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The A list headlines Saturday's La Primera final

April 9, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Alice K White and Cody Jensen on their way to the fastest trial time for the La Primera Del Ano Derby, March 21, 2009
(photo by Scott Martinez, courtesy of Los Alamitos Race Course)
By Orlando Gutierrez, Los Alamitos Race Course

As is always the case, whenever there is a Los Alamitos stakes races offering a strong purse such as Saturday's $236,100 La Primera Del Ano Derby, it's surely to attract only the A-List of talent. Curiously enough however, Saturday's A-List features not only the top female talent in the three-year-old division here in Southern California, but also a commonality of horses whose names start with the letter "A" including Alice K White, Asyouwish, Azoom Babe, A Silver Flash, and Another Wise Lady. All in all, a strong of 10 fillies will compete for the winner's share of $80,766 in the La Primera at 400 yards.

Headlining Saturday's parade of A-listers is the race's fastest qualifier Alice K White. A highly-touted two-year-old last year in 2008, she was forced to cut her season short in September following the discovery of chip in her knee that would require surgery. Although she was a finalist in the Grade I Governor's Cup Futurity last year, her fourth-place finish in that event left something to be desired on the part of her owners MJ Farms.

Making the first start of her sophomore campaign on trial night, Alice K White ran like a horse with something to prove, turning in a smashing length victory in the second of three trials. A royally-bred filly by First Down Dash, Alice K White will try to join her mother Champagne Lane, who won the La Primera Del Ano Derby in 1997, and a long line of other stakes winners from this family with a win in this Grade II event.

Another logical contender is Asyouwish, a runner-up behind Alice K White in her trial last time out. A half-sister to last year's AQHA Champion Two-year-old Colt Foose, Asyouwish faced off with a number of first-class sprinters last season including Harrah's Entertainment Derby winner Vrrroom, Governor's Cup Futurity champion Hard Hitting, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Jess Is Gorgeous, and Golden State Juvenile Stakes winner Louisiana Senator.

Azoom Babe is another dangerous contender. Although she hasn't made a trip to the winner's circle yet this season, this talented daughter of Azoom has shown considerable promise thus far for her owner Melvin Bollenbach.
Despite a history of breaking slowly, her powerful late kick was instrumental in putting together back-to-back wins last season in November and December. Moreover, she should relish the 400-yard distance of Saturday's La Primera Del Ano Derby and could easily spring the mild upset here.

Rounding out the A-team is A Silver Flash and Another Wise Lady. The fifth-fastest qualifier to this event, A Silver Flash will be competing in her very first stakes race. A lightly raced filly by Mr Jess Perry, she has yet to finish worse than third in any of her three lifetime starts up to this point. Completing the group is Another Wise Lady. A three-time winner, she brings as much or more experience into this race as any other horse in the field, as this will be her fifth career start against stakes competition.

Although Suger Mama doesn't have an "A" in front of her name, the daughter of Corona Cocktail figures to deliver a top rate effort. The second-fastest qualifier to this event, she captured the third and final trial of the night by an easy length margin. Already a two-time Grade I-finalist, she brings a bit of a class edge into the La Primera Del Ano Derby. Fourth in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last season, she brings excellent credentials into Saturday's affair and figures to vie for favoritism with fastest-qualifier Alice K White.

Moonlight Corona, meanwhile, has been super consistent thus far in her career, as she's finished in the superfecta in each of her six starts to date, including a pair of wins last season and a strong second in her trial to the La Primera. Moonlight Corona comes from an outstanding family as well, as she is a half-sister to AQHA Champion Two-year-old Your First Moon and El Primero Del Ano Derby winner Not A Full Moon. Additionally, Moonlight Corona will be making only her second out since a five-month break from the races and stands to improve in her second start off the layoff.

Dance Baby, Little Surfer and Luzoom will complete the field.

Los Alamitos Race Course race 9, April 11, 2009
La Primera Del Ano Derby (G2), purse $236,100, for
Quarter Horse fillies 3YO going 400 yards

Post Horse Jockey Odds
1 Asyouwish Ramon Sanchez 10-to-1
2 A Silver Flash Eddie Garcia 12-to-1
3 Azoom Babe Alex Bautista 5-to-1
4 Dance Baby Rodrigo Aceves 15-to-1
5 Another Wise Lady Juan Andrade 20-to-1
6 Moonlight Corona Jeff Jerman 6-to-1
7 Alice K White Cody Jensen 2-to-1
8 Little Surfer Carlos Bautista 30-to-1
9 Luzoom Santiago Mendez 12-to-1
10 Suger Mama Cesar DeAlba 5-to-2

Trials report

Alice K White is fastest qualifier to La Primera Del Ano Derby

MJ Farms' Alice K White brought back memories of the summer of 2008, as the daughter of First Down Dash posted an impressive length victory in a trial to the La Primera Del Ano Derby on Saturday night, March 21, at Los Alamitos.

Making her first start in over six months, Alice K White's win was similar to her victory in a trial to last year's Governor's Cup Futurity. In her La Primera effort, she took early control of the 400-yard race and never looked back to record the fastest qualifying time to the Grade 2 derby for fillies. Cody Jensen piloted her to a winning of :19.53 for trainer Cody Joiner. The $236,100 La Primera final will be held on April 11.

A daughter of First Down Dash out of 1997 La Primera Del Ano Derby winner Champagne Lane, Alice K White was picking up her first victory since that aforementioned Governor's Cup trial held in July 2008. After that nice win, the MJ Farms-bred filly would then finish fourth behind Hard Hitting, Jimmy Delivers and Blue Piranha in the Restricted Grade 1 Governor's Cup final. She only made one more start the rest of the year, a seventh place finish in a trial to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity.

It was a little injury that ended Alice K White's freshman campaign. Her connections did not hesitate to take care of the ailment as they gave her the required time off to fully heal. The pretty gray filly returned to training at Sunland Park in New Mexico under the supervision of Cody's father, trainer Mike Joiner, and after proving with a nice workout that she was ready to battle again, Alice K White arrived in California ready to regain her July form.

"My dad got her ready and he deserves the credit," Cody Joiner said earlier this week.

It was, however, Cody Joiner who trained her for a 350-yard gate drill in a solid :17.70, a preparatory outing that Alice K White used as the perfect springboard for this victory. Alice K White has now won three of her five career starts.

Gustavo De La Torre's Suger Mama and Lucas Racing Inc's Little Surfer were the other winners on La Primera trial night. Trained by Danny Montes, Suger Mama continues to deliver outstanding effort after outstanding effort at Los Alamitos. The Corona Cocktail filly ran a surprising fourth in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity and just last month she competed against the boys in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby. With Cesar De Alba in the irons, Suger Mama led in her trial from start to finish while defeating a game Moonlight Corona by a length. She also finished as the second fastest qualifier with a time of :19.57.

Trained by Paul Jones, Little Surfer was the surprise of the night. The filly took advantage of her quick turn of foot to win at 10-to-1 odds. A full sister to champion Ocean Runaway and World Champion Wave Carver, Little Surfer was picking up only her second career victory while finishing better than fourth for the first time in a trial race.

The complete list of qualifiers is as follows; Alice K White (:19.535), Suger Mama (:19.57), Asyouwish (:19.665), Moonlight Corona (:19.695), A Silver Flash (:19.70), Azoom Babe (:19.75), Dance Baby (:19.755), Another Wise Lady (:19.845), Luzoom (:19.90) and Little Surfer (:19.97).