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Staggering Stride heads La Primera Del Ano trials on Saturday at Los Alamitos


March 9, 2017     E-mail this page to a friend!

Abigail Kawananakoa’s Staggering Stride, who finished in the top four when facing open competition in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Derby final in her last start, will now headline a group of 28 fillies in Saturday’s trials to the $220,400 La Primera Del Ano Derby at 400 yards.

A total of four trials will be contested at Los Alamitos with seven fillies entering the gate in each trial. The fillies with the 10 fastest times will return for the La Primera Del Ano final on April 1. Trained by Chris O’Dell, Staggering Stride will be part of the opening derby heat of the night when she takes on a group that includes Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity finalist Jess Mas. Bred by John Andreini, Staggering Stride has come out on top in three of her five starts in stakes trials. She’s also finished fourth or better in all but one of her 10 career starts. Bred by John Andreini, Staggering Stride is a half-sister to the Grade 1 winning champion FDD Dynasty, the sire of current AQHA Word Champion Jessies First Down. Cody Jensen will ride Staggering Strides from post number six in this trial, which is scheduled as the fifth race on the 8-race card on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Oscar Andrade and Steve Burns’ Jess Mas made her owners proud she qualified to the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million after running a solid third in her futurity trial at 7-1 odds. After a game effort in the Two Million final, Jess Mas finished fourth in her Winter Derby trial before returning to score a good allowance win a month ago on February 11. Jesus Rios Ayala, who has piloted Jess Mas to both her career wins, will ride the One Sweet Jess filly from post number four. PCQHRA Breeders Futurity finalist Start Somethin Bad and Governor’s Cup Futurity finalist Smell Perfume are among the other fillies participating in this trial.

Trippys Royal Jess, a stablemate of Staggering Stride, and Ed Allred’s Tough To Figure are among the horses to watch in the second trial. The two met in the Seal Beach Handicap on January 28 with Trippys Royal Jess running second to Ilikethewayshewalks with Tough To Figure finishing third. Kawananakoa’s Trippys Royal Jess won three races last year, while Tough To Figure was second to multiple stakes winner One Proud Eagle in the Holiday Handicap prior to her third place finish in the Seal Beach.

Steve Burns’ Seal Beach winner Ilikethewayshewalks is one of the top choices in the third trial of the night. The Walk Thru Fire filly was bumped at the start of the Seal Beach, but she was just too powerful while holding off Trippys Royal Jess and Tough To Figure in that race. Balgo Racing Team, Inc’s Janes Cartel, the winner of the $30,000 Ed Burke Juvenile Stakes, and Kawananakoa’s A Bit Quirky are among the other top challengers in this trial. The final trial of the evening will feature Kolleen Ledgerwood’s Scholarly, fourth in the Holiday Handicap in her last outing, but the winner of the California Breeders Freshman Stakes for fillies last year. She finished in the top two in six of eight starts last year. Jonathan Roman will ride her for trainer Roberto Dominguez.