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Stablemates headline El Primero Del Ano Derby on Sunday

April 2, 2016     E-mail this page to a friend!

Mi Viejo sets the fastest time—400 yards in .19.831—from three trials to the El Primero Del Ano Derby
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Joaquin Vega of Rancho El Alacran named the homebred Mi Viejo in honor of his grandfather, who was turning 100-years-old on the day that the colt by Mr Jess Perry was born.

“They all referred to their grandfather as Mi Viejo (My Old One),” said trainer Adriana Aceves.

A few hours later the Rancho El Alacran-owned and bred colt El Compa JV was born. His name which means ‘My Compadre’ was born. It was a case of two talented colts born just a few hours apart and now together again in the running of Sunday’s Grade 3, $210,000 El Primero Del Ano Derby final at Los Alamitos Race Course.

Aceves saddled both Mexico-bred colts to impressive 400-yard trials wins on March 13. Mi Viejo, previously a finalist to the Golden State Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, posted the fastest qualifying time to the El Primero of :19.83 thanks to strong finish and a half-length trial win. Aceves’ husband, Rodrigo Aceves, will ride Mi Viejo from post number six. El Compa JV was just as impressive in his trial win, a 1 1/4 length victory that netted him the second fastest qualifying time of :19.85. The Mr Jess Perry colt will start from post number eight with Joe Badilla Jr. aboard.

Mi Viejo and El Compa JV are very closely related in breeding. Mi Viejo is out of the Thoroughbred mare Lady Of Lake, while El Compa JV’s mother is My Lady First, which is a daughter of Lady Of Lake.

Aceves will also saddle the First Down Dash gelding Eternity, which posted a hard-fought nose win in the trials at 32-1 odds. The trial effort was Eternity’s maiden victory. Rodrigo Vallejo, currently the nation’s leading Quarter Horse jockey in money earned with $786,461 will ride Eternity from post number five. Vallejo is also the nation’s second leading Quarter Horse jockey in races won with 37.

Ron Hartley is hoping that his dream season continues. Having already won the Los Alamitos Winter Championship with top ranked Quarter Horse Moonist and the Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes with My Favorite Check, Hartley is hoping that My Favorite Check delivers again in the El Primero. The gelding by Favorite Cartel finished second to Mi Viejo in the trials and was the third fastest qualifier to the final. John Cooper will saddle the Hartley-bred runner from post number four with Tony Guymon up.

Howard Nichols’ We Like Corona is another of the top contender in this event. The Corona Cartel gelding has won trials and qualified to big races in the past - the Ed Burke Million Futurity and Los Alamitos Two Million - and in both occasions he finished in fourth place. He’ll be looking to improve on that result when he starts from post two in his first derby of the year. Trained by Jose Flores, We Like Corona will be ridden by Cruz Mendez.

The field will also include Salvador Pimienta’s Golden State Million Futurity finalist El Karma and Los Alamitos Winter Derby fastest qualifier Rite Regal. Winter Derby finalist Chicks Fayvorite, Dom Perry Own, and Over Limits will complete the field.