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42 sophomores to compete in Grade 1 Winter Derby trials on Saturday night

January 25, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Checkspeed wins the Wild West Futurity on October 20 at Los Alamitos
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Northwest stars Checkspeed, Ms Eaves, Margaritas N Coronas in action

A total of 42 sophomores compete in trials to the third-richest running ever of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday night, January 26. This year’s Derby features a purse of $232,650, the highest amount since 2005. The 2001 running is the only other running of this race with a richer purse. The number of trial runners is the highest ever—five more than the previous high number of 37 hopefuls that competed in the 2003 trials—proving the continued popularity of the year’s first major Quarter Horse derby. The horses with the 10 fastest times in the trials return for the final on Saturday, February 16.

The trials consist of six races at 400 yards. The list of contenders includes 18 major futurity qualifiers from 2012. The trials get underway with the evening’s fourth race (approximate posttime 7:11 p.m. Pacific Time), which feature a battle of futurity winners in Tony Doughtie’s PCQHRA Breeders Futurity hero Stel My Corona and Manuel Lorenzana’s Governor’s Cup Futurity heroine Secretly Hot. The latter is exiting a hard-fought victory in the Holiday Handicap on December 30, while Stel My Corona is in action for the first time since running second to Bobby Cox’s The August Heat in a trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Rainbow Futurity finalist Scatmandu, Kindergarten Futurity finalist Sugarbear Sax Man and Governor’s Cup finalist Remembering Spence are also entered in the fourth race.

Los Alamitos Two Million runner-up The August Heat takes on fellow Two Million finalist Far Niente in the second trial heat (race #5). The August Heat came within a nose of winning the $2,108,000 Futurity, while Tom Atwood and Vessels Stallion Farm’s Far Niente was charging late on the way to finishing in seventh place. PCQHRA Breeders Futurity runner-up JR Dynasty Mountain and the undefeated Bon Accord also competes in this trial.

Corona Chick Handicap winner Creole Williams is the marquee name in the third trial, while Fires Blazin, a qualifier to Los Alamitos’ three futurities with million dollar purses last year, takes on Wild West Futurity winner Checkspeed, Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist High School Secrets and the unbeaten Without Fault in the fourth trial. The fifth trial is a wide open event with Mount Rushmore Handicap winner Fool The Guys having to deal with Kindergarten fourth place finisher Mama Mia Bella and John Deere Les Bois Park Juvenile Challenge winner Ms Eaves. The final trial—race nine on the card—is like a Golden State Million Futurity reunion. Four of the seven horses in this race qualified to the $1,118,000 Golden State Million Futurity won by World Champion One Dashing Eagle. The Golden quartet is headed by Paul Jones and Thompson Racing’s Henoshersecret, who finished fourth in the Golden State Million, plus Vessels Stallion Farms’ Tres Coronas Mas, Balgo Racing’s Gold Flames On Fire and Salvador Pimienta’s Bingo.