March 15, 2012
One of the best set of trials in recent years to the $214,300 La Primera Del Ano Derby (G3) will take place on Saturday at Los Alamitos. The list of trial hopefuls will be headed by Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) third-place finisher Last To Check Him and Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) finalist Flame N Flash. Other top runners in action include Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1) finalist Sex On Fire, Kindergarten Futurity (G1) finalist This Boogie Fires and PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2) finalist Natalie Dash.
All eyes will be on Last To Check Him in the opening trial, as the Check Him Out filly looked tremendous when outdueling This Boogie Fires when posting a 1/2 length victory in their Two Million trial on November 20. The steady brown filly came back to run a great race at 12-1 odds to finish third in the richest race ever held at Los Alamitos Race Course. Her third place finish in the Two Million earned the filly $258,276. Adrian Loza will ride the Ugo De La Torre trainee, who is owned by Ugo’s brothers, Jose and Gustavo. This will be her first start since the Two Million.
This trial will also feature the sharp Mexican-bred filly Natalie Dash, who won her Breeders Futurity trial, and second in her Two Million trial. In her only start of this season, she finished third in a Winter Derby trial on January 28. Jeryl Hartley and John Firth’s Chickitita, who ran a nice third in the Huntington Beach Handicap is also good enough to upset here.
The only stakes winner in the second trial is Brenda and Harvey Pickens’ A First Down Snow, who won the Dixie Futurity in Utah last year. The First Down Dash gray filly then traveled to Los Alamitos to run in the John Deere California Juvenile Challenge and the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year.
This Boogie Fire and Miss Lily Rose are among the top fillies to watch in this trial. Racing for Mike Abraham and Carlos Lopez, This Boogie Fires finished third to champion Separate Fire in the Kindergarten Futurity in May and did not return to action until her Two Million trial. After running second to Last To Check Him in that race she was a disappointing fifth as the even money favorite in the Huntington Beach Handicap. Miss Lily Rose comes from the same barn as Last To Check Him and the De La Torre brothers are high on her after watching her run a solid race against the tough boys Long Gone and Kobe in a Winter Derby trial on January 28.
The final La Primera trial is the most wide open of the night, as Robert Williams’ Flame N Flash can look great at times and could have done better than finishing fourth in the Winter Derby with a better start.
FF Racing Stable’s Sex On Fire has been consistent of late and the De La Torre’s Zoomdasher was an allowance winner last year and finished third against Long Gone and eventual Golden State Million Futurity winner Igotyourtac in the trials to the Golden State Million.
OH LA TRAFFIC HEADS PICK SIX CARRYOVER CARD
Stan Young’s Oh La Traffic will shoot for her first victory since winning back-to-back stakes races in the fall of 2010 when she headlines Friday’s $13,200 allowance feature at Los Alamitos. The 330-yard sprint is one of the key races in Friday’s Pick 6 sequence which is boosted by a nice $9,574 carryover. The Pick 6 will get underway in the evening’s fourth race.
Bred by EG High Desert Farms, Oh La Traffic won the first ever Wild West Futurity and then cruised to a 1 1/4 length victory in the Corona Chick Handicap. Trained by Bret Vickery, Oh La Traffic qualified to the PCQHRA Breeders Derby and then finished fourth in the John Deere Stakes on Bank of America Racing Challenge Night, but winning a race proved to be an elusive task for her in seven starts in 2011. Oh La Traffic can fly out of the gate and the fact that she’s facing four other mares is to her favor. Most of her races last year came against male horses. Francisco Rubio will ride Oh La Traffic from Post 3.
Vessels Stallion Farm LLC’s Sheza Fast Habit also took part in last year’s Breeders Derby and she finished ahead of Oh La Traffic in the process. The Francisco Ramirez-trainee ran third at odds of 35-1, but she comes into this race after two straight seventh place finishes. She’s not the quickest horse leaving the gate, but she has the ability to deliver powerful finishes like in her winning derby trial to the Breeders. Rodrigo Aceves will ride.
Ruths Chris, who scored back-to-back allowance wins late last season, La Primera Del Ano Derby finalist Perrier Cartel and Groupie will also race.
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