racetrack, Just Think won $122,480 in a career that included a win in the Mistletoe Stakes, a third-place finish in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity, and appearances in the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity, Governor’s Cup Futurity and Charger Bar Handicap. As a broodmare, Just Think is also the mother of AQRA President’s Open Spring Derby runner-up Deep In Thoughts. Her family includes 2011 La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Fall For It and Free Thinker, a winner of more than $200,000, plus champion Sig Hanson and Bandolanty, who earned nearly $300,000 in her racing career.

“Dr. Allred was happy with this victory and he was humble as always,” Glenn said. “I think he was happier for Eulices and I winning our first Grade 1 than he was for himself. I think he’s the best owner in the world. He wants you to win and wants you to run his horse where the horse has the best chance to be competitive and win.”

A winner in last year’s California Breeders’ Freshman Stakes (R) and runner-up in this year’s Holiday Handicap, Check My Thoughts has now earned $168,618. He has finished third or better in all 10 of his career starts. His sire, Check Him Out, won this race in 2002. The stallion earned $418,528 in a racing career that also featured wins in the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity and PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby.

One of four horses in this race owned by the De La Torre brothers, Do You Do Corona earned $40,188 for her second-place finish, while stablemate Zoomdasher picked up $28,368 for finishing third. La Corona Cartel ran seventh and Last To Check Him was 10th to complete the family’s quartet.

“We were confident coming in,” Jose De La Torre said. “We thought we had a good chance, but we never expected Check My Thoughts to be this strong. You can’t win them all. Do You Do Corona will go to the Super Derby next. Zoomdasher and La Corona Cartel will also go to the Super Derby, but not Last To Check Him.”

The complete order of finish is as follows; Check My Thoughts, Do You Do Corona, Zoomdasher, BD Cruiser, Last To Fire, New Look, La Corona Cartel, Delight At Night, Eye For FDD and Last To Check Him.