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Big weekend of stakes and trials at Los Alamitos

November 22, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

All is Wells going into Friday’s Dana Point Handicap

Owner Mimi Wells and trainer Dan Francisco will look to score a racing double on Friday with two of the barns prominent stars in action at Los Alamitos.

The barn will send out New Look in the ninth race $17,000 Dana Point Handicap right after multiple stakes winner Forrest Fire goes for an allowance win in the eighth. Wells and Francisco have won five stakes races together this season, most recently with Getit Together in the Las Damas Handicap last Sunday night. New Look has been the big star this season, as he’s won the El Primero Del Ano Derby and Town Policy Handicap. A winning effort would make a three-time stakes winner in 2012, plus he also competed in the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes earlier this year. Rodrigo Aceves will ride the Walk Thru Fire gelding from post one.

The field to the Dana Point will also feature Golden State Derby finalist Delight At Night, who races for the Estate of Kim Kessinger, and La Pacifica Handicap third place finisher Study Hall Pierce. Study Hall Pierce is one of two runners representing owner Ed Allred in this race. The Hall of Fame owner and breeder’s other color bearer in this race is the steady Red Dasher, who has hit the board in 12 of 15 career starts. Dennie and Kris Hill’s Whata Corona Runner, third in both the Adequan California Derby and Kip Didericksen Handicap, and allowance winner J D will complete the field.

Forrest Fire will face five top notch rivals in the aforementioned $15,500 allowance at 350 yards. The gelding has been a class runner for Wells and Francisco for many years and has earned nearly $300,000. His rivals will include stakes winners Pot O Cash, Jumpn Shake and Pfizer California Starter Allowance winner Storm Feet.

Jess You And I headlines Saturday’s Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial

Double Bar S Ranch’s Jess You And I looks to clinch a fifth berth to the prestigious Champion of Champions when he faces seven younger foes in Saturday’s Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trial.

Set to go as the ninth race on the card, the 400-yard trial will decide the final qualifiers to the $750,000 Champion of Champions to be held on Saturday, December 15. A minimum of three berths are up for grabs in the lone trial of the evening. That means that Jess You And I could finish third in the Z. Wayne Griffin Trial and still earn a record tying fifth trip to the Champion of Champions. Trained by Paul Jones, Jess You And I won the Champion of Champions in 2008, finished eighth in 2009 and was fourth each of the last two years. Only the great Refrigerator has raced five times in the 440-yard classic, as he appeared each year from 1991 through 1996. To be ridden by Cesar De Alba, Jess You And I will start from post five with a record of 19 wins from 38 starts and earnings of $1,822,864.

The field will feature a great cast of older horses that will include 2011 Champion of Champions runner-up Sparky E Boy and Johnny Trotter’s Hez Our Secret, who was second to both Ochoa in the All American Derby and Deniro in the Los Alamitos Super Derby. Both derbies had purses of a million or more. The First Down Dash colt has earned over $740,000 in a career that includes four wins in 11 starts.

Owned and bred by Reed Pierson, Sparky E Boy qualified to the Champion of Champions via a second place finish in a Z. Wayne Griffin Trial last year. Sparky E Boy came back to only lose in the Champion of Champions by a nose. The Hawkinson gelding has had a good season in 2012, winning the Bank of America California Championship and finishing in the top five in the Go Man Go Handicap and Robert L. Boniface Los Alamitos Invitational Championship. Rodrigo Aceves will ride Sparky E Boy.

Daniel Reynoso is hoping that the third is the charm. Reynoso has twice seen one of his horses finish as the 11th qualifier to the Champion of Champions. It happened with Fire Is On in 2010 and with Senor Toby last year. Owned by Reynoso and Brad Lohr, Senor Toby returns for another chance to advance to the Champion of Champions. Senor Toby has finished in the top three in all five of his starts this season, including runner-up efforts to El Aguila Real in both the Vessels Maturity and Los Alamitos Winter Championship. Jaime Gomez will saddle the gelded son of Mighty Invictus.

Balgo Racing Team’s Hot Hitter, a multiples major stakes winner, will start from along the rail in this race. A winner of both the Governor’s Cup Futurity and Derby, the Walk Thru Fire gelding has earned $508,127 in his 17-race career. Salvador Veliz’s Creston Goer, who ran second to World Champion Cold Cash 123 in the Go Man Go, will also race in the trials. The field will be completed by Mauro Eli Zaborowsky’s Thisfeatureisspecial, the runner-up in the Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap, and the $420,890 earner Shining First Dash, who races for Muller Racing LLC.

Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials set for Sunday, November 25

With One Dashing Eagle, the nation’s unanimous number one ranked Quarter Horse not eligible to compete in the trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, the list of favorites to California’s richest annual race is completely wide open.

The trials to be held on Sunday, November 25 will have an incredible amount of depth and talent with the likes of PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Stel My Corona, Golden State Million Futurity runner-up Seperate Interest and All American Futurity finalist Aha Moment likely to be among the top names on the list.

Tony Doughtie’s Stel My Corona has been resting since winning the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and comes into this race from the experienced barn of trainer Paul Jones, who won the “Deuce” twice before, first with A Regal Choice in 2003 and then with the champion Good Reason SA in 2009. Jones will also saddle Aha Moment, who posted an impressive maiden win here before qualifying and eventually running third to One Dashing Eagle in the All American final. Like Stel My Corona, Jimmy and Marilyn Harrel’s Aha Moment has also been resting and waiting for the Los Alamitos Two Million trials.

Kim Kessinger’s Seperate Interest earned a nice paycheck of $182,410 for his second place finish in the Golden State Million. The Texas-bred colt by Separatist was fourth at the start of the Golden State Million, but he made up a lot of ground to end up in second place. With solid racing experience now under his belt, Seperate Interest could be a major player on trial night.

Lucky Seven Ranch won the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity with the great World Champion Blues Girl Too. Lucky Seven Ranch would love to have another chance to win the “Deuce” and this time with a daughter of Blues Girl Too named Amore La Blue. Trained by Joe Bassett, Amore La Blue finished third in the Golden State Million and she’s proven to be scintillating when she runs her race.

Bassett will also saddle Howard Nichols’ Jess Being Valiant, the winner of the Golden State Juvenile Stakes on November 4. Jess Being Valiant qualified to Ed Burke Million Futurity at the start of the year and his Juvenile win showed him to be a strong finisher. If he puts it all together again, his name could be among the 10 qualifiers to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Multiple futurity finalist Bingo, PCQHRA Breeders Futurity fastest qualifier Far Niente, Ed Burke and Golden State Million finalist Watch Linda Ballet and the talented Beautiful Fire are some of the other names that are expected to compete in the trials to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Sunday, November 25.