Deniro Fastest to Winter Derby

Deniro is fastest qualifer to Los Alamitos Winter Derby.

February 17, 2012

Shane O’Leary’s Deniro looks to reinforce his surprising and impressive trial victory when he starts as the fastest qualifier to the $197,000 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) at Los Alamitos on Saturday, February 18.

A winner of just two minor races from six starts in the Northwest last year, Deniro (Desirio-Priscilla Ione by Mr Eye Opener) made a sensational Los Alamitos debut in his Winter Derby trial for trainer Ugo De La Torre. The long-striding gelding cleared the field and then easily raced to a length victory in the last of four trials. He was timed in :19.518 for the 400 yards.

The trial score was his third win from seven starts. He has a second in the $33,000 Firecracker Futurity at Grants Pass, Oregon, and a fourth in the far West Futurity at Portland Meadows.

LJM Ranch’s Long Gone (TR Dasher-Departing by Raise A Secret) has won his latest two starts for trainer Felipe Quintero and has solid stakes experience at Los Alamitos. He won his Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1) trial as the 7-10 favorite, but did not qualify for the futurity. He returned to win his Winter Derby trial by a neck with the fourth-fastest time of :19.845. Long Gone finished first in last summer’s Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) and was then disqualified for interference and placed ninth. He then raced to a second-place finish in the PCQHRA Breeders’ Futurity (G2) and was fifth in the Golden State Million Futurity (G1).

Dr. Ed Allred’s homebred Check My Thoughts (Check Him Out-Just Think by Pritzi Dash) has finished on the board in each of his seven starts for trainer James Glenn and faces his strongest competition in the Winter Derby. He won the Golden State Juvenile (R) in October before finishing second behind Kobe in the Holiday Handicap and second behind Deniro in their Winter Derby trial. He is the second-fastest qualifier to the Winter Derby, with a :19.681 time.

Mark and Mary Parsonses’ homebred Kobe (Mr Eye Opener-Rubiate by Red (TB)) looks to get back on the winning track after finishing a neck behind Long Gone in their trial. The Paul Jones-trained Kobe won three straight races, highlighted by the Holiday Handicap, before his trial setback as the 13-10 favorite.