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One Sweet Jess heads trials to richest El Primero since 1986

March 16, 2011     E-mail this page to a friend!

One Sweet Jess, the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association 2-year-old colt of the year after winning the $1,230,000 Golden State Million Futurity, will make his sophomore debut when he heads the trials to the richest running of the El Primero Del Ano Derby since 1986 Friday at Los Alamitos.

Three trials at 400 yards are on tap with the horses with the 10 fastest times advancing to the $239,500 El Primero final on Friday, April 8. The 2011 El Primero final will be the fourth richest running in the event’s 38-year history. Owned by Jose and Gustavo De La Torre and trained by their brother, Ugo De La Torre, One Sweet Jess will make his first outing since running fourth in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.

The Arizona-bred son of Mr Jess Perry was one of the favorites to win the Two Million, but an awful start eliminated him from contention early on. One Sweet Jess still made a valiant effort during the second half of the race, as he moved up from seventh to a respectable fourth place finish. For the year, One Sweet Jess won five of 10 starts and earned $663,755.

One Sweet Jess will face a nice group of 3-year-olds in the first of three trials to the El Primero. His toughest rival figures to be Mike Abraham and Alfonzo Pasquel’s PK Fire, who faced One Sweet Jess in the Golden State Million final last year. PK Fire had previously won his 440 yard trial to the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs and also ran third to Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Number One Cartel in the trials to that race.

Muniz Quarter Horses and Juan Aleman’s Duke Kahanamoku will make his anticipated sophomore debut and only his fourth career start. The son of Wave Carver - like One Sweet Jess and PK Fire - ran in the Golden State Million last year, but he faded from fourth to finish only seventh in that race after winning his first two career starts. The Duke has not raced since that futurity and earlier this year he was scratched out of a race when the track surface was very wet.

Duke Kahanamoku will headline a wide open second trial that will also feature 2010 Kindergarten Futurity winner West Coast Hawk and Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Jose Pablo. One horse looking to bounce back is Loose Perry, who was highly regarded going into the Los Alamitos Winter Derby before having a terrible start on the way to finishing 10th. Francisco Rubio, who is looking to kick start his 2011 riding season with a nice effort here, will ride Loose Perry from post number seven.

There is not a clear cut standout in the third and final trial, but there are lot of horses that look to be evenly matched in this race. One potential star is the Corona Cartel colt Eddie Ray Vaughan, who broke his maiden by a half length on September 17 before running third as the even money favorite in his Golden State Million trial. Eddie Ray Vaughan has not raced since that mid-October night, but he did post a terrific drill on March 1 and he looks poised to run a special race.

His main adversary could be David and Ross Hinkins’ First Down Illusion, the longshot winner of last year’s Ed Burke Million. The son of First Down Dash won a stakes race for Cal-breds right after his Ed Burke victory and was third in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, but he is coming off of a sixth place finish in a trial to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby. For this race, First Down Illusion will be breaking from his favorite post number six, which is where he started in the Ed Burke.