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Nellie Delaney Tops Los Al Maiden Trials

Quality field of runners set to return for $125,000 final.

February 3, 2013

J. Garvan Kelly and Nancy Yearsley’s Grade 1 finalist Nellie Delaney posted the fastest 350-yard time of the current season on the way to holding off Grade 1 finalist Revv Me Up in the second of five trials to the $125,000 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Ridden by Francisco Rubio for trainer Arnoldo Pulido, Nellie Delaney covered the distance in a sizzling :17.326 while defeating second-fastest qualifier Revv Me Up by three-quarters of a length. Sired by FDD Dynasty out of the Tres Seis mare Fleeting Touch, the homebred filly Nellie Delaney was enjoying her first victory in nine starts. She’ll now lead a solid field of 3-year-olds in the Maiden Stakes final to be held at the Orange County track on February 24. Nellie Delaney had previously finished third in the $75,000 Heritage Place Juvenile Stakes (R) and also competed in the Grade 1 Rainbow Futurity. She finished second to recent Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) finalist Blistering Speed in her trial to the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1), which marked her local debut.

“Nancy and I are breeders first and foremost and we were going to sell her at auction, but we know the value of a horse and when she didn’t go for enough money we took her home,” Kelly said. “Coming into this race she had done everything possible not to break her maiden. She bumped at the start and she finished well to run second in the Two Million trials. Not winning that race kept her eligible to the Maiden Stakes and we’ve been fortunate to win this race before with Royal Proclamation. We would love to win it a second time.”

Nellie Delaney is named in honor of a significant person of Kelly’s childhood in his native Ireland.

“Nellie Delaney was one of three ladies that owned a farm near where I grew up,” he said. “Their farm was a place of refuge for me when I was eight or nine years old. I would go there and help milk their cows. I was a fair-haired boy back then, but now I’m a white haired guy. My people were farmers in Ireland so I grew up around that environment.”

Kelly and Yearsley sold Nellie Delaney’s half-sister named Physical Touch at the 2012 Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale and also her half brother named Symbol Of Freedom at the 2013 Heritage Place Winter Sale.

“He’s a weanling colt sired by One Famous Eagle,” Kelly said. “Physical Touch could be any kind of filly. Fleeting Touch is a very good broodmare. She was a pretty good racehorse as well. I had her here with Joe Bassett and she won her trial to the (2006) Ed Burke Million Futurity. Her mother is Sheeza Lil Val, who has produced some great horses like (Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity winner) Value The Man and (PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity winner) Valiantly.”

Owned by Cina and John Sperry, Revv Me Up, who covered the distance in a time of :17.449, has stakes-winning bloodlines as well. Her mother Revv It Up won the Kindergarten Futurity (G1), while Stel Corona won three stakes races at Los Alamitos headed by the PCQHRA Breeders’ Derby (G2). He is also a former track record holder at 300 yards. Trained by Paul Jones and ridden by Ramon Sanchez, the multiple stakes finalist Revv Me Up is still a maiden in seven starts, but she has finished second in five starts.

“We’re hoping that she can break her maiden in her next outing,” Jones said. “This Maiden race is a very tough race. One could think that these trials are a breeze because it features a lot of maidens, but when you look at it this is a very tough race. A lot of good horses have participated in this race.”

“We operated on her knees after the Ed Burke,” added Sperry, a former member of the California Horse Racing Board. “This is only her second time out since she’s come back. She’s been a lot of fun to own. I also have three 2-year-olds – two of them that I own with Paul – that I’ll race this year.”

Also sired by Stel Corona, Dennie and Kris Hill’s SFR Stuck On You broke her maiden while posting the third-fastest qualifying time of :17.463 in the fourth trial of the night. Ridden by Gregorio Arriaga for trainer Bret Vickery, SFR Stuck On You is a half sister to 2005 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes winner LDS Dash For Dylan.

“She reminds a lot of LDS Dash For Dylan because she’s a gangly filly, kind of like him, and a lot of the horses in this family as they get older they tend to get better. She ran very green in her first couple of workouts,” Vickery said.

Trial winners French Fury, owned by Angel Villalobos and trained by Jaime Gomez, and Mike Abraham’s Required Fire, saddled by Jose Flores, also advanced to the Maiden Stakes final while posting their second victories at Los Alamitos. The Stoli gelding French Fury is now a perfect two-for-two at the track, having scored a maiden win on January 5, while Required Fire is undefeated at Los Alamitos as well after winning his maiden on January 12. Horses are eligible for these trials if they were maidens as of December 1, 2012.

Brad McKinzie and Blane Schvaneveldt Ranch LLC’s Follow The Dream, who ran third to fastest qualifier Nellie Delaney, is out of a broodmare that McKinzie and the legendary Blane Schvaneveldt purchased with a plan in mind.

“We bought this horse’s mother (In Between Dreams) with the hope of winning the inaugural running of the Blane Schvaneveldt Handicap,” said McKinzie. “She went on to win the race for Blane.”

The complete list of qualifiers is as follows: Nellie Delaney (:17.326), Revv Me Up (:17.449), SFR Stuck On You (:17.463), French Fury (:17.527), Required Fire (:17.565), Stel Single (:17.606), Follow The Dream (:17.609), Patriot SR (:17.659), Thrifty (:17.673) and Redd Tailed Hawk (:17.691).