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Volcom wins El Primero Derby


April 17, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Volcom's winning connections
(photo by Los Alamitos Race Course)
Los Alamitos - Trainer Paul Jones saddled the winner of the Grade 2 $129,400 El Primero Del Ano Derby for the fourth straight year thanks to first-time graded stakes winner Volcom Friday, April 14, at Los Alamitos.

With Cody Jensen aboard, who also piloted Dutch Schultz to victory in last year's El Primero, P.K. Thomas' Volcom covered the 400 yards in :19.51 over a wet fast track to break Dutch Schultz’s stakes record by 3/100ths of a second. Owned and bred by John Andreini and Blane Schvaneveldt, Jumpn Chic finished second by a nose. By the way, Andreini also bred Volcom.

Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, Volcom entered this race as the winner of six trials to major stakes finals. However, the son of First Down Dash out of Runaway Vike had never tasted victory with big money on the line. With that in mind, Jones opted on a new approach.

"The main thing was to try and bring him up to this race fresher than he had gone into his previous stakes finals," Jones said. "His feed was the same. We just did a few different things."

Early in the El Primero, Volcom appeared destined to suffer another heart-breaking setback in a stakes final.

"He broke well but he couldn't get a hold of the track," Jones said. "He was slipping and sliding all over the place. After the race I asked Cody if Volcom was having trouble and he said that he couldn't ride him. Cody was trying his best to just keep him together. Jumpn Chic ran a great race. Halfway through this race I thought we were in a fight just to finish second.

"It's nice to see him win because we always knew that he was a good enough horse to win one of these races," Jones added. "We might give him a break now because he has been racing hard all year. He's in a lot of different derbies this year and I'd like to see him be a Champion of Champions horse."

Thomas, a rancher from Weatherford, Texas near the Dallas/Fort Worth area, fell in love with Volcom when he first saw him at the 2004 Schvaneveldt/Andreini Sale.

"Paul helped me pick the horse," said the owner. "I love First Down Dash and he (Volcom) was out of a good Runaway Winner mare. He looked like he could be a good horse and we’ve always known that he had potential.

Thomas has been around horses his entire life.

"I could ride since I could walk," said Thomas. "I been around horses since I could grab ahold of Daddy's belt. I manage the family ranch that's nearly 100 years old. It's all horses and cows to me and I love it. With the horses, I started hauling horses to race in the Colorado fair circuit in the early 1980s. It's been a lot of fun for us."

Thomas has campaigned some high profiled horses of the year. He was part of the syndication that campaigned All American Futurity winner and champion 2-year-old colt Teller Cartel last year, and in 2004 he raced All American Futurity finalist Corona Ease and Los Alamitos Million finalist Lethal Bay.

"Teller Cartel won the All American in the rain so we just don t like rain, we love rain," said Thomas' girlfriend, Kim, in reference to the wet fast track.

By his name alone, Volcom should never have a problem with a wet track.

"My 14-year-old daughter Miranda picked his name," Kim added. "She thinks everything from California is cool and she likes clothing made by the company Volcom, which is famous for making snow wear."

A third place finisher in the Governor s Cup Futurity and fifth place finisher in the Los Alamitos Winter Derby, Volcom earned $54,348 for this victory. The winner of the September 18 Prep Handicap improved to eight wins from 11 starts and career earnings of $139,836.

Jumpn Chic, who was an easy winner in the trials to this race, earned $21,998 for his effort in the El Primero. The son of Chicks Beduino out of the stakes winning mare Imjumpn, Jumpn Chic ran fourth in the Governor s Cup Futurity and fifth in the Golden State Million Futurity last year. He was also third to Wave Carver in the Los Alamitos Million Invitational Stakes. Ridden by Alejandro Luna, Jumpn Chic took his career bankroll to $133,038. He has hit the board in nine of 13 career starts.

Zenaido Rodriguez s First To Bed pocketed $15,528 for running third at 32-1 odds. Guillermo Suarez piloted the son of First Down Dash out of Beds Last Star.

"He was flying right from the start," Suarez said. "I really thought I was going to get my first stakes win with a Quarter Horse tonight. My horse ran his heart out and we just got beat by a couple of nice horses."

The complete order of finish is as follows; Volcom, Jumpn Chic, First To Bed, Furyofthewind, Two Corona Special, Marshals Law, Handsum Beduino, Shalimar Roger, Redwood Creek and Wanta Dubloon.