Thirty in Los Al Winter Derby Trials

Talented sophomores line up in Los Alamitos Winter Derby trials.

Press Release
January 24, 2014

Racing for the newly honored champion owners Johnny Trotter and Burnett Ranches LLC and champion jockey Cody Jensen, the major futurity winner Viva Mi Corazon will headline a great set of trials to the $196,600 Los Alamitos Winter Derby (G1) on Saturday at Los Alamitos.

Thirty sophomores will be in action in four trials at 400 yards to the meet’s first major derby. The horses with the 10 fastest times will advance to the Winter Derby final on Saturday, February 15.

Viva Mi Corazon was one of the key performers in Trotter and Burnett’s championship season. The First Down Dash gelding won the $435,000 PCQHRA Breeders Futurity (G2) and was the runner-up in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1). Jensen piloted Viva Mi Corazon in both of those efforts and will pilot the Bob and Jerry Gaston-bred star in the second of four Winter Derby trials. Jensen won his first champion jockey title thanks in part to his exploits aboard Viva Mi Corazon. Trey Wood will saddle Viva Mi Corazon from post No. 3 in this heat. While not the breeders of Viva Mi Corazon, Burnett Ranches LLC were recognized as the champion breeders thanks to runners like multiple-Grade 1 winner Wicked Courage, who was ridden by Jensen.

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A winner of $515,369, Viva Mi Corazon will now face top rivals in this trial headed by Rancho El Cabresto’s Chalalita, who also competed in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. The filly ran in the Governor’s Cup Futurity (RG2) as well last year, and from six starts she finished second or better in four of those races. Chalalita was most impressive in her Governor’s Cup trial, winning that heat by 1 1/2 lengths. Santos Montemayor’s Fashion Foose is another one to watch in this trial. The Foose filly ran fourth to Viva Mi Corazon in the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity.

Graduates of the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity feature to play a strong role in the Winter Derby trials, as runner-up Dynasty Of Habits will join Viva Mi Corazon and Fashion Foose as one of the big names of the night. Owned by Vessels Stallion Farm and trained by Cody Joiner,  Dynasty Of Habits was an easy winner in her PCQHRA Breeders trial . Following her second place finish in the futurity, Dynasty Of Habits now makes her first start since that outing when she heads the opening derby trial of the night. Dynasty Of Habits has worked nicely for her return, including a sharp :12.0 drill at 220 yards on January 4.

Guerrero and Jones’ Another Storm is one to watch in this trial. The Foose gelding ran second in the Holiday Handicap on December 29 and before that he posted a nose victory in the Markel Stakes on Bank of America Racing Challenge night. Time For Jesse Lee, whose last two outings have been second place finishes in the Wild West Futurity and John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship (G2), will also compete in this trial.

Ron and Ronnie Keller’s Unchangeable appears to be the one to beat in the third trial race. The Stel Corona gelding ran second in last year’s Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1), but he’ll come into this race after running fourth as the favorite in the Holiday Handicap. Ramon Sanchez will pilot Unchangeable for the second time. Ed Allred’s Well And Good, third in the Governor’s Cup Futurity and second in an allowance race in his most recent start, and the stakes placed Tres Magicals is among the leading contenders in this race. SS Paydirt is another that figures to be a major player based on his good efforts in the Intermountain region.

Ron Hartley’s Moonist is the big name in the fourth trial. Trained by John Cooper, the gray flash won the Golden State Juvenile Stakes and the Los Alamitos Invitational Stakes last year while also finishing second in the  Governor’s Cup Futurity. Cesar De Alba will ride him from post three.

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