Making his first start in Southern California since finishing fourth to Matabari in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, Seperate Interest posted an impressive victory in the $25,000 Town Policy Handicap which also included the local debut of All American Derby winner Feature Hero on Friday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Eduardo Nicasio for the Estate of Kim Kessinger, Seperate Interest covered the 400 yards in :19.786 while earning $13,750 for his first ever stakes win. Trained by Mike Casselman, the Separatist colt was also enjoying his fourth win in 10 career starts. His record is also highlighted by running second to World Champion One Dashing Eagle in last year’s Golden State Million Futurity. Bred by the Eaves Horses Family Limited Partnership, Seperate Interest raced at Ruidoso Downs this year before making his way to Orange County. While in New Mexico, the Texas-bred runner ran fourth in a trial to the Rainbow Derby before posting a solid half-length victory in a trial to the All American Derby.
“He faced some nice in the derby trials and he was unlucky not to qualify to the All American Derby,” Casselman said. “He had the 11th fastest qualifying time in a trial that had a head wind. We think he’s one of the best horses in the nation.”
Kim’s wife, Lila Kessinger, was in the winner’s circle to accept the trophy following the Town Policy.
“Seperate Interest is a special horse and he has a very special owner,” Casselman said.
“With an angel watching over him,” added Lila referring to her husband, the late Kim Kessinger.
Seperate Interest crossed the wire a neck ahead of Golden State Derby runner-up Jess Being Valiant. Feature Hero, who is being pointed to this year’s $750,000 Champion of Champions, finished third. The connections of Seperate Interest are hopeful that their charge will be part of the Champion of Champions field as well.
“We have some decisions to make,” Casselman said. “We might run him in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials to get him in the Champion of Champions. After his All American trial we brought him back here, but he got dinged up coming back. We thought about the Go Man Go, but he needed a little more time after arriving here. (Nicasio) said that they had him beat at the gap tonight, but then he took off. Eduardo really likes him at the 440-yard distance. We like him a lot as well. He’s just a nice horse to be around.”
Seperate Interest is a full brother to the champion and All American Derby and Rainbow Derby winner Inseperable.
Racing for Howard Nichols, Jess Being Valiant earned $5,625 for second for finishing second. The colt by Valiant Hero was ridden by Francisco Rubio and saddled by Jaime Gomez. Ridden by Jimmy Dean Brooks for trainer Eddie Willis, Feature Hero earned $3,125 for running third to take his lifetime bankroll to $1,309,763. The son of Valiant Hero gelding is owned by Reliance Ranches, LLC. Look Whos Running, Pj Chick In Black and One Fancy Eagle completed the field.. Boogies Bullet was scratched.