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Jess Good Reason heads La Primera Del Ano Derby on Saturday

April 1, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Jess Good Reason sets the fastest time&mdash:400 yards in :19.810—from three trials to the La Primera Del Ano Derby
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Owners John and Cina Sperry did not have a preference when it came to Jess Good Reason's starting spot in the gate for Saturday's Grade 3 $227,100 La Primera Del Ano Derby at Los Alamitos.

“They’re all good slots as long as she gets out in front,” said John Sperry, who has been racing Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos since the early 1980s.

A former California Horse Racing Board member, Sperry would prefer to see a repeat of Jess Good Reason’s start from her trial effort back on March 12.

“All we can hope is the same break as the last time,” he said. “That was the key. She’s lost two races, but they’ve not been by much. Another (few) steps and she would have won those races. We just need her to get a good start.”

Jess Good Reason made easy work of her rivals on the night of the trials. The Oklahoma-bred filly by Good Reason SA broke sharply from post number four and was a half-length in front after the first 50 yards. She was well over a length ahead of the pack 300 yards into the race and ahead by 2 ¼ lengths at the wire. With Roberto Hernandez aboard, Jess Good Reason posted the fastest qualifying time of :19.81 to Saturday’s 400-yard final. She’ll start from post number eight for trainer Paul Jones.

“I talked to Paul and he said she came out of the race perfect and is doing great,” Sperry continued. “She’s right at the top among the best that I’ve had. Stel Corona (currently a top stallion and former track record holder) is still one of the best and I also have Carols Treasure. She won a lot of races. Revv Me Up is another good one that I owned.”

Sperry, 80, won the La Primera with Revv Me Up in 2013 while the Paint Horse mare Carols Treasure won four stakes races against Quarter Horses in 2005 and the Masterpiece Futurity for Paint Horse in 2003.

“I’ve been fortunate to have owned some good ones,” Sperry said. “Jess Good Reason is so promising. She might not win every (stakes) race, but she can make every one of them and be right there.”

Sperry admits that he’s slowing his racing operation.

“I have a 2-year-old this year (the promising Stelfast) and a yearling by PYC Paint Your Wagon,” Sperry said. “I’ve been racing for a long time and it’s been a lot of fun. We’ll see how Jess Good Reason keeps going. We didn’t breed her this year, but maybe in 2017 we’ll take her to Walk Thru Fire and then race her after breeding her. We’ll figure that out as time goes on.”

For now Sperry can enjoy Jess Good Reason, the talented and young racehorse.

“I’m pleased no matter what, but it would be nice to finish out on top,” he added.

Jones will also saddle All American Futurity finalist Crooked Path in the La Primera. Racing for Steve Burns, the filly posted a solid half-length victory in her trial to improve to two wins in four career starts at Los Alamitos. To be ridden by Ramon Sanchez, the homebred filly by Favorite Cartel won her All American trial by two lengths last year and finished a highly respectable sixth in the Grade 1 final. Crooked Path also won her Los Alamitos Winter Derby trial prior to her victory in the La Primera trial.

The field will also feature Hilda Torres’ impressive trial winner First N Final, Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Time For Jess, Wild West Futurity finalist Bo Dash Back, the lightly raced talent Jess Ravin, Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist One Sweet Runaway, plus I Wont Give Up, Miss Special Regard, and Shes A Temptation.