Horse Racing

Pineda’s Kismet Farm: A Lost Dream Come True

Matthew Pineda was only 3 years old when his father, Alvaro, died at the starting gate.

Pineda said: “I just have a fleeting memory in my head. I remember my dad, where I’m still sitting on the tracks with my bus.” “Unfortunately, the day he died, I remember it as clear as day.”

An accomplished racer from Guanajuato, Mexico, Alvaro has risen to the top of the national rankings. He made his mark in the highly competitive colony of Southern California, becoming the top racer at Del Mar in 1968 and won Del Mar Oaks (G1) in 1966, 1967 and 1969.

Alvaro Pineda Wins Del Mar Oaks 1967 With Forgiveness
Photo: unknown

Alvaro Pineda Wins Del Mar Oaks 1967 With Forgiveness

The equestrian advanced into 1975 on top with the 1974 George Woolf Memorial Award under his belt and won at the Malibu Stakes (G2) on 11 January to start the new year.

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The excitement won’t last.

Just seven days after his win in Malibu, Alvaro was riding on a 3-year-old pony named Austin Mittler in a maiden race at Santa Anita . Park when the horse is raised in the gate. Alvaro was thrown into an unpadded metal rod and suffered a fatal skull fracture.

He is 29 years old and leaves behind his wife, Donna, daughter, Charlene, and Matthew.

“That morning, he told me he was coming home and taking me for a ride, so I waited for my dad to come home all day… I remember when the doorbell rang and friends came to the door to leave. tell me. Mom, what happened,” Pineda said. “I was on the railing, looking down from the second floor of the house. My mother fell to the floor.”

Joan Jones, wife of coach Gary Jones and a close family friend, recalls the fateful day.

“I remember we got a phone call because we weren’t at the track that day,” Jones said. “They said go down to the hospital right away. Donna was further away, so she went there and looked at me, and she sobbed and said, ‘Tell me it’s true, I know it’s not. truth,’ outside the hospital.. Then we told her and she didn’t move on.”

The Pineda family suffered another tragedy at the track three years later, when Robert Pineda, Alvaro’s younger brother, died of head and neck injuries following a tricycle crash at Racecourse Pimlico. He is only 25 years old.

Alvaro Pineda won the 1974 George Woolf Memorial Award
Photo: Corrie McCroskey

Alvaro Pineda won the 1974 George Woolf Memorial Award

With his childhood life forever altered, Matthew Pineda will grow up with racing ingrained in him, always eager to learn more about his father.

“We were everywhere with them, (Matthew) and his dad, so there were a lot of pictures, a lot of video,” Jones said. “Matthew just loves coming here because I’ll give him something about his father every time he comes. Anything that belongs to his dad, his sports kit… he wants to know it all. what ever I can.”

Pineda spent the following years determining how he could connect with his father through his career in horse breeding.

“From my earliest days, I wanted to go back to being a part of what my father did. I wanted to absolutely love racing and my way of doing it was to go to vet school,” Pineda said. “I’m passionate about the Southern California horse racing colony, the Southern California race track, that’s where all of our friends and family are… That’s always on my mind because it’s part of my life. . When you grew up in racing, it was always a part of you. The dream was always: How do I get back there?”

Matthew Pineda at Kismet Farms
Photo: Corrie McCroskey

Matthew Pineda at Kismet . Purebred Farm

After attending Colorado State University and earning a degree in Equine Science, Pineda discovered that a career as a veterinarian wasn’t right for him and instead took a job at Prince Ahmed bin’s Thoroughbred Corporation. Salman. Through a relationship with her first job, Pineda found a career in mortgage banking and founded her own company, Castle & Cooke Mortgage, in Utah in 2005. Although successful in the banking world, Pineda could still hear the buzz of the Thoroughbred industry.

“About eighteen years ago, I went through one of my dad’s crates, which I love to do,” Pineda said. “It’s fun, when you open the trunk and it still smells of him and you can touch his saddle, helmet, goggles, silk and boots. It’s overwhelming when you open it. out because you can smell it 1975. It’s tangible.”

