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Hot weekend of stakes races at Los Alamitos kicks off tonight with John Deere

August 27, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

To be undefeated at Los Alamitos, even if it is after only three career starts, is quite an achievement. Ross and David Hinkins’ First To Divulge has reached that level of perfection, winning each of his first three starts in hard-nosed fashion. Two of those victories have come in futurity trials.

The son of First Down Dash won his trial to the Ed Burke Million Futurity by a half length and then on August 13 he won his trial to the John Deere California Juvenile Challenge by a nose over Kindergarten Futurity finalist Carburator. First To Divulge and Carburator will meet again on Friday night, this time in the final to the $40,410 John Deere California Juvenile. They will be joined by fastest qualifier The Goodbye Kisser (right) from the powerful barn of trainer Paul Jones, plus seven other solid contenders, in what shapes up as a tremendous 10-horse field.

The Goodbye Kisser hopes to continue what has been a great month of racing of Brazilian-based Quarter Horse owners. Last week, Sao Paulo’s Benny Rosset won the Merial California Distaff Challenge for the second straight year with his champion aged mare Stylish Jess Br. Earlier this month, Brazil’s Gianni Samaja enjoyed the 2010 return of his Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity winner Good Reason Sa, who posted a tremendous victory while qualifying to the Grade 1 Golden State Derby. Good Reason Sa will be back in action this Saturday night to headline the $262,500 Golden State finale.

In between Stylish Jss Br’s Merial California win and Good Reason Sa’s Golden State quest, Brazilian Marcelo Jorge’s The Goodbye Kisser is one of the top contenders in the John Deere. The First Down Dash filly looked the part of a world beater in her career start when breaking her maiden by nearly two lengths on April 10. She then traveled to Ruidoso Downs, but never got going because of a minor injury. She returned to Los Alamitos Race Course with a trouble third place finish on July 30 before unleashing a tremendous effort to post the fastest qualifying time to this race. A winner in two of three starts, The Goodbye Kisser will be ridden by Carlos Huerta.

The matchup between First To Divulge and The Goodbye Kisser will also highlight a duel between the two leading Quarter Horse riders this season. Francisco Rubio has enjoyed a great campaign and is the far away leader with 112 wins, but Huerta has also delivered a strong season and his 58 wins have him second while also riding more horses for Paul Jones. Bobby Cox’s Carburator has won three of five starts this year and if he can avoid the early trouble that plagued him in John Deere California trials he will be right in the mix of things at the end of this race.

Donald and Peggy Boyle’s Current Sea, who posted a monster late run to move from seventh to first in the trials, will be the late threat in this race, while Marcelo Jorge is also not the only Brazilian with an interest in this event. Benny Rosset is also a partner of John Andreini on Like A Zephyr, who is worthy of attention after running second to Current Sea in the trials. Exotic Camila, Gossipaboutthis, MB One Day Conanas, Corazon Valiente and Gimme Corona will complete the field.

Friday’s program will also feature the Pfizer California Start Allowance Challenge for 3-year-olds and upward. Gianna Samaja’s Gemini Special Sa is among the top contenders as he arrives having hit the board in nine consecutive starts. His in-the-money streak includes three victories and he enters this race after running second against $20,000 claimers. Others to keep an eye on are Beer Blast, a winner in each of his last three starts, and Mister Dominic, who has won his two most recent outings.

Good Reason Sa heads Golden State Derby

Chivalry Sr, the fastest qualifier to the Golden State Derby will not compete in the $262,500 final after suffering getting a minor leg knock during the 400-yard trials on August 14, leaving the Grade 1 event ripe for the taking on Saturday night. It certainly won’t be easy pickings for the remaining nine horse, as the field still features several big stars like Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity winner Good Reason Sa for owner Gianna Samaja and 350-yard track record holder Divide The Cash for Abigail Kawananakoa.

The two star performers will certainly garner a lot of attention, but the field will also feature impressive Golden State trial winner Effectiveimmediately and Los Alamitos Winter Derby runner-up Princelike. Interestingly, the star of the show could very well be the broodmare Queen of Appeals, as she has a chance to have her boys finish 1-2 in this derby. Queen Of Appeals is the mother of Good Reason Sa, who enters this race having won each of his last three starts, plus Get Him Out Sa, a solid allowance performer this season which will benefit from the services of top jockey Carlos Huerta from post five.

There’s is a lot to like about the Paul Jones-trained Good Reason Sa. The son of Favorite Trick looked tremendous when winning his 2010 debut on derby trial night, so there’s a strong chance that he will be even sharper in his second outing of the year. To be ridden by Cody Jensen, the brown colt also lugged in badly in the trials, but he has still much the best against a field that included the highly regarded Princelike. Good Reason Sa will start from post one - the first time he’s ever run from along the rail.

Kawananakoa loves her colt Divide The Cash. During a recent afternoon interview session, Kawananakoa walked her baby in expert fashion around the barn area while sharing with observers her memories about the handsome brown colt. “He was a runt as a baby,” she said. “I used to keep in a paddock far away because he was so small, but he has developed into my pride and joy. And he has developed gradually which is the right way to develop. For my horses I would do the hula. He is a horse that (the late) Blane Schvaneveldt and I developed and I’m very proud of that fact.”

Rafael Orozco will saddle Divide The Cash from post seven. The son of Separatist set the track record of :17.06 when winning a handicap on June 11. All-time leading jockey Eddie Garcia will ride Divide The Cash.