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La Primera tonight, El Primero Sunday

April 5, 2014     E-mail this page to a friend!

Dimes And Nicks sets the fastest qualifying time—400 yards in :19.608—from three trials held on March 16
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)

La Primera Del Ano Derby Derby

Freakier LLC's Fiesty Flo, who was razor sharp with a half-length victory in her last start, and Holiday Handicap winner She Forgives are among the leading sprinters headlining the Grade 3 $223,800 La Primera Del Ano Derby Derby. The La Primera is scheduled as the eighth race on tonight’s (April 5) card with a 9:15 p.m. approximate post.

Fiesty Flo posted her impressive aforementioned victory while winning a trial to the La Primera on March 15. The daughter of TR Dasher out of Sables Bono is one of two big time contenders for trainer Jose Flores racing in the La Primera. Flores also saddles Julio Encinas, Robert Parra and Paul Penuelas' Sis Is Hot in the 400-yard derby. The royally bred Sis Is Hot, who is from the family of stakes winners Hard Hitting, Hot Hitter and Lassen County, won her derby trial by a head and before that competed in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on December 15.

The two fillies bookend the 10-horse field in the La Primera. With leading rider Cruz Mendez aboard, Sis Is Hot starts from post #1 in search of her fourth win in nine career starts, while Fiesty Flo has drawn the outside post 10. Cruz's brother, Santiago Mendez, pilots Fiesty Flo. Two races ago, Fiesty Flo finished second in the $35,000 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational to Moonist, who is one of the favorites to win Sunday's El Primero final.

Racing for owner Ed Allred, Forgive Him won the 2008 running of the La Primera. The mare now has her daughter, She Forgives, looking to duplicate her La Primera accomplishment. A winner in five of her first 10 outings, Forgive Him comes in riding a two-race win-streak. The Foose filly was second in last year’s Kindergarten Futurity and also raced in the Ed Burke Million and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity. Cesar De Alba is named up.

The field also features Vessels Stallion Farm LLC’s Dynasty Of Habits, a highly accomplished filly now looking to give Vessels its third La Primera victory. The famous Quarter Horse racing operation won the La Primera with Better Bet On Me in 1996 and Pretty Sensation in 1994. Cody Joiner saddles Dynasty Of Habits from post three with Raul Valenzuela aboard. Dynasty Of Habits finished second in last year’s PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and ran in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby on March 15.

Ed Allred’s Quirky has only made five previous career starts, the lowest amount among the horses in this field. The lightly raced filly finished fifth in last year’s Ed Burke Million and has finished in the money in four of her career starts. James Glenn, Jr. saddles the daughter of Stel Corona.

Rancho El Cabresto’s Chalalita ran in the rich Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last season and joined Dynasty Of Habits in the Winter Derby field. Chalalita needs to leave the gate quickly in order to best challenge the quick breaking fillies like Fiesty Flo and She Forgives in this race. Eduardo Nicasio is aboard Chalalita for trainer Juan Aleman. Paul Jones saddles Ed Burke Million Futurity finalist Composed Charisma for owner Pedro Barbizan Santiago Leite. Sired by First Down Dash, Composed Charisma will be ridden by Ramon Sanchez, who teamed up with Jones to win last year's La Primera with Revv Me Up. Composed Charisma finished third to She Forgives on trial night. He’ll also saddle his filly Brighterthanthesun, which he campaigns in partnership with Brian Guley. The maiden filly earned a berth to the La Primera after Glitter In My Face was not entered in the La Primera. Steve Burns’ Babe On Fire, who is the only other maiden in this race, completes the field. She was fourth to Sis Is Hot in her La Primera trial.

El Primero Del Ano Derby

John Cooper has a great chance to saddle the third El Primero Del Ano Derby winner of his career when he sends out the dashing gray sprinter Moonist against nine closely matched Quarter Horses in Sunday’s (April 6) 400-yard feature at Los Alamitos. The Grade 3 $202,100 El Primero is scheduled as the final race on the eight race card at the Orange County oval on Sunday. First pos time is 5 p.m.

