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Super Derby field eyes spot in Champion of Champions

November 2, 2013     E-mail this page to a friend!

Fastest qualifier Otoole Hero
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Burnett Ranches, LLC and Johnny Trotter’s Otoole Hero, who posted the fastest qualifying time to tonight's $953,200 Los Alamitos Super Derby, will take on Los Alamitos Winter Derby winner Remembering Spence, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity winner Matabari, All American Derby runner-up Bon Accord and six other sophomore standouts with a berth to the $750,000 Champion of Champions on the line.

Burnett Ranches and Johnny Trotter has been in this position before and done great. Back in 2008, the partners won the Super Derby with the superstar and millionaire champion One Famous Eagle and more recently in 2011 they won the Super Derby with eventual champion filly Miss Racy Jess. Just last year, Trotter’s Heza Our Secret just missed winning the Super Derby when he finished second to Deniro. To be ridden by Ricky Ramirez for trainer Trey Wood, Otoole Hero was outstanding in winning his trial heat on October 12 with a time of :19.567. Bred by Mla International Company, the gelding by Valiant Hero will be going after his third win in nine career starts. His trial victory came over the aforementioned Bon Accord and also Ruidoso Derby finalist Kat Quick.

““He just got away from there in good form and ran a great race. I thought (his) was the toughest trial of the night,” said Paul Leal, who is Wood’s assistant trainer. “This horse has matured so much since he was here at Los Alamitos late last year and early this year. He’s a big horse and has really come into his own. He’s doing great right now and we’re just hoping for some good luck in the final.”

The sophomore of the moment right now at Los Alamitos may be Rosa Barboza’s Remembering Spence, who has won each of his last four starts, including an easy 1 ¼ length victory in the third trial. Bred by Ed Allred, the TR Dasher gelding’s win streak includes a nose victory in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby and a dominant performance in the Sgt Pepper Feature Handicap on September 8. To be ridden by Francisco Rubio and trained by Juan Aleman, Remembering Spence will look to become only the second horse to win both the Winter Derby and the Super Derby. Be A Bono is the only runner to have accomplished the feat during his World Champion campaign in 2004.

“Once he gets rolling he is like a freight train,” Aleman said. “He has these big long strides and he makes it look easy.”

“I just let this horse run,” Rubio added. “He runs by himself.”
Aleman has a trio of talented runners in the Super Derby. In addition to Remembering Spence, he’ll also saddle Bon Accord for J. Garvan Kelly, Nancy Yearsley and Vinewood Farms and Scatmandu for Robbi Force, Robert K. and Robert A. Gentry. Two races ago Bon Accord finished second in the richest race in the history of the Quarter Horse racing – the All American Derby – and before that he was the fastest qualifier to that race at Ruidoso Downs. Bon Accord is a two-time winner at Los Alamitos and will be ridden by G.R. Carter from post six in this event.

Balgo Racing Team, Inc. and Marlyn Gonzalez’s superstar filly Matabari is looking to become only the second filly to win the Super Derby after winning the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity the previous season. She’ll be trying to join the great champion millionaire Corona Kool as the only members of that sorority. The aforementioned One Famous Eagle is the only male runner to have won the Two Million and Super Derby.

To be ridden by Ramon Sanchez for trainer Guillermo Morales, Matabari was extremely impressive in her trial victory. She was more than length behind the leader early in her trial before flying at the end to win by a nose over Governor’s Cup Derby heroine Scoop Of Sunshine. Matabari comes in having won five of eight career starts. The filly by Mr Jess Perry will come in having earned $868,426 in her career.

Robbi Force, Robert K. and Robert A. Gentry’s Scatmandu is another top contender following her half length trial win. The Scat Daddy gelding ran in the Rainbow Derby earlier this year and in the Rainbow Futurity last season. Cruz Mendez will pilot the Aleman-trainee. Double Bar S Ranch’s Scoop Of Sunshine, the Abigail Kawananakoa-owned duo of Henoshersecret and Tres Queens, Ruidoso Derby finalist Kat Quick and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Lavish Susan will complete the field.