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Time For Jesse Lee, SS Paydirt among 30 to race in Saturdayís Winter Derby trials


January 24, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Time For Jesse Lee wins his trial to the Wild West Futurity on Octiber 6, 2013, at Los Alamitos
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Racing for the newly honored AQHA champion owners Johnny Trotter and Burnett Ranches, LLC and champion jockey Cody Jensen, the major futurity winner Viva Mi Corazon will headline a great set of trials to the Grade 1 $196,600 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday night, January 25, at Los Alamitos.

Thirty sophomores will be in action in four trials at 400 yards to the meetís first major derby. The horses with the 10 fastest times will advance to the Winter Derby final on Saturday, February 15.

Viva Mi Corazon was one of the key performers in Trotter and Burnettís championship season. The First Down Dash gelding won the $435,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and was the runner-up in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. Jensen piloted Viva Mi Corazon in both of those efforts and will pilot the Bob and Jerry Gaston-bred star in the second of four Winter Derby trials. Jensen won his first champion jockey title thanks in part to his exploits aboard the ultra talented Viva Mi Corazon. Trey Wood will saddle Viva Mi Corazon from post number three in this heat. While not the breeders of Viva Mi Corazon, Burnett Ranches LLC were recognized as the AQHA Champion Breeders thanks to runners like Grade 1 winner Wicked Courage, who was ridden by Jensen.

A winner of $515,369, Viva Mi Corazon will now face top rivals in thsi trial headed by Rancho El Cabrestoís Chalalita, who also competed in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. The filly ran in the Governorís Cup Futurity as well last year and from six starts she finished second or better in four of those races. Chalalita was most impressive in her Governorís Cup trial, winning that heat by 1 1/2 lengths. Santos Montemayorís Fashion Foose is another one to watch in this trial. The Foose filly ran fourth to Viva Mi Corazon in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity.

Graduates of the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity feature to play a strong role in the Winter Derby trials, as runner-up Dynasty of Habits will join Viva Mi Corazon and Fashion Foose as one of the big names of the night. Owned by Vessels Stallion Farm and trained by Cody Joiner, Dynasty Of Habits was an easy winner in her PCQHRA Breeders trial . Following her second place finish in the futurity, Dynasty Of Habits now makes her first start since that outing when she heads the opening derby trial of the night. Dynasty Of Habits has worked nicely for her return, including a sharp :12.0 drill at 220 yards on January 4. Guerrero and Jonesí Another Storm is one to watch in this trial. The Foose gelding ran second in the Holiday Handicap on December 29 and before that he posted a nose victory in the Markel Stakes on Bank of America Racing Challenge Night. Time For Jesse Lee, whose last two outings have been second place finishes in the Wild West Futurity and Grade 2 John Deere Juvenile Challenge, will also compete in this trial.

Ron and Ronnie Kellerís Unchangeable appears to be the one to beat in the third trial race. The Stel Corona gelding ran second in last yearís Grade 1 Ed Burke Million Futurity, but heíll come into this race after running fourth as the favorite in the Holiday Handicap. Ramon Sanchez will pilot Unchangeable for the second time. Ed Allredís Well And Good, third in the Governorís Cup Futurity and second in an allowance race in his most recent start, and the stakes placed Tres Magicals is among the leading contenders in this race. SS Paydirt is another that figures to be a major player based on his good efforts in the Intermountain region.

Ron Hartleyís Moonist is the big name in the fourth trial. Trained by John Cooper, the gray flash won the Golden State Juvenile Stakes and the Los Alamitos Invitational Stakes last year while also finishing second in the Governorís Cup Futurity. Cesar De Alba will ride him from post three.