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Top fillies in $200,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby Saturday night

April 5, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Revv Me Up sets the fastest qualifying time—400 yards in :19.737 (87 S.I.)—from four trials to Saturday's La Primera Del Ano Derby
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
After breaking her maiden in the trials to the $200,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby, John and Cina Sperry’s Revv Me Up will now look to score a stakes wins when she heads a full field of talented 3-year-old fillies in Saturday’s La Primera final at Los Alamitos. First post is 6:00 p.m. local time, and the La Primera at 400 yards is scheduled as the ninth and final race on the card at approximately 9:15.

Ridden by Ramon Sanchez, Revv Me Up was impressive when posting a ¾-length victory in the fastest qualifying time of :19.73 to the La Primera back on March 16. The filly by Stel Corona broke on top and never looked back on the way to scoring her first victory in nine career starts. Revv Me Up had been close to the winner’s circle before, as she had been the runner-up in six of her previous eight starts, including a second in the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on February 24. Revv Me Up put it all together on trial night and now figures to be among the favorites to win the 36th running of the La Primera. Paul Jones will saddle Revv Me Up from post two and Sanchez is back aboard.

San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Fireworks is a winner of two of six starts, including a nice ½-length trial win that earned her the second fastest qualifying time of :19.85. Trained by Danny Montes and ridden by Reuben Lozano, Fireworks came into the trials after a more than five month layoff. With the derby final being her second outing since her break, Fireworks could indeed deliver some nice fireworks for her connections in the derby finale. A finalist in last year’s PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, she’ll start right alongside Revv Me Up from post number three.

Another trial winner in the derby field is Parsons Ranch’s Tiny Taz, who posted some great workouts and a pair of wins early in her 2-year-old campaign before struggling in the later part of the meet. A lot more mature according to her connections, the Chris O’Dell-trained filly posted a hard-fought trial victory over Forgotten Dynasty in the trials and looms like a horse to watch from post number five. Francisco Rubio will ride.

The other trial winner in the field is Gustavo De La Torre’s Lavish Susan, who qualified to the La Primera final following a ½-length trial victory over Nancy Scane’s Miss Behaving, who also qualified to the derby off of that trial. Sired by Separatist, Lavish Susan ran in the $2,108,000 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year. Gustavo and Jose De La Torre will also be represented by PCQHRA Breeders Futurity finalist Slightys Mac A Tac in this race. The Tac It Like A Man filly will start from the outside post number 10.

After winning the Governor’s Cup Futurity last year, Manuel Lorenzana’s Secretly Hot will look to become a derby winner in 2013. The Walk Thru Fire filly was also a nose winner in the Holiday Handicap in her final start as a 2-year-old and ran second to Revv Me Up in the trials to this race. Jesse Godinez will saddle her from post nine.

Revv Me Up is not the only daughter of Stel Corona in this race. Scane’s Miss Behaving was also sired by this rising star and her record includes top three finishes in seven of nine starts. Pat Visscher, who is a two-time La Primera Del Ano winning trainer, will saddle Miss Behaving. Visscher won it in 2006 with Kanika and 2010 with Jumpn Beduino.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez’s Feature Malinche will start from along the rail in serach of her second win in her last three starts. The Feature Mr Jess filly broke her maiden back in February and then finished third to Tiny Taz and Forgotten Dynasty in the trials. Guillermo Morales will saddle her.

Ed Allred’s Without Fault is the only filly in this field that has finished fourth or better in every one of her career starts. The homebred daughter of TR Dasher has two wins, a third and a fourth in her career for trainer Scott Willoughby. Without Fault faced second fastest qualifier Fireworks and Slighty Mac A Tac in the trials. Ron Hartley’s Forgotten Dynasty completes the field and will start from post number seven. Trainer John Cooper is one of the track’s all-time great conditioners, but a win in the La Primera would be his first ever in this prestigious event. Forgotten Dynasty competed in the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes earlier this year.

Trials report

Revv Me Up finds her top gear in the trials to the La Primera Del Ano Derby

John and Cina Sperry’s Revv Me Up had a memorable first win, as the daughter of Stel Corona broke her maiden while posting the fastest qualifying time to the $200,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby for fillies on March 16.

Ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer by Paul Jones, Revv Me Up picked up her first win in nine starts thanks to a solid ¾ length score in the fourth and final derby trial of the night. Bred by Jones and Keilani Farms, the sorrel filly covered the 400 yards in :19.737, which was 12/100ths of a second faster than the next fastest qualifier. Revv Me Up had been runner-up a total of six times in her career, but her record included appearances in the 2012 Kindergarten Futurity and Ed Burke Million Futurity and also a second place finish in the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on February 24.