“I was going through his chest and I found this 5×7 card and it has this gray horseshoe with a big, bold ‘7’ number and a black writing on the horseshoe with the word ‘Lucky’ and below it, ‘The stables.’ “

When he found the logo, Pineda asked his mother about its origin.

“She told me that he was ‘passionate about the crossbreeding aspect of it and the stallions. He believes that all the best horses come from the best broods,'” says Pineda. And that’s what he wants to pursue.”

He learned that his father, along with the late California veterinarian, Dr Jock Jocoy, had started buying mother hens in 1974 with a plan to send them to farms in Kentucky and race or sell foals.

Since that time, things have clicked for Pineda. Despite owning precious horses and competing in rodeo and team racing throughout his life, he never returned to racehorses, perhaps because he didn’t know how. Now he knows.

After years of searching, Pineda fell in love with a property in Midway, Ky, that after he first saw the land in 2018, it was sold to another buyer, much to Pineda’s heartbreak. He looked at other properties over the next two years but didn’t have any comparable. In a twist of fate, the owners decided to sell the property and went to Pineda. By November 2020, Pineda had closed on the 150-acre property and had begun moving from Utah to Kentucky with her sons Gage and Gunner.

“When I got here, I wanted to start ‘Lucky 7’ in his honor… I didn’t want to go to Kentucky and be a quick, Western West Coaster guy, I wanted to be a Kentuckian,” Pineda said. speak. “This is my home and the place where I want to spend the rest of my life, pursuing my father’s dream. (I ask myself) What do I need to do to be accepted into the community without going to the community? one person, his success, and/or two, his tragedy?

“I don’t want to be welcomed for either of you. I want to be greeted and respected like a horseman because I’ve been one of my whole life.”

Pineda decided that the name Lucky 7 “probably doesn’t fit this ranch in particular. It just doesn’t feel that way, and I’ve known that since I got here.”

Pineda’s close friend Jackie Frazier helped him come up with a suitable name. The word kismet comes from the Arabic word for part or lot — qisma — and in English it is a synonym for fate or fate. Thus, Kismet Farms was born. With a primary focus on being a mother hen incubator, Pineda’s vision for her business would follow in her father’s footsteps.

Horses at Kismet . Farm
Photo: Corrie McCroskey

Horses at Kismet . Thoroughbred Farm

“I want to be the one-stop shop for customers who are passionate about their racing hobby. Whether it’s breeding Purebred dogs for sale or for running, I want to appeal to customers who are interested in both. “, said Pineda. “I understand it has a business element, but in a perfect world I have clients who love their mares and they want their mares here because they can feel the affection. Ours is for them.

“I believe that, like my father, I cannot run a business without the mother hens. They are what are creating our future. We raise mares, we have ponies. hey, we have the background and the future. I want to cater to customers who are excited about that.”

Although the farm is relatively new, Pineda has the support of industry experts such as Dr. Scott Morrison, a partner at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington.

“I went out and looked at the farm and I thought it would be a good place to send some job losses. It has a good atmosphere, very neat, clean and quiet,” Morrison said. “It seemed like a suitable place for the horses to rest… The horses looked spectacular. They were always well groomed and cared for.”

Morrison said he enjoys working with Pineda because of his horsemanship and ability to communicate well with clients.

“He has a lot of horse history and has been successful in many areas of the equine industry,” says Morrison. “Whether it’s horseback riding, horseback riding or just being a good horseman. He’s also very gentle and quiet with the horses, which I like. He’s very nice to his customers and he’s one of a kind. great communicator.”

In the future, Pineda said he hopes to own racehorses and be able to compete with Kismet silks. In the meantime, however, he will focus on putting his customers first and growing his legacy dreams.

“My sons and I are in Kentucky, we live here. It’s a dream. It’s a fulfilling dream. My dad is so passionate about this state, he loves it,” Pineda said. “He loved the history and the meaning of it. He loved the equestrianism behind what the Kentucky Riders did. This was the last place he wanted to be one day. In a sense, he was. , we’ve accomplished something. We’ve brought it fully to that piece of it.”

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