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Press ReleaseMarch 16, 2014
Supplemented to the La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) trials for $9,200, Glitter In My Face made the risk look like a great gamble after posting an easy 2 ¼-length trial victory in her first start in nearly 10 months on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Cruz Mendez for trainer Jose Flores, Glitter In My Face led her return outing from start to finish while improving her record to a perfect four-for-four. Owned by Jose’s father, Antonio Flores, Glitter In My Face was running for the first time since winning the Kindergarten Futurity (G2) on May 19. The filly was scratched in the July trials to the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) and remained on the shelf until Saturday’s third of four trials to the La Primera Del Ano. Sparkling in her return, Glitter In My Face covered the 400 yards in the fastest qualifying time of :19.615. She’ll now lead a tremendous field of fillies in the $223,800 La Primera Del Ano Derby final here on Saturday, April 5.
In addition to Glitter In My Face, Flores also saddled Freakier LLC’s Fiesty Flo and Julio Encinas, Robert Parra and Paul Penuelas’ Sis Is Hot to victories in their respective trials. Fiesty Flo finished as the second-fastest qualifier with a time of :19.631, while Sis Is Hot was the third-fastest qualifier with a :19.652 clocking. Having the top three qualifiers to the La Primera Del Ano Derby represents one of Flores’ best results after a night of trials at Los Alamitos. His best ever probably came in the trials to the 2010 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) when he saddled four out of the five fastest qualifiers including top qualifier Princelike.
A total of 28 fillies competed in the La Primera trials. The list of 10 qualifiers to the final is as follows: Glitter In My Face (:19.615), Fiesty Flo (:19.631), Sis Is Hot (:19.652), Quirky (:19.668), Dynasty Of Habits (:19.689), Chalalita (:19.844), She Forgives (:19.878), Babe On Fire (:19.882) Princess Teller (:19.953), and Composed Charisma (:19.989).
Glitter In My Face’s runaway victory in her comeback after a long layoff impressed Flores.
“I didn’t’ expect this type of a race from her,” he said. “She had been training well, but I didn’t know if she could go 400 yards. She did great and based on that effort I think she can only get better. She looked good out there and she did everything easy. Paying the $9,200 supplemental fee looks like a good bet now, but a lot of things could have gone wrong. But fortunately things worked out and hopefully she can do well in the final.”
Flores also had high hopes for Glitter In My Face going into last year’s trials to the Governor’s Cup Futurity. The filly was undefeated after three starts and she had just won the Kindergarten by a half-length.
“We found out that she had a protein deficiency and we had to scratch out of the Governor’s Cup trials,” he said. “It was a tough night, but we gave her time to rest and she had a spectacular race here.”
Fiesty Flo and Sis Is Hot were bright spots for the Flores barn after they both enjoyed victories in their sophomore debuts.
“I’m very happy for the owners of Fiesty Flo because she had a tough go last year,” Flores said. “She had the 11th-fastest time to the Kinderdarten Futurity and the 12th-fastest time to the Ed Burke Million Futurity. We just kept missing the finals with her. She’s a good filly and I think she’s going to have a good sophomore season. She goes to work everytime she runs.”
Ridden by Santiago Mendez, Fiesty Flo won her trial by a half-length over Los Alamitos Winter Derby finalist and PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2) runner-up Dynasty Of Habits. Last year, the daughter of TR Dasher ran second in the Los Alamitos Two Million Juvenile Invitational (R) and also raced in the Ed Burke Memorial Juvenile Stakes (R). This is the first time that she has posted a top 10 qualifying time. She has finished second or better in seven of nine career starts.
With Cruz Mendez in the saddle, Sis Is Hot held off Ed Allred’s Quirky by a head to post her third win in eight starts. An Allred-bred, Sis Is Hot was making her first start since running in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) last season.
“She’ll keep getting better and better as she matures more,” said Flores, who’ll be looking for his first La Primera win of his career. “She had to work to win this race, but Quirky is a very good filly and she had to work hard as well. All three came back great after taking time off and they all ran pretty good. Freshening them up really helped them a lot.”
Cruz Mendez was pleased with the way his two trial-winning mounts performed.
“Glitter In My Face broke in a little bit, but she came back flying and got stronger and stronger during the race,” he said. “Sis Is Hot felt really good. She broke fast, but she got a little tired at the end. I think she needed this race and she’ll come back pretty strong for the final.”
Dutch Masters III’s She Forgives won the opening trial of the night by a half-length over San Gregorio Racing Stable Inc. and World Champion Racing Stables’ Princess Teller. Second in the Kindergarten Futurity and most recently the winner of the Holiday Handicap on December 29, She Forgives was picking up her fifth victory in 10 career starts. Cesar De Alba piloted the Foose filly from post number seven. She Forgives’ mother is Forgive Him, the winner of the La Primera final in 2008. She Forgives is trained by Jaime Gomez, who will be looking for his first victory in this race.
“I was worried because she had never started from the outside post before, but she handled it well,” Gomez said. “She’s matured a lot. We freshened her up for this race and I think she’s going to have a nice 3-year-old season. She’s been a nice filly her entire career. We have three weeks to get ready for the final and I think she’ll do well.”
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