Lil Bitts A Dash Takes Schvaneveldt 'Cap

Victory means a lot to owner and trainer in stakes named after legendary trainer.

October 6, 2012

David Newbold’s Lil Bitts A Dash came to Los Alamitos Race Course as a 3-year-old in 2011 dreaming of winning the Blane Schvaneveldt Handicap (G3). He finished a respectable fifth, but was never a threat in the 400-yard race.

A year older and wiser, Lil Bitts A Dash arrived at the Orange County track a couple of months ago, this time a 4-year-old seasoned veteran, still aiming at the Schvaneveldt Handicap, but also with other races in mind. The Dashair gelding was entered to run in the He Flys Handicap, a 350-yard prep for the Schvaneveldt for horses from the Intermountain and Northwest states. Lil Bitts A Dash won that race by daylight while setting him up perfectly for his main race.

The plan worked to perfection for Newbold, as Lil Bitts A Dash broke on top and never looked back en route to winning the $38,800 Schvaneveldt Handicap, now ungraded, with jockey Francisco Rubio aboard for trainer Lin Melton. Bred in Utah and raced mostly in Idaho, Lil Bitts A Dash covered the distance in :19.796 while earning $20,000 for running first. Bred by Patterson Livestock, he also improved his record to 12 wins in 24 career starts.

“He got here early to prep and it paid off,” said Newbold, a city worker from Pocatello, Idaho. “He came as a 4-year-old instead of as 3-year-old having to face older horses. We didn’t have to rush him this year. We learned a little bit from last year. We were facing a tough group of runners in this race that included A Royal Dervish. We know all about him because we’ve faced him before.

“Our racing program is a family deal,” said Newbold, a racehorse owner for more than 20 years. “My sons Jake and Nick are involved with this horse as are my brother, Russell Newbold, and the Whitaker family. I have to thank them for the support they’ve given this horse. To win a race of this caliber is a huge thing for us. To win the Blane Schvaneveldt, that’s a race that a lot of us that race back home dream of winning. To win the Blane is a great thing. Blane was always nice to me. Whenever he had a chance he would take me around in his golf cart and show me horses. We’d love to see Lil Bitts A Dash come back and run in the John Ward Handicap next. ”

Victory in the Blane Schvaneveldt was just as special for Lin Melton.

“Blane was my mentor, my hero and my friend,” he said. “You could learn a lot just by sitting next to him having coffee without even having to ask him a question. When I first met him I was intimidated by him because he was the great Blane Schvaneveldt, but he didn’t want to be intimidating. Instead he was the most approachable genius that you could ever know. It’s a complete honor to win a race named after my friend and my hero.”

Bob and Scott Giltner’s A Royal Dervish, who crossed the wire a half-length behind Lil Bitts A Dash, earned $6,800 for running second. SH Cowboy Baby, Blue Piranha, RTM Say Your Prayers, Sissis Little Nipper, Classic Blush and R Chump Change completed the field.

FOLS JESSE IS SHARP IN KIP DIDERICKSEN STAKES
Mesa Valley Farms LLC’s Fols Jesse continued his terrific racing form, as he posted a half-length victory to win the $17,000 Kip Didericksen Stakes (R) for 3-year-olds and upwards at 350 yards on Friday at Los Alamitos. Fols Jesse has now finished third or better in nine consecutive races while winning four of those outings. The gelding by Jesse James Jr has also won two of three starts at Los Alamitos since arriving from Les Bois Park.

“He is a 3-year-old facing older horses in this race so we knew this was going to be a challenge,” said trainer Mark Skeen of St. George, Utah. “We thought this would be a great prep before he goes to Iowa to race in the Adequan Derby Challenge.”

Fols Jesse looked terrific in his prep, holding off Vodka Soda No Ice while covering the distance in fast :17.482. The Kip Didericksen was restricted for horses that had made at least two starts in the Intermountain and Northwest states in 2012.

“This is a great program,” Skeen said. “You look around tonight and you see a lot of people here from those states. The horses are here from those states, but a lot of people are also here enjoying the races and coming to the Los Alamitos Equine Sale.”

Ridden by Joel Cruz, Fols Jesse earned $9,350 for the win. Bob and Scott Giltner’s Vodka Soda No Fruit earned $3,825 for running second. Whata Corona Runner finished third and was followed by Hezdashinginthedark, Cool Cash Corona, LDS Amazing Grace, Playful Choices, JLM Scootermegone and RTM Philbin RD.

***

Riding legend Kip Didericksen a winner of 1,318 Quarter Horse races at Los Alamitos, was in the winner’s circle to present a special buckle for the race named in his honor.

“It’s fun to be here to enjoy the races and the sale,” Didericksen said. “It’s a great time to see some familiar faces and catch up with some friends and also see what has changed. To be here at Los Alamitos I am reminded of a lot of good times and anything bad I’ve forgotten. I’d like to think it is human nature to remember the good a lot more than the bad when it is something that you like.”

Didericksen lives in Idaho and stays busy buying and selling real estate.

“I’ve been doing this since 2001,” he said. “I was involved in other businesses and I was making money, but I wasn’t happy. What’s the point of that if you’re not happy with what you’re doing?”

Didericksen admits that he rarely has the opportunity to get on a horse.

“I ride once in a while, maybe to go hunting,” he said. “I had a cutting horse in partnership, which my son, Wyatt, rode to a state final. Wyatt has since graduated from high school and is now a freshman at Boise State where he participates in cross country. He’s the athlete now.”