Freakier LLC’s Fiesty Flo came close to qualifying to several futurities at Los Alamitos with no luck in 2013, yet in her first derby attempt of the year the sorrel filly not only reached the final, but won it in strong fashion in Saturday’s Grade 3 $223,800 La Primera Del Ano Derby for fillies.
Fiesty Flo had the 12th fastest clocking to the PCQHRA Breeders Futurity last year and also had times just outside the top 10 in both the Kindergarten Futurity and Ed Burke Million Futurity trials. It was a different story on March 15, as Santiago Mendez piloted the Jose Flores-trainee to a half-length victory in her La Primera trial to give her the fastest qualifying time among the horses in the final. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, the filly lived up to the billing of favorite, as she led from start to finish en route to an impressive length victory over Ed Allred’s Quirky in a time of :19.634. Racing from the outside post number 10 in this race, Fiesty Flo’s winning in the final was almost identical to her trial time of :19.631.
Sired by TR Dasher and out of the Bono Jazz mare Sables Bono, Fiesty Flo also matched her full brother’s accomplishment of being a derby winner at Los Alamitos. Her older brother is the Los Alamitos Equine graduate Remembering Spence, the hero of the Los Alamitos Winter Derby last season. Purchased by Julio Encinas of Freakier LLC for $8,500 at the 2012 Los Alamitos Equine Sale, Fiesty Flo now joins Remembering Spence as a derby winner in Orange County, and like her brother, she was bred by Allred, the sport’s all-time leading breeder. Now a winner of three of 10 career starts, Fiesty Flo earned $93,996 for her evening’s work. A top two finisher eight times in her career, Fiesty Flo also raised her lifetime earnings to $110,981.
“We’re very pleased,” said Luis Sierra of Freakier LLC. “She did not many any errors. She had a good start and after the first 200 yards you could see that she started to pull away. She had some good trial races as a 2-year-old, but she wasn’t able to qualify to a final. She would win easy, but not have a fast enough time. She didn’t have luck and sometimes that’s 99% of the game. She’s matured a lot now. She’s more professional and definitely a more mature horse. We were expecting her to have this type of an effort.”
Cattlemen from Sonora, Mexico, Sierra and Encinas have been good friends for more than 15 years.
“I’ve liked horses since I was a kid,” Sierra said. “My family enjoyed horses at the ranch. We’ve been racing horses in Arizona, New Mexico and here in California at Los Alamitos. We have eight horses here right now. Fiesty Flo is our first big winner.”
“She just keeps getting better,” Flores said. “She’s really developed and now that she’s got a derby win like Remembering Spence, I hope that she can continue on that path. It was her time. She had bad luck all last year, but I’m happy that she’s given those guys something back.”
There was activity in the starting gate prior to the start of the La Primera, as a few fillies acted up.
“She behaved well,” said Mendez of the eventual winner. “She’s always acted well in the gate. She’s a very calm filly. She broke like a shot and she responded great at the end. I saw a couple of horses to my inside and I knew (Grade 1 finalist Sis Is Hot) was right there pressuring us. The competition was difficult, but Fiesty Flo ran her race.”
Allred’s Quirky had trouble early on, as she veered out and bumped to find herself in fourth place after breaking from post number seven. The Stel Corona filly battled back and came on strong at the end, eventually catching Sis Is Hot while holding on to second place. Ridden by Eulices Gomez for trainer James Glenn, Jr., Quirky earned $38,046. The Allred-bred had now made $109,286 in her six-race career.
Encinas, Paul Penuelas and Robert Parra’s Sis Is Hot posted a solid effort from post number one on the way running third. Ridden by Cruz Mendez and also saddled by Flores, Sis Is Hot earned $26,856. The Walk Thru Fire filly ran in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity.
“Sis Is Hot ran a heck of a race,” Flores said. “She’s a small filly so I was worried that she would have a tough trip from the inside. I was hoping that Fiesty Flo would draw inside because she runs great from there and that Sis Is Hot would get an outside post. That didn’t happen, but I thought Sis Is Hot did great. She was fighting for second place and Quirky, who is an outstanding filly. I think Sis Is Hot will keep getting better. We’re going to give Fiesty Flo and Sis Is Hot a break and bring them back for the Los Alamitos Super Derby trials (on October 12).”
The complete order of finish is as follows: Fiesty Flo, Quirky, Sis Is Hot, Composed Charisma, Princess Teller, She Forgives, Dynasty Of Habits, Babe On Fire, Chalalita and Brighterthanthesun.
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