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Field set for Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday


February 15, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Remembering Spence sets the fastest time—400 yards in :19.742—from six trials to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby on January 26.
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Fastest qualifier Remembering Spence and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity winner Stel My Corona are among the talented 3-year-olds that will compete in the third richest running ever of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday evening. A full field of 10 Quarter Horse sprinters will face the start in the $232,650 Derby at 400 yards. First post time is 6:00 p.m. with the Winter Derby scheduled as the ninth race on the card at 9:12 p.m.

Owned by Francisco Guzman and trained by Arnoldo Pulido, Remembering Spence is one of the top contenders in the Winter Derby following an impressive trial victory on January 26. The gelded son of TR Dasher scored a terrific 1½-length victory in the trials and his winning time of :19.74 was 2/10ths of a second faster than second fastest qualifier Creole Williams. Remembering Spence also won the Ed Burke Memorial Juvenile Stakes and was third in the $380,000 Governor’s Cup Futurity last year. He has raced six times in his career and has finished in the money every single time. Bred by Ed Allred, Remembering Spence is named in honor of Allred’s great friend and mentor Spencer Childers. Remembering Spence’s breeding on his mother’s side dates back to Black Easter Bunny, the Hall of Fame mare who served as the base of Childers’ breeding program after he purchased her from Walt Culbertson in 1957. Remembering Spence will start from post number one with jockey Francisco Rubio aboard.

Pulido will also saddle Robert Williams’ Perrys Affair, who will be making only his sixth career start after scoring his first lifetime victory with a sharp looking half-length victory in the derby trials on January 26. Williams came close to winning the Winter Derby with Flame N Flash last year, as she ran fourth behind Kobe in the race. Eduardo Nicasio picks up the mount aboard Perrys Affair on Saturday.

Jockey Cesar De Alba had a decision to make after piloting three winners in the derby trials. De Alba will stick with Double Bar S Ranch’s Creole Williams for the finale. De Alba has already ridden Creole Williams four times and each time he’s finished first or second. The two combined to win the Corona Chick Handicap while also finishing second in the Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational. Trained by Paul Jones, the son of Jess Louisiana Blue was all business in his trial race. He broke out at the start, but then flew to the lead en route to an impressive half-length victory. De Alba also qualified Jabuti Eagle SA, who had the biggest winning margin on trial night of 1¾ lengths, and High School Secrets. Raul Ramirez will ride Jabuti Eagle, while Cody Jensen now pilots High School Secret.

In addition to Creole Williams, AQHA Champion trainer Paul Jones will also saddle High School Secrets for James Azevedo and Boyles Family Trust and Jabuti Eagle SA for the Estate of Gianni Samaja. High School Secrets will be making his fifth apperance in a stakes race, while Jabuti Eagle SA is making his stakes debut. The son of One Famous Eagle is a half brother to 2011 Champion of Champions and 2009 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity winner Good Reason SA. Jones will also saddle Tony Doughtie’s Stel My Corona, who scored a half-length victory in the $392,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year. The consistent runner has hit the board in seven of eight career starts. Ramon Sanchez will pilot him from post six.
Kolleen Ledgerwood’s Buy Buy won her derby trial by a head and the talented filly now goes after her fifth win in 10 career starts. Buy Buy did well in stakes races last year, taking the California Breeders Freshman Stakes for fillies, running second in the Pat Hyland Handicap and third in the Autumn Handicap. Eulices Gomez will ride her for trainer Roberto Dominguez.

Arnold Gonzalez’s Fires Blazin is back in a Grade 1 finale in the Winter Derby after being the only horse to qualify to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, Ed Burke Million Futurity and Golden State Million Futurity last year. Named California’s top 2-year-old gelding by the PCQHRA last year, Fires Blazin’s big-race experience makes him one of the top contenders in this race. Balgo Racing Team’s Gold Flames On Fire competed in the Grade 1 Golden State Million Futurity last year and was right there alongside Perrys Affair in the trials. Completing the field is Hector Hernandez’s PCQHRA Breeders Futurity finalist Blistering Speed, another highly consistent sprinter who will be ridden by Rodrigo Aceves from post number five.

Trials report


The red hot connections of jockey Francisco Rubio and trainer Arnoldo Pulido and jockey Cesar De Alba and trainer Paul Jones dominated the 400 yard trials to the third richest running ever of the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday at Los Alamitos. Rubio and Pulido combined to win two of the six trials contested on the night, while De Alba and Jones joined forces to win three of the trials. Each of their trial winners qualified to the $32,650 derby final to be held on Saturday, February 16.

