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Near record number of entries to run in Maiden Trials

February 5, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Fifty-one horses have been entered to compete in Saturday’s six trials to the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes, only one horse shy of the highest number of entrants ever to participate in the qualifying races to this rich event. This year’s final purse of $141,750 is the second highest ever in the six-year history of the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes. By the way, the record number of entries is 52, which first occurred in 2006 and was equaled in 2007. The horses with the 10 fastest times in the 350-yard trials will return here for the final on February 28.

Horses are eligible to compete in the trials if they were maidens as of December 1, 2008. Of the 51 trialists, 14 have won since the December 1st deadline. Not one horse in the trials has recorded two victories going into Saturday’s races. The six Maiden trials also make up Saturday’s Pick Six races at Los Alamitos.

There are several horses in the trial fields that have enjoyed past stakes success. For example, Luis Martinez’s Zoomin Fool will headline the first trial division after finishing second in the Grade 1 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity back on October 4, and his earnings of $85,000 top the list of trialists. Pipers Tune, who is running in the fifth division, ran ninth in the Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity, while Irenes Choice was ninth in the Grade 1 Kindergarten Futurity. Other runners with stakes experience include Forgive And Forget, who ran sixth in the Johnny Hoak Memorial Quarter Horse Futurity, Jessthisgirl, who faced PCQHRA Horse of the Year Tres Passes in the Ed Burke Memorial Juvenile Stakes, and Stole The Candy, who ran seventh in the Ford Central Juvenile Challenge at Prairie Meadows.

The third division (race eight on the card) is one to watch, as Daniel Reynoso’s Fire Is On will be going after his second win in as many starts. The son of Walk Thru Fire blew away six rivals in a 330-yard race on January 2, winning the race by 1 1/4 lengths in the meet’s fastest time so far of :16.74. FF Racing Stable’s Irenes Choice, a maiden winner on December 14, will break from post number one in the third division. She ran second to Grade 1 futurity winner Sixish when qualifying to the Kindergarten final on May 17. Kelly Spackman’s Forgive And Forget has yet to win in six career starts but she’s a half sister to La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Forgive Him and Super Bowl Handicap winner Weeps. Shining First Love, an experience hard-knocking runner having hit the board in six of 10 starts, will also see action in this trial.

The ninth race of the night is the fourth division of the trials and perhaps the toughest of the evening. Five of the eight horses in this trial have visited the winner’s circle already, including the aforementioned Jessthisgirl for owners Kim Kessinger and Mason King. Another one to watch is Ed Allred’s Hard Lining, a filly out of 2008 PCQHRA broodmare of the year Chickasis. Sired by Hawkish, Hard Lining is a half sister to Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Hard Hitting and track record holder Lassen County. The Scott Willoughby-trainee broke her maiden on January 4.