Perrier Cartel Reigns in Miss Princess

Corona Cartel mare wins fitting race for owner Abigail Kawananakoa.

May 14, 2012

A real live princess won the Miss Princess Handicap (G3) on Sunday at Los Alamitos. Perrier Cartel, who is owned by Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, broke nicely from post eight and was never challenged from there en route to a strong half-length victory over Classic Sassy Check in the $35,000 feature event of the evening. Trained by Lin Melton and ridden by Eduardo Nicasio, the daughter of Corona Cartel covered the 350 yards in a time of :17.566.

Kawananakoa is a descendent of Hawaiian royalty. She is the great grandniece of King David Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani and the granddaughter of Prince David Laamea Kahalepouli Piikoi surnamed Kawananakoa and Princess Abigail Wahiikaahuula Campbell Kawananakoa. This is the second time that Kawananakoa has won the Miss Princess Handicap. She won it for the first time in 2000 when Eddie Garcia piloted the Paul Jones-trained Showmethedash.

It has been a good past couple of weeks for Kawananakoa’s racing operation. Her talented 2-year-olds Deepintheheartoftexas and Native Tea Rose both looked impressive in winning their debuts for trainer Cody Joiner at the Orange County track, and Perrier Cartel has now delivered the race of her life to conquer the Miss Princess. Bred by her owner, the 4-year-old Washington-bred has now won back-to-back starts while improving her record to five wins in 18 career outings. She earned $19,250 in the Miss Princess to take her lifetime earnings to $65,985.

“This mare has been outstanding now for the past four to five months,” Melton said. “She’s matured and she’s starting to leave the gate better. She’s at her best at the end of races. She can really finish strongly. It’s going to be fun now figuring out her next race. I think we’ll find another stakes race for her.”

The $25,000 Ivan Ashment for fillies and mares at 400 yards on Saturday, June 9, could be a possibility for Perrier Cartel.

“Eduardo Nicasio and this mare have really done well together,” Melton added. “Nicasio fits her nicely. He doesn’t rush her out of there and instead he lets her find her stride.”

Nicasio and Perrier Cartel have now won three races in a row when they’ve been together. Their previous two victories came in allowance races on January 7 and then on March 16. In four starts this year, Perrier Cartel has been second or better in all four starts.

Jose Uranga’s Classic Sassy Check earned $7,875 for running second in her first start in a non-claiming race. The Check Him Out mare came into this race in top form after winning her three previous starts. Her first win in that streak was a maiden $2,500 claiming race, followed by a head victory against $4,000 conditioned claimers and then a three-quarter length win against $3,200 claimers. Uranga claimed her out of that race before stepping her up for the Miss Princess. Leading rider Cruz Mendez piloted her for trainer Jose Moreno.

Anaheim Handicap winner Jess So Sixy, 2010 champion 2-year-old filly Flying Fig, Royally Sandra, Breanna Moon, Oh La Traffic and Sheza Fast Habit completed the field.

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EG High Desert Farms’ 2-year-old colt Flat Out Swingin won his racing debut at 34-1 odds in Sunday’s fourth race at Los Alamitos. The colt by Swingin Jess was third at the start, but flew in the final 100 yards to win by a nose over Finding Tiny Sum. He covered the 300-yard distance in :15.821.