Viento Negro Wins First Down Dash Handicap

The homebred 4-year-old gelding gets his first graded stakes victory.

Q-Racing Journal

Celina Molina's Viento Negro led from gate to wire in Saturday's Grade 3 First Down Dash Handicap. PHOTO: Scott Martinez

Viento Negro, a homebred 4-year-old First Moonflash gelding owned by Celina Molina, scored his second career stakes win in Saturday's First Down Dash Handicap (G3) at Los Alamitos.

Covering 400 yards in :19.810, Viento Negro defeated Far Niente by 1 1/4 lengths and banked the $16,500 winner's share of the $30,000 purse. Cruz Mendez rode the gelding for trainer Juan Aleman.

Viento Negro is out of Coup Of Corona, a winning and stakes-placed daughter of Corona Cartel. The gelding has won six of 17 outs and has earned $121,851, and his season resume includes a third-place finish, three lengths behind reigning world champion Heza Dasha Fire, in the September 4, 400-yard Go Man Go Handicap (G1).

“Viento Negro is very special to me and my family,” Molina said. “He’s definitely one of many blessings I’m thankful for. We’ve been through a lot with him. His life at the beginning had many complications. I almost lost him a few times. He had surgery when he was not even 24-hours old. He had a meconium impaction (a respiratory dysfunction).

"In other occasions, Javier, our ranch hand and friend would spend entire nights with him in order to keep him alive," she added. "Viento Negro is very valiant and has a huge heart. He’s a fighter, just like me.”

Molina added that her father also feels a strong connection with the horse.

“He would spend most days talking to him in the barns," she said. "That’s why he asked me if he could name him. I’ve been approached many times by different people that want to buy him, but I can’t let him go. He’s been good to me. He’s very noble, kind hearted and reminds me so much of his grandfather, Corona Cartel. I don’t get tired of saying it, God is good.” 

Flay ran third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Viento Negro, and was followed by 3-2 favorite Timely Delivery, Tsing Tao, Firey Kimbo, and Old Six Six.

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