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Favorite Cartel gelding Rite Regal has fastest time to Grade 1 Winter Derby

January 24, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Rite Regal sets the fastest time—400 yards in :19.863—from five trials to the Los Alamitos Winter Derby
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Urschel 3-D Ranch LLC’s Rite Regal won his trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity in November, but missed qualifying to California’s richest horse race of 2015 by less than 5/100ths of a second. The gelding by Favorite Cartel made sure that bubble times and 100ths of a second did not come into play for him in the trials to the Grade 1 $215,250 Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday night, January 23, as the sorrel gelding posted the fastest qualifying time of :19.863 while holding off the talented Jess Good Reason by a neck.

Ridden by Santiago Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, Rite Regal broke a tad slow, but quickly picked up speed to take the lead. He had a half-length advantage at the midway point of the race, but needed a strong finish to hold off John and Cina Sperry’s previously unbeaten filly Jess Good Reason. Rite Regal finished the top time among the 38 runners that competed the five trials on Saturday, while Jess Good Reason finished with the second fastest time of :19.895. The two will now make their debuts in a Grade 1 final when they headline the Los Alamitos Winter Derby on Saturday, February 13.

“(Rite Regal) drifted in a little bit towards the end,” Flores said. “We still have to work on him a little bit to get him to run a little straighter. He’ll really roll then. His missed (qualifying to) the Two Million, but we were hoping he would give us this kind of race coming back. He’s on the right track.”

Bred by Steve Burns, Rite Regal improved his record to four wins in six career starts. His only non-winning efforts have been a second place finish in his career debut back in a futurity trial at Remington Park on May 11, 2015 and a fifth place finish in the $30,000 Los Alamitos Juvenile Invitational.

Trained by Paul Jones, Jess Good Reason proved that she is ready for the big time with her strong finish in the opening trial of the evening. Bred by Preston and Karen Cloud and ridden by Roberto Hernandez, the filly by Good Reason SA was sixth at the start of this trial, but she moved up with each stride and was flying in the final yards. The Oklahoma-bred had to wait until November 1 of last year to make her career debut, but she quickly picked up three victories in as many starts. She came into this race after winning the Holiday Handicap by a nose after a troubled start.

Oscar Andrade and Steve Burns’ Uno Corona Mas finished in a dead-heat for first with Parsons Family Limited Partnership’s homebred Dynasty Energy in the third trial of the night. Their winning times of :19.923 tied them for the third fastest qualifying time.

“(Uno Corona Mas) still didn’t break as fast as I would have liked and like I know he can,” said trainer and breeder Elena Andrade. “The last two races he’s had some fumbles. He either breaks too hard and the last time he fell down. He still has a lot of run in him and tried really hard. He still does not have that many races compared to the rest of them. He’s still maturing and he’s still a colt. He needed this race really bad Every time he’s gotten in a trial he always gets in the hardest trial,” Andrade added. “That is where you want to be, against those kind of horses that will push him. He still needs a little more experience.”

With Jesus Rios Ayala aboard, the colt by One Sweet Jess was picking up his second win while making his fifth career start.

Trained by Chris O’Dell, Dynasty Energy continued his terrific form with a solid effort in the Winter Derby trials. The FDD Dynasty gelding came into this race after running third in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. He has finished third or better in all eight of his career starts. O’Dell admits that he has to pay attention to Dynasty Energy’s feet quite a bit.

“I had to pay a lot of attention to (champion) Catchmeinyourdreams’ feet when he was racing,” O’Dell said. “Dynasty Energy’s feet are not quite like that, but they do take a while to grow out.”

At some point from the time Dynasty Energy left the walking ring prior to the post parade to the time that entered the winner’s circle after the race, he lost one of his shoes.

“I know he doesn’t have it on now,” O’Dell said after the race. “(Jockey Tony Guymon) said he felt him slip a little after the second jump so he probably ran all the way with only three shoes.”

Paul Jones and Thompson Racing Inc’s Senor Gianni, seventh in the Los Alamitos Two Million in his previous start, qualified to his third major stakes race after posting the fifth fastest time of :19.990 when winning the second trial of the evening. It was the Good Reason SA’s fourth win in 10 career starts. Oscar Peinado piloted the homebred gelding.

“He has been freshened up since he ran in the Two Million,” said co-owner Terry Thompson. “He started getting tired at the end. He broke tonight and that’s nice to see. Oscar hand rode him the rest of the way.”

Rosenthal Ranch LLC’s Fire At Will is a pro at qualifying to stakes races. Also by Favorite Cartel, Fire At Will posted the sixth fastest time of :19.991 to advance to his fourth major stakes at Los Alamitos. He qualified to the Governor’s Cup Futurity, PCQHRA Breeders Futurity, and Golden State Million Futurity during his 2-year-old campaign. With Guymon aboard and O’Dell doing the saddling, the Allred-bred sprinter finished third in the opening trial top qualifiers Rite Regal and Jess Good Reason.

The stallion Favorite Cartel enjoyed a great Winter Derby trials night. In addition to Rite Regal and Fire At Will, Favorite Cartel also sired two other qualifiers in Martha Wells’ Chicks Fayvorite and Jesus Nava’s Luv On The Run. Chicks Fayvorite ran third to Uno Corona Mas and Dynasty Energy in their trials, while finishing with the seventh fastest time of :20.026 for trainer Paul Jones. Luv On The Run won the fourth trial by a head over 10th fastest qualifier El Compa JV in a time of :20.041. Third in the Holiday Handicap in his last start, Luv On The Run relied on his usual strong finishing kick to post his sixth win in 11 starts. Among the 38 horses that competed in the Winter Derby trials, no horse has won more races that Luv On The Run. Jose Nicasio piloted him from post number one.

“He’s just a big hearted horse,” said trainer Sergio Fiscal. “We had lots of fun in 2015 and here we go once again with him. He looks like he wants to go the distance. He had bad luck in the trials to the Golden State Million and Los Alamitos Two Million. He looks like the real man now. He grew up a little bit. This horse has been lots of fun. He’s just a game horse and never gives up.”

Janet McKinnerney’s Jess A Pollitician, fifth in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, qualified with the ninth fastest time, while Rancho El Alacran, Inc’s El Compa JV earned the final berth while ridden by Rodrigo Aceves in his comeback night after being sidelined for over two months following surgery to have a plate inserted in his shoulder. Aceves has now ridden El Compa JV is stakes trials three times and they’ve finished in the money in each outing.

The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Rite Regal (:19.863), Jess Good Reason (:19.895), Uno Corona Mas (:19.923), Dynasty Energy (:19.923), Senor Gianni (:19.990), Fire At Will (:19.991), Chicks Fayvorite (:20.026), Luv On The Run (:20.041), Jess A Pollitician (:20.054), and El Compa JV (:20.062).