Feature Malinche Tops La Pacifica

Tough sophomore fillies fill La Pacifica Handicap

Q-Racing Journal
May 9, 2013

Balgo Racing Team Inc.’s Feature Malinche comes off a very narrow second-place finish in the $200,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) at 43-1 odds to head the La Pacifica Handicap for 3-year-old fillies over 350 yards at Los Alamitos on Saturday night.

Feature Malinche (Feature Mr Jess-A Reason To Run by Mr Eye Opener) surprised in the 400-yard La Primera for sophomore fillies when she got within a nose of winner Revv Me Up. The Guillermo Morales-trained filly was overlooked after winning in her maiden two starts earlier – in her 10th start – and then was third in her La Primera trial.

Trainer Paul Jones sends out three dangerous prospects in the La Pacifica, including two homebreds owned by the late Gianni Samaja.

Samaja’s Joy Roses Eagle SA (One Famous Eagle-Gather The Roses by Mr Eye Opener) won her Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) trial back in November and then returned on March 29 to finish a well-beaten second in the Go Josie Go Handicap. Last year, she was the third-place finisher in the $1,001,000 Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) and then qualified for the $382,000 PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2).

Samaja’s Jewel First Cat SA (First Down Dash-Gottobes Cat by Devon Lane (TB)) faces stronger competition after winning a $12,000 conditioned allowance race on April 13. She won her PCQHRA Futurity trial, but did not qualify for the futurity.

Rounding out the Jones-trained trio is Anna and Rod MacPherson Jr.’s homebred Sassy Cartel (Carters Cartel-Royal Sassy Mary by This Snow Is Royal). She has been successfully climbing the class ladder this year with a win in a $16,000 conditioned claiming race and then winning a starter-allowance race as the even-money choice in her most recent start.