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First Down Dash represented by nine of 10 Southern California Derby qualifiers

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

Sparky E Boy sets the fastest qualifying time for the Southern California Derby from four trials on November 26.
(photo by Scott Martinez, courtesy of Los Alamitos Race Course)
One day after the passing of the great stallion First Down Dash, nine out of the 10 qualifiers to the richest running ever of the Grade 1 Southern California Derby were either sired by him or by one of his sons.

The six fastest qualifiers all carry First Down Dash’s blood, including top qualifier Sparky E Boy, a son of the First Down Dash stallion Hawkinson. First Down Dash sired Harems Last Dash, a royally bred colt owned by Vessels Stallion Farm and Robert Wood. TR Dasher sired Princelike, Better Try Hard and Snitcher, while Walk Thru Fire sired Forrest Fire and Fire In The Hole. Ocean Runaway is the sire of second fastest qualifier Runaway Tyme, while Maknmoves sired Hoist Mission. TR Dasher, Walk Thru Fire, Ocean Runaway and Maknmoves are sons of the great sire of sires, First Down Dash.

The only qualifier lacking First Down Dash blood also happens to be the only filly to qualify to the Southern California Derby. Bred by the great couple of Spencer and Florence Childers, Dream The Day Away was sired by the Jazzing Hi stallion Bono Jazz and is out of a Grand Slam mare. It is conceivable that Dream The Day Away will one day be sired to a son of First Down Dash to complete the scenario.

The impact of First Down Dash is seen over and over in Grade 1 Quarter Horse stakes race throughout the country. In this year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, each of the 10 qualifiers to the $2,033,700 race is related to First Down Dash. The list of qualifiers to the Southern California Derby is as follows: Sparky E Boy (:19.498), Runaway Tyme (:19.607), Forrest Fire (:19.614), Princelike (:19.614), Better Try Hard (:19.628), Harems Last Dash (:19.644), Dream The Day Away (:19.644), Fire In The Hole (:19.660), Snitcher (:19.661) and Hoist Mission (:19.685). The Southern California Derby final will be held on closing weekend on Saturday, February 18.

Harems Last Dash, a full brother to champions Royal Quick Dash and First Sovereign and major stakes winner A Regal Choice, enjoyed an easy ˝ length victory in the opening trial in his debut for trainer Adan Farias. Ridden by Francisco Rubio, Harems Last Dash was chased home by the late flying Favorite Cartel, who surprisingly missed qualifying to the final. Salvador Salazar’s Better Try Hard delivered an upset in the second trial while defeating a field that included heavy favorite Snitcher, who entered this race after running third to Freaky in the Grade 1 Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. Trained by Hector Jaime Hernandez, Better Try Hard won at odds of 8-to-1.

Reed Pierson’s Sparky E Boy picked up his third victory in a row, while headlining the third trial of the night. Sparky E Boy finished a ˝ length ahead of Los Alamitos Super Derby third place finisher Forrest Fire. Sparky E Boy is a four-time stakes winner at Los Alamitos, but the Southern California Derby will represent his Grade 1 debut. Rodrigo Aceves rode the Pierson homebred for trainer Adan Farias. In the fourth and final trial, 2009 Kindergarten Futurity runner-up Runaway Tyme edged the three-time Grade 1 placed runner Princelike by a nose. Fire In The Hole and Hoist Mission also qualified from the final trial.