It took Revv Me Up nine starts to break her maiden, but only one more outing to become a stakes winner after winning the $200,000 La Primera Del Ano Derby for fillies on Saturday at Los Alamitos.
Owned by John and Cina Sperry, Revv Me Up broke her maiden in the trials to the La Primera on March 16 when posting the fastest qualifying time to this Grade 3 derby. With jockey Ramon Sanchez aboard, Revv Me Up picked up her second straight victory after scoring a nose victory in the La Primera final over the gritty 43-1 longshot Feature Malinche. Trained by Paul Jones, the even money favorite Revv Me Up left the gate from post number two in the final and right away hooked up with the quick Feature Malinche, who was starting from along the rail. The two fillies dueled from there with Revv Me Up moving past the daughter of Feature Mr Jess in the final 50 yards. Revv Me Up covered the 400 yards in a time of :19.715.
Revv Me Up’s win gave Sperry the opportunity to do something that had eluded him for more than two decades. “I’ve been waiting 20 years to wear this cowboy hat for a stakes race,” said the long time owner. “I had a chance when Stel Corona won the (2003 PCQHRA Breeders Derby), but I forgot to bring it to the track on that night. It’s been sitting in my closet ever since, just waiting for a night like this. This is a thrill of a lifetime.”
In Revv Me Up’s first eight starts, the daughter of the aforementioned Stel Corona was the runner-up a total of six times, including a second place finish in the $125,000 Los Alamitos Maiden Stakes. It’s been win-win in her last two starts.
“She has been getting better and better,” Sperry added. “I think she just needed to learn how to win a race. There was one race that she ended up second because she didn’t see the outside horse going past her. We operated on her knees last year and that’s why she didn’t run in the Golden State Million Futurity trials or Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity trials. Waiting on her has paid off. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had some good ones, like Stel Corona, over the years. It’s a thrill to win with one of his daughters.”
Revv Me Up earned $84,000 for the win to take her career earnings to $150,782. She’s two for 10 in her career.
“She really impressed me in the trials,” Jones said. “She’s learning how to do it and her last four starts have been really good. Ramon had to go to the whip in order for her to go by the number one horse. We had a clean break and a clean trip. It’s great to win this for John Sperry. I did a foal share with Glenn Collins to breed this filly and we raised her at the ranch. I trained her father and also her mother (Kindergarten Futurity winner Revv It Up). It makes it special when you are so involved on a horse.”
“It was a very even race until the very end,” added Ramon Sanchez, who also piloted her in the trials.” “We finished nicely.”
Balgo Racing Team’s Feature Malinche earned $34,000 for her runner-up effort. Ridden by Santiago Mendez for trainer Guillermo Morales, the filly was the longest shot on the board.
“I was hoping for the wire to get there,” Morales said. “She flew out of the gate. I had a feeling that she could hit the board because she stumbled in the trials, but still ran a good race to make it to this final. I like her going 400 yards and I think she’ll get better as she gets older. She only broke her maiden a couple of races ago (on February 15). She ran a good second in the Golden State Million trials last year. I was happy because I was bragging about her before those trials and she looked impressive. She used to be a little grouchy, but I think she’s more focused and professional now.”
Gustavo De La Torre’s Lavish Susan, who ran in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last year, posted a solid third place finish with jockey Eduardo Nicasio aboard. Saddled by Jose De La Torre, Lavish Susan earned $24,000 for the show. Ronald Hartley’s Forgotten Dynasty earned $14,000 for running fourth for trainer John Cooper and jockey Alex Bautista. Governor’s Cup Futurity winner Secretly Hot was fifth and was followed across the wire by Tiny Taz, Miss Behaving, Fireworks and Slightys Mac A Tac. Without Fault was scratched.