Cooper, the track’s fourth all-time leading Quarter Horse trainer with 1,312 wins, first won the El Primero 32 years ago with Aladuino in 1983. He added a second victory with the popular runner Chingaderos in 1986. Moonist now gives him a great chance to make it a trifecta of victories in the spring’s first major event for sophomore Quarter Horses of the season.

“Moonist is a good one, but I still think he can do better,” Cooper said. “He’s a sound horse and he just keeps running good races.”

Owned by Ron Hartley, Moonist was second in last year’s Governor’s Cup Futurity and raced in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby earlier this season. His two biggest victories came in the Los Alamitos Invitational Stakes and Golden State Invitational Stakes, two races that serve as consolation for million dollar futurities at Los Alamitos. He posted the second fastest qualifying time to this derby on trial night three weeks ago. Cesar De Alba rides the Separatist gelding from post #6.

The fastest qualifying time of the night belonged to the Danny Montes-trained Dimes And Nicks. The Azoom gelding out of the champion millionaire Corona Cash won the trial in wire-to-wire fashion with Raul Valenzuela aboard. Owned by World Champion Racing Stables LLC, Dimes And Nicks had a solid freshman year after posting runner-up efforts in his trial races to the Golden State Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. His second place finish in Golden State Million trial came against eventual 2013 champion 2-year-old colt Five Bar Cartel. Dimes And Nicks starts from post #2 on Sunday.

Montes also saddles Dimes And Nicks’ stablemate, Dont Walk Peacefully, who broke his maiden at 10-to-1 odds while making only his second career start. A Walk Thru Fire colt from the family of World Champion Be A Bono, Dont Walk Peacefully starts from post #4 with Santiago Mendez in the irons.

Trainer Paul Jones looks to tie the record for number of El Primero wins when he saddles Martha Wells’ Inpursuit and Pedro Barbizan Santiago Leite’s Dashin Dreams in this race. Jones is aiming for his sixth victory in this stakes, which would tie him with the legendary trainer Blane Schvaneveldt for the El Primero record. Jones won four consecutive runnings of this race from 2003 through 2006.

Owned by Spackman Racing and Lin Melton, Smithy was third to the outstanding Viva Mi Corazon in last year’s PCQHRA Breeders Futurity and most recently hit the board when facing Dimes And Nicks in the trials to this race. Always in the thick of things, Smithy’s last victory came over a field that included La Primera Del Ano Derby finalist Fiesty Flo last year.

Ed Allred is represented by the duo of Yacht Clubber and Fire Cliff. Both trained by Scott Willoughby, Allred goes after his first El Primero victory since Dreaming Sweet won the 2008 running of this event. Stel Just Me, who was impressive when scoring an allowance earlier this year for Roberto Dominguez and Kolleen Ledgerwood, and trial runner-up Fire Shakin completes the field.

First race of the meeting for 2YOs also on Sunday

Raise A Secret, one of the great broodmare sires of all-time, passed away earlier this week, but his legacy will be on display when Mystery Man competes in the meet’s first race for 2-year-olds at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

Six babies faces starter John Baker in the seventh race at 300 yards headed by Mystery Man. He is out of the Raise A Secret mare Intriguer, whose family includes several national champions. Ed Allred, the sport’s all-time leading owner and breeder, owned Raise A Secret and stood this major stakes winner at his Rolling A Ranch during his years as one of California’s leading sires. Intriguer, meanwhile, won two races during her racing career, and her mother is the blue-hen mare Oh La Proud. She is the mother of three AQHA champions in Hawkinson, Hawkish and Flame N Flash. Mystery Man is the son of TR Dasher and enters this race after sixth fastest of 50 workouts on March 25. His 220-yard workout time that morning was :12.20.

The bullet work on March 25 belonged to Angel Perez’s Kishme, who drilled 220 yards in :12.10. Roberto Hernandez rides the Allred-bred Hawkish gelding for trainer Sergio Fiscal. Allred is also the breeder of Urgency and Untertaker in this race. Trained by Scott Willoughby, Urgency posted the second fastest of 20 drills with a time of :12.20 on March 20. Allred’s Beginning Again and Anna and Rod MacPherson’s Jazzy Kid round out the field.