But even after delivering a much anticipated victory for her connections, Revv Me Up still made them wait. In fact, she almost skipped the winner’s circle presentation altogether after she threw her rider to the ground during the gallop out following the race.

“We were between two horses and all of the sudden she put on the brakes and I went down,” said Sanchez, who did get back on Revv Me Up for the winner’s circle photo.

“She got spooked and ducked out,” Jones added. “Fortunately Ramon is okay and she also looks fine. I was afraid that she was going to run into the fence or something like that. I’m happy that she finally broke her maiden and maybe she’ll get into a winning habit.”

“She looks okay so that’s important,” Sperry said. “And we got our picture taken.”

Headed by Revv Me Up, the fillies with the 10 fastest times will return for the La Primera final on Saturday, April 6. San Gregorio Racing Stables’ Fireworks, Gustavo De La Torre’s Lavish Susan and Parsons Ranch’s Tiny Taz were the other trial winners. They also qualified to the 400-yard final.

Ridden by Reuben Lozano for trainer Danny Montes, Fireworks finished with the second fastest qualifying time of :19.856 with her ½ length victory over Jose and Gustavo De La Torre’s Slightys Mac A Tac in the third trial. The two fillies had raced against each other in the 2012 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, but this was Fireworks’ first outing since that start.

“She hurt herself a little bit in the Breeders Futurity,” said Jorge Carmona of San Gregorio Racing Stables. “She hit the outside part of her leg during the race. We decided to turn her out after that race. She wasn’t paid into any other big races last year so we chose to give her time off. She had already broken her maiden so she wasn’t eligible to the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes and she was still laid off around the time of the Winter Derby trials. I talked it over with our trainer and we just decided to wait until the La Primera trials. She’s now using an outside patch on her leg so she has some protection. We’re happy with the way she ran. The La Primera is a great race because it gives these fillies a chance to build their hearts for the other derbies that are coming up.”

Fireworks has a busy season ahead, as she’s eligible to run in the trials to the Golden State Derby, PCQHRA Breeders Derby, Los Alamitos Super Derby and Southern California Derby. Carmona’s San Gregorio Racing Stables partnered with Jose and Gustavo De La Torre to campaign the 2012 World Champion One Dashing Eagle. They were also named AQHA champion owners last year.

Manual Lorenzana’s Secretly Hot finished strongly while running second to Revv Me Up. Ridden by Rodrigo Aceves for trainer Jesse Godinez, Secretly Hot stopped the clock in :19.887 to post the third fastest qualifying time. The daughter of Walk Thru Fire has done well in previous stakes races, as she won the Governor’s Cup Futurity and Holiday Handicap last year. She’s hit the board in seven of 10 career starts while earning $177,965.

Ridden by Francisco Rubio for Parsons Ranch, Tiny Taz won the opening derby trial while tying with Slightys Mac A Tac for the fourth fastest time of :19.909. Sired by Tinys First Corona, Tiny Taz improved her record to three wins in six starts.

“She had an :11.9 gate workouts (at 220 yards) prior to her career debut last year,” said trainer Chris O’Dell. “She was one of the few 2-year-olds to get an A+ workout from Les Onaka last year. Les has always loved this filly. Her name fits her in that she’s a tiny filly. She looked like a baby 2-year-old going against 3-year-olds towards the end of last year. Fillies can sometimes have a hard time maintaining their weight.

“With her, she’s so small that you have to space her races out,” O’Dell continued. “She’s so small that we decided against giving her an out before these trials. We gave her workouts instead. She got bumped tonight, which is tough for her because she’s fragile. She’ll still keep going, but it does take its toll on her. She’ll always run as hard as she can. She might get beat, but she will give it her all. Having three weeks between these trials and the final will really help her.”

The Separatist filly Lavish Susan was impressive in winning her trial by a half-length. With Eduardo Nicasio in the irons for trainer Jose De La Torre, the sorrel filly was making her first start since running in California’s richest race – the $2.18 million Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last December. This was her second victory in eight career starts.

The complete list of qualifiers for the April 6 La Primera Del Ano Derby is as follows: Revv Me Up (:19.737), Fireworks (:19.856), Secretly Hot (:19.887), Tiny Taz (:19.909), Slightys Mac A Tac (:19.909), Forgotten Dynasty (:19.926), Lavish Susan (:19.978), Feature Malinche (:20.021), Without Fault (:20.029) and Miss Behaving (:20.035).