Rubio piloted Francisco Gumaz’s Remembering Spence to the most impressive win of the night, as the Ed Allred-bred runner won his trial by 1½ lengths while posting the fastest qualifying time of the night of :19.742 over a wet fast track. The son of TR Dasher was making his first start since running third to Secretly Hot in the Governor’s Cup Futurity on July 28. Remembering Spence, who is named in honor of Allred’s great friend and mentor Spencer L. Childers, has raced six times in his career and has finished in the money every time. His previous wins included an impressive maiden effort last May and a half-length victory in the Ed Burke Memorial Stakes.

“He had been resting since the Governor’s Cup and he was gelded during that time,” Rubio said. “I worked at 350 yards (on January 8) and he did great. He was training super coming into this race and he broke perfectly out of the gate. I was thrilled with everything about his race.”

After winning the first of six trials with Remembering Spence, Rubio and Pulido finished the night in the winner’s circle in the final trial with Robert Williams’ Perrys Affair. The gelding by Mr Jess Perry scored a half length victory over Golden State Million Futurity finalist Gold Flames On Fire and his winning time of :19.949 was the third fastest of the night and it came after the track surface have been changed from wet fast to good by the racing stewards. Perrys Affair had been hampered with trouble in each of his previous four starts, but he avoided major issues this time around and finished powerfully to earn his maiden victory. Remembering Spence and Perrys Affair are both graduates of the 2011 Los Alamitos Equine Sale.

De Alba and Jones put on a show from the third to the fifth trial. Their wins came with Creole Williams, who finished as the second fastest qualifier with a time of :19.947, High School Secrets, who held off PCQHRA champion 2-year-old gelding Fires Blazin, and Jabuti Eagle SA, who put on a show with a 1¾ length victory in the fifth trial. James Azevedo and Boyles Family Trust’s High School Secret finished with the fourth fastest time of :20.012 while Jabuti Eagle SA had the eighth fastest time of :20.070. All three of these wins came over a good track.

“When you’re hot, you’re hot,” said Jones, the 2012 AQHA and PCQHRA Champion Trainer. “Creole Williams didn’t break at all, but he was impressive at the end of the race. Jabuti Eagle SA ran a great race. He loved it out there.”

Jones also qualified Tony Doughtie’s Stel My Corona, the winner of the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year. Stel My Corona finished second in his trial to fastest qualifier Remembering Spence with the fifth fastest time of :20.021.

“Stel My Corona ran a pretty good race, but the winner of that trial was awfully good. I was very impressed with Remembering Spence,” Jones added.

Stel My Corona came into this race after finishing second to Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity runner-up The August Heat in the trials to the Two Million. Stel My Corona is the son of Stel Corona, who also sired 10th fastest qualifier and trial winner Buy Buy.

Owned by Kolleen Ledgerwood and trained by Roberto Dominguez, Buy Buy won the second trial of the night to give her four wins in nine career starts. A busy performer during his freshman year, Buy Buy won the California Breeders Freshman Stakes for fillies and was second in the Pat Hyland Handicap and third in the Autumn Handicap. Eulices Gomez piloted Buy Buy.

Balgo Racing Team’s Gold Flames On Fire managed to qualify with the sixth fastest time of :20.024. The gelding by Walk Thru Fire was seventh in the Golden State Million final and also ran third to Remembering Spence in the Ed Burke Memorial. Arnold Gonzalez’s Fires Blazin qualified to his fourth Grade 1 stakes race following his second place finish to High School Secrets. The only horse to qualify to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, Ed Burke Million Futurity and Golden State Million Futurity in 2012, Fires Blazin finished with the seventh fastest clocking of :20.025. Jose Flores saddled the son of Walk Thru Fire. Hector A. Hernandez’s Blistering Speed, the fourth place finisher in last year’s PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, completed the list of qualifiers thanks to his runner-up effort to Creole Williams. Flores saddled the Tres Seis gelding bred by Mercy and Ray Hinklin.

The qualifying order to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby is as follows: Remembering Spence (:19.742), Creole Williams (:19.947), Perrys Affair (:19.949), High School Secrets (:20.012), Stel My Corona (:20.021), Gold Flames On Fire (:20.024), Fires Blazin (:20.025), Jabuti Eagle SR (:20.070), Blistering Speed (:20.097) and Buy Buy (:20.113).