Trainer Almanza Starts Hialeah Park Season Off With Big Day, Saddles Moonin The Eagle To Top Mark
Moonin The Eagle (outsides) defeating Rattle N Battle in Saturday's in the last of four trials Saturday to the Hialeah Maturity.

© Coady Photography
Trainer Almanza Starts Hialeah Park Season Off With Big Day, Saddles Moonin The Eagle To Top Mark

HIALEAH, FL—DECEMBER 26, 2015—Opening day of the 2015-16 live Quarter Horse racing season at Hialeah Park turned out to be a very successful afternoon for trainer Rolando Almanza.

Not only did he saddle Moonin The Eagle to an impressive victory in the fourth and final trial heat for the $204,310 Hialeah Maturity, he also sent out his “big horse” Daytona B to a solid score in the $25,000 Bienvenido de Nuevo Stakes (see related story), the stakes opener for the season at this iconic South Florida track.

The 10 fastest qualifiers from today's four trial races will return to the Hialeah Park on Saturday, January 17 and vie for the winner's purse, valued $85,810, in the 440 yard stakes event.

From the left, Lee Jenkins, FQHRA board member, Ron Smith FQHRA president , Carlene Smith, trainer Rolando Almanza and jockey Ricky Ramirez, accept the Hialeah Maturity trial blanket sponsored by
© Coady Photography
Leading jockey Ricky Ramirez was aboard Moonin The Eagle as the three-year-old colt also recorded a fourth victory at Hialeah Park. Last season’s South Florida Quarter Horse Derby winner defeated Rattle N Battle by a half-length as he covered 440 yards in :21.917 seconds to set the top qualifying mark. Those two were the only Hialeah Maturity qualifiers to break the 22-second mark.

Almanza conditions Moonin The Eagle for owner Gregorio Garcia Garza. Vessels Stallion Farm, LLC bred the One Famous Eagle colt in California from the champion/champion producing First Down Dash mare Your First Moon. He has compiled a (11) 4-2-1 record and earned $223,553.

Trainer John Stinebaugh saddled Rattle N Battle to the second fastest time of :21.986 for owner Sunset Well Service, Inc. Eduwin Lujan rode the Apollitical Jess gelding out of Tinys Corona Queen, by Corona Cartel. James and Marilyn Helzer is the breeder.

Premier Ethics, a Florida-bred filly entering the trials off a 4th place finish the Grade 1 $2.3 million All American Derby on September 6, was a three-quarter–length winner in the third trial to post the third fastest time of :22.010.

The Double A Ranch-owned daughter of Ethics Aside has won eight of nine career starts and earned more than $300,000. Elio Vazquez conditions the graded stakes winner with Yordanis Amaro getting the riding assignment.

For the complete list of the ten qualifiers, with sires, dams, owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys CLICK HERE.

The second 10 fastest qualifiers from today's trials will be preferred invites for the $25,000-Guaranteed Hialeah Junior Maturity that will also be contested on January 17. For a complete list of those horses CLICK HERE.