Champions Return at Sunland

All About Larry, PJ Chick In Black return to the races on Friday.
March 7, 2013

Distance champion and track record setter All About Larry will begin to defend his title on Friday when he faces off in the second of two trials for the $50,000-added Red Cell Sunland Park Distance Challenge (G3). A few races later, champion PJ Chick In Black kicks off her 3-year-old campaign in the West Texas Derby (G3) trials.

All About Larry won six of eight starts last season going around the turn to be named distance champion. He culminated his championship season by winning the $125,000 Red Cell Distance Challenge Championship (G1) in track record time at Prairie Meadows in his last start.

John Stinebaugh trains the 6-year-old son of Heza Motor Scooter for Diane Heath. Regular rider L.S. Martinez will be back in the saddle. All About Larry's only off-the-board performance last season was in the Red Cell Sunland Park Distance Challenge (G3) when he finished a tiring fifth.

Las Vegas Ranch bred All About Larry in Arizona from the Shoot Yeah mare Come Hell Or Hiwater. He has won 10 of 21 career starts and earned $158,934. Installed as the morning-line favorite at 1-1, he will start in the second trial (Race 2) from the two position.

Tony Carnes' Valentino de Lao (2-1) will head the first trial for trainer Dick Powell. The Apollo (TB) 5-year-old will make his first start since finishing second, ahead of All About Larry, in the Tricky Dust Handicap at Ruidoso last June. He was disqualified in that race and placed fifth for interference. Ridden by Esgar Ramirez, the gelding has won five of 12 starts at the distance and earned $115,991.

PJ Chick In Black races for Denny Bowen, Susie Taylor and Jack Smith Farms. The Desirio filly last year won five of six starts, including the Ruidoso Futurity (G1) and New Mexico Spring Futurity (RG2). She earned $523,339 and was the sport's champion 2-year-old filly.

Trained by John Stinebaugh and ridden by Esgar Ramirez, the filly will break from Post 1 in the third of seven trials for the West Texas Derby.

First post at Sunland Park Friday is set for 1 p.m. (MST). Sunland Park races can be viewed at Q-Racing Video.